In a statement marking the tenth anniversary of National Preparedness Month, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius described the federal government as “our federal family.”
Celebrating her belief that the United States has become better prepared to protect its citizens from health emergencies, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes, Sebelius said that throughout all these emergencies, the federal government is there to help but needs the assistance of others:
While our federal family is becoming better prepared to support the nation, we know that being truly resilient requires the whole community coming together. Simply put: bystanders can’t stand by. We’ve seen countless times that bystanders are truly the first responders. They save lives. Each of us must be ready to help others when every minute counts.
CNS News observes that other Obama administration officials have been using the phrase “federal family” in recent weeks as well:
At his swearing-in ceremony on Aug. 29, B. Todd Jones, director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, talked about the ATF agents who pitched in to help local law enforcement in Aurora, Newtown, Boston, and West Texas: “It’s as close as you’re going to get to blue-collar law enforcement in the federal family,” he said.
Seven days earlier, on Aug. 22, David Heyman, an assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, told a Washington think tank how the town of Joplin, Missouri had recovered from a devastating tornado “in partnership with the federal family.”
And on July 10, Richard Serino, the deputy administrator of FEMA, told a Senate panel that the Boston Marathon bombing “was determined to be a high risk event. This determination resulted in enhanced attention to the event across the federal family…”