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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Incompetence

During the past week, one thing that has come to mind repeatedly is the question, "What if something happened here?" What if a dirty bomb was exploded in Minneapolis or Saint Paul or the Mall of America? Are there any plans? Would there be just as much chaos as the government fumbled about, trying to figure out what to do? Would there be as many unnecessary deaths?

I don't think it is terribly likely that there would be a terrorist attack in this state, but there still has to be planning. We have spent billions of dollars on the Department of Homeland Security, a department that I thought we needed after 9/11. It just makes sense to plan for internal disasters, and the military doesn't really deal with the internal stuff. But now, it looks like it has hardly been a good investment of money. Where has all the money gone? Why haven't they spent money on coming up with plans to evacuate every large metropolitan area in the country, to deal with the refugees, to have caches of food and water nearby in case of emergencies? These things seem to be basic catastrophe planning, the exact thing that DHS was supposed to take care of. But it didn't happen, and thousands are dead because of it.

What we need is for politicians with a sense of right and wrong to stand up, investigate what happened, and say that there will be no more of this. No more patronage, no more outsourcing one of the core functions of government. No more CYA. We need real plans to deal with disasters in this country, be they natural or human-inflicted.

It's now almost four years after 9/11, and even though lots of politicians like to say that it changed everything, it hasn't. The priority is still taking control and making money, not protecting everybody.

I think I fear worst for San Francisco. The top three disasters in this country were determined long ago to be a terrorist attack on New York, a devastating earthquake in San Francisco, and an major hurricane in New Orleans. Two out of the three have happened, and I'm not too sure about the ability to save people in the event of a major earthquake in San Francisco, especially because it, unlike the hurricane, would not be forecast days ahead of time.

1 Comments:

At 7:34 PM, October 03, 2005, Blogger jiri said...

Cool Blog, I never really thought about it that way.

I have a Hurricane Katrina blog. It pretty much covers hurricane related stuff.

Thank you - and keep up the thoughts!

 

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