July 1, 2012
The Huffington Post (28 June 2012) ran an article this weekend called "Land of the Free, Home of the Unprepared."
This at a time, when the United States East Coast is battling a heat wave with temperatures over 100 degrees for days running.
Emergencies have been declared in many states, including Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, as well as in Washington, D.C.
On top of that, an early weekend storm with hurricane-force winds took out the power for millions!
Utilities described the damage to the power grid as "catastrophic" with restoration taking up to a week for some.
People were seeking refuge from the heat with no power at home for airconditioning, refrigeration, or telecommunications.
Everywhere--at Starbucks (the garbage was piled high), Barnes and Nobles, the Mall, people were sprawled out in chairs and even on the floors, and were powering up their devices wherever they could find an outlet.
Moreover, there were long lines at gas stations and supermarkets, where power was working for some.
Many street lights were out at intersections and many other stores were either closed or only taking cash.
While catastrophes do happen including natural disasters, the frequency, duration, and impact in the Washington, D.C. area--the Capital of the United States--is ridiculously high.
I could not help thinking that if something more serious struck--whether terrorism, pandemic flu, a serious earthquake, or whatever, 11 years after 9/11, we seem really ill prepared.
We need to get our game on, not only when the heat is up, but for disaster preparedness in general.
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)