Sunday, September 18, 2005

Question Of The Week, 9/18/05

Good morning. It almost seems like the only thing that has been in the news so far this month has been Katrina and New Orleans. It's given all of us a reason to think about disaster preparedness planning. I read two articles about disaster plans this morning while I was deciding what this weeks question would be. The first one, from Newsday.com, Mayors Agree to Disaster Plan Review Order tells about mayors from larger cities that are concerned about another Katrina-size disaster. The second article comes from my local paper, the St. Joseph News-Press, Missouri River levees gaining attention. In 1993 the levee failed to hold the river back. The small town of Elwood, Kansas, just across the river from Saint Joseph, Missouri was pretty much wiped out. I don't think it's just the big cities that should have an emergency disaster plan, the flood of 93 proved that Elwood, Kansas needs one too. Each of us should also have a plan of our own. I don't mean a what to do if the house catches fire plan. I mean what if there are no utilities, drinkable water or effective law enforcement. This weeks Question Of The Week is actually several questions. (1) Does the city or town you live in have an emergency disaster (evacuation) plan? (2) If it does, have you read it? (3) If you have do you feel it is a workable (good) plan? (4) Do you have a disaster plan of your own that covers what to do if you are left without drinkable water, utilities or effective law enforcement? I'll post my answers in the Comment Section Monday.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

10 Comments:

Blogger Blogging Blogging Queen said...

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so far yours is in the Top 3
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It'll be in a totally different
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12:46 AM  
Blogger Unadulterated Underdog said...

Norman, OK to my knowledge has no plan and I can't think of a reason why we need one.

Norman is on a high plateau which makes it hard for tornadoes to form here for one thing. For another thing, that high altitude makes it very hard for anything other than street flooding to occur here. As to other disasters, if a meteor hits we're toast anyway if something big enough to wipe out Norman hits within a hundred miles of here. Good post!

9:31 AM  
Blogger Scriptor said...

I have never heard of any serious disaster or post-disaster plan. Nor does my family have any coordinated plan. Probably, if the disaster is bad enough and nearly wipes my town out we will go to a relative.

P.S. Final Historium is at historium.motime.com. I really think you should change the comment settings on your blog, let non-Blogger people comment.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

1. Yes, but nobody believes that it's workable. The gridlock is bad enough on a regular day. Just one accident causes regional gridlock. Can you imagine an evacuation? Let 1/2 inch of snow fall, and a 10-minute commute becomes a two-hour commute.

2. Yes, I've read it. In fact, this week, the authorities are planning some more tweaking. I have no idea as to the revisions.

3. No. This area (D.C.) is too congested. We'd all die as a result of the exhaust emitting from our vehicles sitting in interminable gridlock, less than 5 blocks from the city.

4. Yes. I've got a country-girl upbringing. We were always prepared for such contingenies: food, water, fuel, and weapons. I'll make my stand here in my home as long as possible.

6:22 PM  
Blogger maccusgermanis said...

It seems the best questions, do often evoke more questions, rather than answers.
(1) I believe that there are several disaster plans, involving localized evacuations, but would only be mildy surprised to find a mass evacuation plan.
(2) I have not read any of the imagined plans, but do surely see the worth of seeking them out.
(4)I must confess my current plan is somewhat lacking. I have several ideas for improvement that still need organization. I like this topic & plan to expand upon it on my own blog when my thoughts are in order.

7:42 PM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

First I want to thank you for answering this weeks question. It took me a little longer to get back and answer because I was trying to get some info from some of my city officials. I didn't have much luck, but this is getting interesting. To answer question number (1) I'll have to say I have been told that Saint Joseph, Missouri does have an Emergency Disaster Plan. (2) The only thing I have been able to find deals with tornado warnings only. I contacted some city council members and ask if the citys disaster plan was available on-line. When I got home from work Monday night I found one response from City Councilwoman Donna Jean Boyer, "I don't think a copy is available on-line. I have sent your question to George Albert who heads the Fire Department's Emergency Management team. Emergency plans for the city, county and region have been in place for many years and are updated periodically. The Local Emergency Planning Committee, which includes representatives from emergency service providers in Northwest Missouri meets monthly. If you are interested in attending a meeting, let me know." (3) I think the tornado warning system is excellent, but there are some other things we should be concerned about. The St. Joseph News-Press article link in the text to this weeks question says our levee system is as good as it was before the 1993 flood. Most people in this area will tell you that the only reason our levee system held up then was because the levee system that was built to protect Elwood, Kansas failed. That gives me a real secure feeling. There is no doubt that Saint Joseph, Missouri would be effected by a major earth quake along the New Madrid Fault System. I can remember a couple of times when the city has shook a little, just tremors. If you haven't read about the New Madrid Fault System check out, http://www.2.semo.edu/ces/CES2.HTML . Yes, I will be contacting Councilwoman Boyer about those Emergency Planning Committee meetings. If there is something like it in your area I would strongly suggest you get involved before a disaster hits.To answer (4) I'll start by going back to the flood of 93 again. When Elwoods levee system failed parts of northern Saint Joseph were flooded too, that took out our water plant. I remember that night well. An alert was issued telling that Saint Joseph would be without water by morning. Residents were urged to fill all the containers they had. At that time we lived at one of the highest points in Saint Joseph. I got one 5 gal. container filled and found out we were already without water. I happen to know where there is a natural spring on public land. It wasn't effected by the flood and it is still there, some of the best water I've ever had. Go back a little farther. I was one of the fools that prepared for Y2K, the disaster that never happened. We can prepare food, heat and light our home without utilities. (It's also a good idea to have a hand held CB radio. Your cell phone could be useless in some cases.) Being able to do this has worked out well during power outages brought on by winter ice storms and summers electrical storms. Long term storage food is used and replaced from time to time. We have several plans for dealing with home invaders and dialing 911 is quite a way down the list.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic

1:08 AM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

Correction, that New Madrid link should be, http://www2.semo.edu/ces/CES2.HTML There is no (.) after www .

God Bless America, God Save The Republic

2:42 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Southern Illinois, no plan either. And this area is very prone to flooding. The Mississippi and Ohio Rivers come together right here. Almost every rain storm is a flood warning.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

David,
I, too, was a Y2K fool. But I learned what to hoard and where to hoard it. And preparing for Y2K did teach me a different way of thinking.

I don't have much faith that our local governments understand the large proportions as to what a major disaster and a mass evauation entail. Lots of time, plans look good on paper, but the implementation doesn't play out as foreseen.

You sound well prepared!

4:41 AM  
Blogger David Schantz said...

Saint Joseph, Missouri has now made it's 302 page Disaster Plan available on-line. I've saved it on a disk and will be reading it as time allows. I plan on attending the Disaster Planning Committee's meeting at the end of the month.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic

7:12 PM  

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