Last week I attended the annual meeting of the National Lt. Governors Association held in Oklahoma City, OK. While the educational sessions were dedicated to topics relevant to our duties and responsibilities, perhaps the most impactful part of our visit were trips to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and the recently devastated town of Moore from the May E-5 tornadoes. Despite the tragedies, the resilience of the Oklahomans is most apparent—in their volunteer assistance, their community unity, and the unwavering civility with which they’ve faced these challenges.
In a meeting session dedicated to emergency management, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling of Virginia detailed his response and duties following the shootings at Virginia Tech; Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman of Connecticut offered her perspective on the state’s role following the Sandy Hook school shooting and the policy/response reviews which have followed; and Lt. Gov. Bruce Lamb of Oklahoma discussed the emergency response to the recent Moore tornadoes. State leadership and planning have direct roles in these events, and I’m grateful to learn from the wisdom and experiences of others.