Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

May 22, 2013

Even in our grief, applying the algorithm

Filed under: Disaster,Preparedness and Response,State and Local HLS,Strategy — by Philip J. Palin on May 22, 2013

Plaza Tower Elementary Before After

Plaza Towers Elementary School, Moore, Oklahoma. Before and after

My mother’s family mostly live around Oklahoma City.  As far as I know all my cousins are okay.  But it is a huge clan, much more prolific than my father’s.  I have not met most of the youngest generation.

Even without a personal connection — including childhood memories of  my grandpa’s storm cellar — the outcome of what happened in Moore and nearby prompts many of us to quietly, respectfully ask some questions; and listen patiently and non-judgmentally for answers at the right time.


Is the frequency of the threat increasing?

Is the innate energy of the threat increasing?

Can we do anything to reduce the threat?


Since the 1999 tornado has new construction reasonably reflected the nature of the threat? (For example, safe-rooms, basements, other “protective action”)

Since the 1999 tornado has there been any retrofitting to reflect the nature of the threat? (For example, construction/designation of safe-rooms)

What is the nature of public training, exercising, messaging and other aspects of threat preparedness?


Does this event — and similar events — have implications for residential density?

Does this event — and similar events — have implications for preventive actions? (For example, there was at least some talk late Sunday and early Monday — before the tornado struck — of canceling schools across a wide area of Central Oklahoma.  Those involved in snow-closings will recognize the treacherous nature of such decisions.)

How do we best mitigate the worst risks?

Or as a friend wrote yesterday how do we — allow ourselves, discipline ourselves, empower ourselves — to “think-differently” about such risks?

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Comment by William R. Cumming

May 22, 2013 @ 7:30 am

Great questions Phil! Probably somewhat complicated but all needing research and answers! And as the reddest of the 50 states with all Congressional districts going for George Romney most in the state clearly believe government is the problem! Look at the ranksing of the 50 states on most indexes and Oklahoma might well surprise you. And of course the capitol of the Cherokee Nation at Talaquah!

Disclosure: Best steak I ever had in a private restaurant in Tulsa. Went through AIT and OCS at Ft. Sill. And a close friend from Kingfisher!

Comment by William R. Cumming

May 22, 2013 @ 8:34 am

Perhaps I should also point out that many of the residential safehouses that did exist [far too few] had construction funding provided by FEMA!

Comment by Christopher Tingus

May 22, 2013 @ 11:34 am

The tornado-devastated town of Moore, Okla., had complained in February about regulatory delays from state and federal agencies that were preventing it from getting money for its county-wide tornado shelter rebate program.

“The city’s safe room rebate program is still ‘on hold,’ with not a lot changed from our update of last May [2012],” a statement posted on the City of Moore website said.

“Our county-wide Hazard Mitigation Plan still has not been approved by the state and FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency]…

“There were changes to the federal requirements for this plan that occurred while our contractor was writing the document. He has had to rewrite it.

“We’ve found that the FEMA requirements and their interpretations seem to be a constantly moving target, more so with the new wrinkles. We’re still working out various wording changes…”

FEMA can now attend the funerals of the victims of this great tragedy where so many more could have perished given the severity of the tornado, however for so, so many who in the area got beneath ground level, well, God Bless all the survivors.

FEMA continues along with government in general and specifically this WH and its self-serving as well as partisan ways led by this Chicago city street slicker and nothing more with Barry Obama so intent to fulfill his pledge to Hussein Obama and his Kenyan pals and in listening to Barry Obama and his pal, Ayers and others way back when he was at Harvard and this continued manipulative and divisive tactic and outright indifference to our Constitution and the laws of the once great Republic, whether Republic, Democrat or blue, green or purple, from the global perspective I an engaged, We the People are at peril along with ‘ol Glory and until You heed the words of Frederick Douglass and and John Adams, we will continue to loose position and become on par with others nations which has been the intent in pledge by Barry Obama to his father, Hussein Obama who were nothing more than anti-Christians and anti-colonialists….

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence” – tell that to Ms. L at the IRS and to Ms. Hillary (formerly) at State and to this WH who is so willing to tell blatant lies and compromise the premises of our Constitution and our laws to the extent that at least I perceive this ongoing charade as a breach of faith, treason and in the words of Frederick Douglass which best explains the reasons for the current multiple news stories originating from the WH:

“Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress” –

I cannot fathom that the White House Doors Remain Closed to Our Kids Who Deserve Better as in the coming weeks, so many will be arriving on a brief trip to Washington, DC only to peer through the gates at rappers coming out of another Obama White House party where White House Doors Opened to only the select few….while the sons and daughters, the nieces and nephews, their friends, classmates of the 911 brave American Patriots who yelled, “Let’s rock ‘n roll” and took down a plane which was en route to pierce this nation’s heart, OUR White House – OUR KIDS” White House and they are shut out for Barry and Michelle Obama find only – past slavery history – as priority to them with Michelle Obama stating how ashamed of this country she has been and we pay for her and her kids to visit whomever in Spain, when the richness in history and a land of beauty await us all to visit here in the once good ‘ol USA! OPEN THE WHITE HOUSE DOORS NOW – OUR KIDS DESERVE BETTER!

As James Madison (1785) wrote: “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be under the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. But, in reality it will be an Enemy from within”

Further, whether Family Dollar or US Air and others for instance who have regional interests in the metro Charlotte area and cannot afford a mere $150,000 to sponsor the fourth largest Thanksgiving Day Parade in the nation is appalling….unacceptable for our kids, whether brutally slaughtered by the mentally ill in CT or by the wrath of Mother Nature in Okla, whenever we can make contribution or work together and mentor whether individuals, communities or corporations, we must stand forthright for our children and make sure that we offer our kids an Open White House, a continuing six decade family tradition as offered by the Carrousel Thanksgiving Parade in November which cannot get $150,000 in funding for this year’s sponsor of this parade and you can bet that next week’s travel to Washington, DC will not be booked on US Air nor will I ever shop again at Family Dollar for example because when individuals, communities and corporations cannot step to the plate and sponsor a well known Thanksgiving Parade and derive advertising all over town as the parade’s sponsor…well, I will be doing my business travel and shopping elsewhere. Jeff Collins and the Carrousel Parade Committee have knocked on everyone’s door and will have to cancel a now six decade long family parade tradition where US Air and Family Dollar as only a few of the businesses well entrenched in the metro Charlotte area are located and all their efforts to secure $150k for this year’s sponsorship and to enable kids to spend family time and to be waiting on Tryon Street to give a smile and wave to Santa as Santa moves along the parade route…oh, have we forgotten our kids and family and for this and the lack of any repentance, it is quite apparent the long road ahead will be paved with far more self-serving and corrupt mannerisms….

“No People will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can they be easily subdued, when knowledge is wide spread and Virtue is preserved. on the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without Aid of foreign invaders” – Samuel Adams (1775)

God Bless America!

Christopher Tingus
“Main Street USA”
PO Box 1612
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645

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