As our Neighborhood Association met to discuss emergency and disaster planning, I think it struck us all that what we were to achieve was impossible.
Could each of us safely store hundreds of gallons of water? Would any try? Could we purchase sufficient fire protection other than the frying pan extinguishers under our kitchen sink or in the garage? Would we? Were there any gas or solar generators up or down our block, or chain saws if folks are trapped, or portable heaters? Did we own any tents, tarps and outdoor gear to protect our children or our frail if buildings were destroyed? Could we help each other a few days or a week?
Would 100 people in our block survive an urban disaster?
We finished our agenda, shook hands, went home.
I would walk aching for greater confidence.
, “Conventional thinking about disasters in the developed world revolves around seeing that people are prepared as individuals to survive for the short time it takes the authorities to respond to the emergency situation and restore normality. Almost no thought is given to changing the models for systems to make them substantially less brittle and more resilient.”