Sunday, September 28, 2014

L.A. Prepares for the Big Quake Amid the Questions of When and How Large - Is your city prepared

 My promise in the beginning was not to use scare tactics and to try to make things bite sized for you to prepare for disasters in Where to Start
This week I read with interest how  Los Angeles has begun to look at the pieces in the public forum so their citizens understand it. They have been planning for a long time, but articles like this one show you the citizen the types of things they are worried about and planning for.
LA Prepares for the Big Quake Amid Questions of When and How Large  Its long (more than 30 seconds) but worth the time to read it all.

Why do I think its important citizens read this? Really two reasons:  
1.  Honestly, most of what we do in emergency management is not recognized by the public as it seldom produces perceptible results to the public in the short term.  But it does produce things that may save lives in the long term.  Pay attention to the discussions of water and transport in the article.  Pay attention as your government makes budget cuts, if the Emergency Managers are on that cut list you WILL have a harder time surviving and recovering from a catastrophic event. 

 2.   If you read this piece and pay attention to the main points they are making you can look at your planning and say okay I need to do a little more in that category, and that one looks good for now. But you are conscience of the need, and that makes it more focused.

And if you read this and think, okay I have put this off long enough- awesome. Start here and dig in, a little at a time, planning takes time.

Good Planning


Sunday, September 14, 2014

You've lost that preparedness feeling (sung to the tune of "You've lost that loving feeling")

Why do we constantly talk about preparedness?  I know some people may tire of it, but its necessary.  Why? 

Well we do not have it as part of our memory and or we think it can't happen to us.  Lets look at two examples; one of a group who survived not because they had a back pack by the front door (a good idea though) but because they recognized the danger as it had been passed down and another group that didn't follow their traditions. 

In 2004 the Tsunami in the Indian ocean killed over 230,000 people in multiple places, but one island had zero deaths or casualties.  The Andaman Islands inhabited by the Mokens (Sea Gypsy's). When rescuers arrived they found them safely atop a hill!  Their culture had passed down stories that when the great water receded it would flood the land.  

And in 2009 the earthquake that hit L'Aquila that killed 309 people and pretty much destroyed every home.  This is a case where the scientist were convicted of sending a message that..."interfered with the local “earthquake culture”, a set of entrenched habits and reactions such as, for example, that of spending the night outdoors after the occurrence of medium shocks."

So what does your culture or habits in our modern wired always on society tell you to survive and thrive after a disaster? I'm not sure, but surveys seem to say we aren't prepared for the hazards we face.  A 2009 survey showed 57% reported making some plans, but only 44% had a household plan where to go and and what to do (think like a Moken).

So we keep repeating the message and asking you to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.

And now you probably want to hear the song here

Disaster Dave