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Disasters can strike anywhere, anytime : on December 26 2004, a massive earthquake rattled the seabed off the western coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The resulting tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean, wiping out entire coastal villages and low-lying islands. The affected region extends from Malaysia, Thailand and Burma in the east to Somalia and Kenya in the west. Over 300,000 people were dead or missing, with Indonesia and Sri Lanka suffering the greatest loss of life.

While we take the time to remember those who perished, it’s also a good time to reflect on our own state of preparedness for disasters and emergencies. We have seen how even a developed country like the United States struggling with a natural disaster even with plenty of warning. 2005 has been a record year for storms and hurricanes, and there’s no telling what 2006 will be like.

Please take the time to look into your preparations, and have a safe holiday season.

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