T Nation

Can We Handle Natural Disasters?

With the recent tornado that devastated Greensburg, Kansas,the naming of the first hurricane of 2007 and the wildfires out in California, will local agencies be able to handle natural disasters of a significant magnitude?

I ask this because the National Guard in Kansas has about 40% of the equipment they need to do an effective job in the disaster area. They are also limited to what they can borrow from other states since most are in similar situations.

What happens when multiple disasters happen at once? Or when another major US city gets hit by something? Everyone keeps on talking about another local terrorist attack, but how adequately can we handle one from mother nature herself?

[quote]Ren wrote:
With the recent tornado that devastated Greensburg, Kansas,the naming of the first hurricane of 2007 and the wildfires out in California, will local agencies be able to handle natural disasters of a significant magnitude?[/quote]

I don’t know the specifics of all the stories, but Andrea is not a hurricane. It’s not a tropical storm, it’s a subtropical system.

And the tornado in Greensburg, Kansas was only a class three and killed 50 in a town of only 1,800. Not to downplay the death/destruction, but those numbers are pretty paltry wrt to tornadoes and are insignificant wrt to hurricanes. And are infinitesmal compared to auto accidents.

Like many of us around here say and believe, it’s not up to a local or federal agency to guarantee you complete safety.

I don’t know if we can handle another Al Sharpton!

[quote]lucasa wrote:
Ren wrote:
With the recent tornado that devastated Greensburg, Kansas,the naming of the first hurricane of 2007 and the wildfires out in California, will local agencies be able to handle natural disasters of a significant magnitude?

I don’t know the specifics of all the stories, but Andrea is not a hurricane. It’s not a tropical storm, it’s a subtropical system.

And the tornado in Greensburg, Kansas was only a class three and killed 50 in a town of only 1,800. Not to downplay the death/destruction, but those numbers are pretty paltry wrt to tornadoes and are insignificant wrt to hurricanes. And are infinitesmal compared to auto accidents.

Like many of us around here say and believe, it’s not up to a local or federal agency to guarantee you complete safety.[/quote]

Well, Andrea is big enough to garner a name, which marks the start of hurricane season in my book.

And the Greensburg tornado, from everything I have heard/read is classified as an F5.

And I am also not talking about the scale of casualties from such a disaster but the ensuing damage and destruction that they cause.

[quote]Ren wrote:

Well, Andrea is big enough to garner a name, which marks the start of hurricane season in my book.[/quote]

I guess I didn’t say this as it’s too cliche, but I think the prevalence of information access is responsible for much of it. Two decades ago, news barely reported the name of hurricanes, now a windsurfer catches a wicked breeze off the coast of Virginia and they have to pick which Greek letter to designate it.

Personally, this really resonates because I’ve lived through several tornadoes that weren’t even reported on the local television stations. I’m sure others in the tornado belt (maybe yourself) can agree.

My apologies, I read about it soon after it happened. The estimates started at F3 and went up chronologically.

I’m not strictly either, more what meant to say is that the fear is being hyped by the media. That and lemming mentality, people “flocking” back into a city (if they ever left) that is still prone to massive flooding or enormous demand for property on coasts prone to being ravaged by storms…

We cannot handle natural disasters very well after the fact.

New Orleans was horrible because they built a city below sea level. It was inevitable. No one wants to return so the city cannot be completely restored.

We have been smart enough to plan ahead in many parts of this country by building our buildings properly to handle natural disasters but we have also built into areas that will cause problems such as coastal areas.

With more and more development there are more opportunities for tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes etc to destroy property.

This will only grow.

Our government will never have the capacity to rebuild the destruction of a city like New Orleans.

The populace needs to recognize that if there is a disaster it is not up to FEMA to rescue them, it is up to the victims and their neighbors to help each other.

People expect far too much government assistance in ways it has never been possible.

Quasi-related with some irrelevant GW commentary thrown in at the end (though it’s minuscule in comparison to an Emmy-award winning movie):

http://blogs.abcnews.com/scienceandsociety/2007/05/the_deadliest_y.html

It was an eye opener for me when Katrina hit Cuba first and Fidel ordered his people in the shelters and when it hit the US, Bush stated: “we can only pray”.

Makes you think, doesn’t it.

[quote]Wreckless wrote:
It was an eye opener for me when Katrina hit Cuba first and Fidel ordered his people in the shelters and when it hit the US, Bush stated: “we can only pray”.

Makes you think, doesn’t it.[/quote]

Yes, while he’s banking on My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake to help us, he also relied on the Easter Bunny’s wisdom to get us into a stoopid war (I presume because he thinks Iraq is where the rainbow ends?).

Also republican canidates believing dinosaurs walked the earth 6000 years ago…and saying so out loud…my goodness.

Meanwhile mainstream media pretending this is OK?

You could probably handle them better if your National Guard was actually guarding in your nation, instead of guarding Iraq.