Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 13, 2009

Earthquakes: prudently predicting the unpredictable

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Philip J. Palin on April 13, 2009

In a piece worth reading in the Sunday Times, Susan Hough of the US Geological Survey writes, “The public would like scientists to predict earthquakes. We can’t do that. We might never be able to do that. What people and government can do is work to make sure our houses, schools and hospitals don’t fall down when the next big one strikes, and that we’re all prepared for the difficult aftermaths. We can look around our homes and our workplace and think about what would happen to them if the terra firma suddenly ceased being firm. We can stop worrying about predicting the unpredictable, and start doing more to prepare for the inevitable.”

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2 Comments »

Comment by christopher tingus

April 14, 2009 @ 7:03 am

From a street perspective…in many localities presently, because of politicizing and mismanagement of local and state budgets, a call to 911 for the routine Life threatening scenario may not be responded to in a few cases at all and in many cases, a delayed response and dependence on the availability of mutual aid as a result of lay offs of essential first responders – who themselves are placed in jeopardy for having a team with less than minimal staffing available –

From (our) street perspective, never mind the “big one” in whatever form that takes for Washington on both sides of the aisle know someone will surely be at their side, but us folks – Congressional embers and their Wall Street buds know how to “take” our monies and bail themselves out, but who truly cares about assuring substantial billions in availability for a civil defense system that works – bailout monies for the 250 metro cities and the local communities which need monies for the sole purpose of assuring that whether the daily routine call to save a Life or the “big one” – someone will be there – I doubt it as AQ is coming over in cells from our southern border, a Coast Guard which needs more monies even though doing the best it can to watch our Atlantic coastal waters and so on and so forth –

It is truly amazing how such trillions are being printed in “fiat” dollars which will only lead to inflation and probable calamity in the fiscal markets and that the American people were not given the opportunity to vote in a national election to say yea or nay to a package presented to them –

The government is obligated to do its utmost to protect the populace – it is failing and the enlightened citizen is becoming less and less enchanted by Washington’s or the local legislators as well as local school administrators who cut sports and after school activities rather than their salaries and staffing hierarchy….

We must be vigilant at home and abroad –

God Bless America!

Christopher Tingus
Harwich, MA 02645

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 14, 2009 @ 10:43 am

The possibility of Earthquake Prediction becoming a reality was the premise of the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977. That has not occurred. Still the dream dies hard. That statute did serve one real long-term need in that it mandated a Federal Response Plan to a Catastrophic Earthquake. That plan was published in 1987 and evolved into the Federal Response Plan and into what is now the National Response Framework. Interesting that it required an act by Congress to mandate that the federal government planned for a catastrophic natural event. Hoping no such even in my lifetime but just in case I wonder if all the players know exactly who will show up, what their funding, training and equipment will be, who will have specific expertise and how will they be mobilized? Since the OBAMA Administration now has known since the fall of Lehman Bros. that it might exist they have had plenty of time to design a domestic civil crisis management system with appropriate processes supporting that system and a civil chain of command! Oh that is right just fly General Petraeus home and let him handle a key domestic civil function. CAN DO,SIR! Guess Obama likes those words not the messiness of democratic processes and recognition of the federal system adopted by the Constitution.

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