Have you ever been to an emergency preparedness fair? No? Me neither. In fact, before last Wednesday, I had never even heard of such a thing. But on that day, someone handed me a yellow and black postcard, just like this one.
I had been living under the misperception that fairs were fun events with ferris wheels and cotton candy—or am I confusing fairs with carnivals. Either way, I had no idea what to expect from an emergency preparedness fair but on the back of the card, I was urged to “Come to the Emergency Preparedness Fair and walk away with info and resources you need to know!”
Apparently, at the fair I would have been able to sign up to receive text alerts from the DC Department of Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency and plan alternate routes out of the city with Metro and DC transportation officials. The fair would also have given me the chance to sign up for CPR and other emergency-response training and see a decontamination tent, emergency response equipment and much more.
By now, it’s probably obvious that I didn’t go to the Emergency Preparedness Fair. The whole thing just left me feeling a little creeped out. I mean, are we that resigned to the inevitability of another attack that we’re now having fairs to prepare us for disaster? Aren’t fairs supposed to be fun, interesting events where you get to see and try new things? New, fun things, like hot dogs, cotton candy, and rides. Not morbid things like bomb-sniffing dogs, decontamination tents and emergency response equipment.