All must prepare for emergencies
| 08.28.2006 | 08:15:05 | Views: 2527 | ID:
August 28 '06: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina can be learned and translated into emergency preparedness and response for officials and communities on the West Coast the San Jose Mercury News reported over the weekend.
"The Bay Area does not have hurricanes but is subject to catastrophic losses from other natural causes. A great earthquake of magnitude 7.0 or above (predicted by the United States Geological Survey to occure by 2030) could leave 300,000 people homeless and seeking public shelter.In the OpEd piece, the Mercury Sun continued, "The Bay Area's 9 million residents must actively prepare for the natural disasters that menace our densely populated communities. Lessons learned from Katrina show that public resources are inadequate for a catastrophic event, and disaster survival and recovery depend on preparedness by the individual, family, neighborhood and business." During Hurricane Katrina, more than 80 percent of the police department officers lost their homes to flooding caused by storm surge and high winds. Power lines, communications abilities, and critical infrastructure were completely wiped-out. Cell phone towers, and power stations were destroyed. Those same type of losses to infrastructure and communications' abilities could happen on the West Coast - though the cause would be earthquakes or tsunamis. "Every family should have a plan for self-sufficiency after a regional disaster that includes vulnerable family members' special needs and care for pets. ... Every neighborhood should have a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). ... Preparedness paid for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Individuals who followed the first evacuation orders reached safety before the storm hit," the Mercury News continued. "Every business should have a business resumption plan and an emergency plan that is practiced at least twice a year. ... Hurricane Katrina happened one year ago. The time is now to act on the lessons that were learned."
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