[LMB] Betan Earthquake preparedness

Peter Newman pnewman at gci.net
Thu Apr 21 13:08:05 BST 2016


> Hilary Powers <hilary at powersedit.com <mailto:hilary at powersedit.com>> wrote
> 
> 
> On 4/20/2016 5:56 PM, Eric Oppen wrote:
> ... snowfalls that Iowans would take completely in their stride all but
>> paralyze DC and the surrounding areas.  And as for real blizzards...Iowans
>> know what to do about them, but DC doesn't, and doesn't have the snow
>> removal equipment that Iowa cities have.
> 
> That's a circular problem people often back themselves into. It 
> [whatever IT is] doesn't happen, so they don't prep for it, so when it 
> does happen, they can't cope. As someone in Houston told NPR a few years 
> ago, after what Iowa would regard as a minor snowstorm paralyzed the 
> city, "When the biggest piece of snow removal equipment in town is at 
> Toys R Us, there's not much you can do!"

But disaster preparedness, like most of life, is a process of decision making.

Being ill-prepared for common (in your area) disasters is unwise. Spending
scarce resources on preparing for very unlikely (in your area) disasters just
means you have fewer resources left over for everything else in life.

In other words - New Orleans should prepare for floods because they are likely. 
New Orleans should not prepare for volcanos because they are very unlikely. 
(Until Yellowstone blows, but that could be a few tens of thousands of years or more).

Maybe New Orleans should prepare for disaster less likely than floods but more likely 
than volcanos and maybe they shouldn’t.

On the other hand here in Anchorage we need to prepare for earthquakes, volcanos,
and lots of snow. We don’t need to prepare for sandstorms, or life threatening
heat waves.


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