Coast Guard Team Kodiak ombudsmen and command staff from Coast Guard Base Kodiak, Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak, Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley and Coast Guard Cutter Munro pause for a photo after an appreciation luncheon in Kodiak, Alaska, April 4, 2014. The Ombudsman Program is a Coast Guard-wide program established to serve as a link between commands and families to help ensure families have the information necessary to meet the challenges of a military lifestyle. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Diana Honings)

Building stronger communities is key to surviving any hazard

As America’s maritime first responders, the 2014 Coast Guard Directive states, “responding to natural, man-made, and other disasters is a fundamental Coast Guard capability.” This is a reflection on the skill and competence of personnel protecting the communities they serve, as well as those of their families. Ms. Sedonia Cheatham, a native New Orleanian, is a prime example of a Coast Guard spouse and ombudsman who has acted on this know-how to the betterment of her community.

Preparedness takes time

“Drinking from the fire hose” is a colloquialism often used to describe being overwhelmed to the point of drowning. There are many times in our lives that we feel utterly overwhelmed. For example, perhaps we’ve taken a new job and feel as if we might drown in all the new information being thrown at us at a rapid rate. For many, preparing for possible emergencies: being informed, making a plan, building a kit, things we all know we should do, can seem an overwhelming task.