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  1. #1

    • insufferable know-it-all
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    Katrina and the future (disaster planning)

    So what lessons can be learned from Katrina, and what can cities and counties across the nation do in the future to avoid or alleviate this scale of disaster? How can plans be better laid, communication improved, supplies be shipped or pre-placed, etc?

    *****

    After reading reports like this... (from http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/09/0...act/index.html )
    At the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, thousands of increasingly frustrated people waited for help amid dead bodies, feces and garbage, in 90-degree heat and rain with little food and water.

    A National Guard helicopter finally came to drop them some supplies, and Mayor Ray Nagin advised those inside the convention center to march across a bridge to the other side of the Mississippi River for help.

    Federal Emergency Management Director Michael Brown told CNN that federal officials were unaware of the crowds at the convention center until Thursday, despite the fact that city officials had been telling people for days to gather there.

    "We just learned about that today, and so I have directed that we have all available resources to get to that convention center to make sure that they have the food and water, the medical care that they need," he said.
    ...and after hearing Chernabog describe the utter ineptitude and communication failure that took place during last year's hurricane evacuation, I think that first and foremost, every city in America should designate "disaster centers" ahead of time - central (by practice, not by geography) locations people can go to for supplies, medical care, shelter (if need be), and/or information. These centers should be so well-known that addresses and MAPS to them are published in the front of all the phone books, just as stadiums are currently. Should evacuation be necessary, every person in the city/county should be able to know where they can go to ensure being evacuated, or if people can't get there (such as patients at a stranded hospital), where they can send someone to report in so that their location is known.

    Every location designated as a disaster center should be equipped with minimum two generators, located well away from eachother (such as one in the basement, one on the roof, or one interior, one exterior), and should be wired for Wi-Fi and a cell antenna so that disaster workers can come in with laptops and keep communications flowing.

    The Governor's and Mayors' offices should all have comprehensive lists of these locations.
    ******

    Any other ideas?

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  2. #2

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    Re: Katrina and the future (disaster planning)

    I've had another thought, and I know some may disagree with this, but:

    There needs to be a way to get "citizen volunteers" in. Oftentimes, people who live near disasters could be there much quicker than the large organizations can possibly mobilize their corps of trained volunteers. If every city had one "citizen volunteer" center, preferably near the fringes of the populated areas (for example, somewhere in the valley or OC for LA, and vice versa), then in a disaster, people who have supplies and effort to spare can all head there, from which location they can be organized by professionals and mobilized to help out wherever needed, or if nothing else, drop off donations which can be moved to the most desperate areas faster than trucks can be loaded from "distribution centers". If people in Houston, TX had had a citizen volunteer center to drop off food and water at, those trucks could have been in N.O. in half a day. With citizen volunteers organized to load up the trucks, and other citizens donating anything they have immediately availible, the first wave of help, ragtag as it may be, could have been into new orleans very quickly.

    And if my first idea were followed, the one or two, or possibly team of professional disaster leaders (organizers) would be all it would take to get into place to make it happen - and they'd be able to work with authorities in the affected areas so everyone's on the same page.

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  3. #3

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    Re: Katrina and the future (disaster planning)

    Since MREs do not spoil for a ridiculous ammount of time, there should be stockpiles of them, and of water in these disaster-prone areas, so the citizens should not have to wait days for them to arrive. Places that serve asa shelters should have these supplies ahead of time.

    Also, I believe we should take the initative as individuals and make sure we have a family 72-hour kit for disasters such as this. Have enough food, water, and other necessities for everyone in your family, in a container which can be easily transported in such a case.
    Instead of blaming the government, we should be more self-suffiecient.
    I reject your reality, and subsitute my own!

  4. #4

    • insufferable know-it-all
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    Re: Katrina and the future (disaster planning)

    If this disaster proves anything, it proves that assuming the government will take care of you is foolishness.

    You're right, we're often lax in our personal disaster planning.

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  5. #5

    • LoisAlene
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    Re: Katrina and the future (disaster planning)

    I'm old, I remember Bomb Shelters. They were places you could go in case Russia decided to drop the big one. They were stocked with food and water and other supplies. I really think we need to re-instate these sort of things. The last bomb shelter I was in was being used as a storeage room. How depressing.
    I know my kids aren't laughing about my "Panic Pantry" the way they were a few months ago. I'm ready (sort of) for an emergency.
    (TONGUE IN CHEEK HERE) The worst part would be being cut off from Mice Chat. You all are like my extended family, and I would worry about you. (okay that last part is true).


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  6. #6

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    Re: Katrina and the future (disaster planning)

    Most communities do have trained volunteer teams, and I know our group would be showing up at the police department, uniformed and stocked as much as possible. Of course we'd be waiting for the PD to get their act together and activate us (bureaucracy, yuck), but we'd be there and ready!

    Personally, we have lots of food and stuff here. Might run a bit short on water if I'm not careful but otherwise we'd do ok. I don't have a specific "panic pantry" but it's just my husband and myself, plus the animals. We decided to start keeping an extra bag of kibble on hand, just in case. Currently I don't buy a new bag until the old one is low, which is not a good idea.

    Goon, you have some good ideas there. And yes, we should all be self-sufficient, to last at least a few days. If my house falls down, I can camp in the yard and do relatively well.
    I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

  7. #7

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    Re: Katrina and the future (disaster planning)

    It breaks my heart to see all of these babies with no formula, nothing to drink. If you have babies, PLEASE, next time you go shopping, buy a few cans of the ready-made formula and an extra bottle. Its good for YEARS. Keep it in a bag in the baby's room, so it can be grabbed with the baby in case of a quick evacuation!
    I reject your reality, and subsitute my own!

  8. #8

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    Re: Katrina and the future (disaster planning)

    Good News and Not So Good News on my Katrina efforts,

    Not So Good News: On Thursday I contacted the appropriate depts within my company and my husbands company to see if we would be doing anything to support relief effots.My company said its against corporate policy to do anything but would send out company emails to support the Red Cross and another to support a local water drive that our local Red Cross was holding. Something, but not all that much.

    Good News: My husbands company jumped on board. They decided that they would match employee funds dollar for dollar for a donation to the Red Cross. The employees have until Sept 16 to donate and then they will send off the big check.

    So, it was hardly an inconvenience for me, phone calls and follow up messages and such forth, but, in my own little way, I was able to help beyond just my own personal donation.

    I would challenge all of you, if your in a corporate setting to challenge your companies to see if they too can open their pocketbooks to help!!

  9. #9

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    Re: Katrina and the future (disaster planning)

    The Government WONT take care of you, and there may be NO HELP for up to a week.

    BE PREPARED.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Katrina and the future (disaster planning)

    It's kind of disturbing how people are shooting there rescuers...






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