Thursday, September 24, 2009

Are We Ready for an Emergency?

Are We Ready for an Emergency?


            August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina makes landfall in Louisiana. Around 11 a.m. a major levee in New Orleans breaks and the city begins to flood. Thousands of people were stuck in the city; in the Superdome and in their houses (most often on the roof). All these people were either in need of rescue or basic needs of food and water. What would you do now?

            You can't always know when, where, or how bad a disaster can strike. But when it does, we need a plan to help rescue and then help the community to recover. We thought we had this in FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), but when the hurricane victims needed the rescue and recovery effort, FEMA was slow to respond. Then the chief of FEMA resigned and it seemed as if they were unprepared to handle the situation. Of course, you can't really fully prepare for an event as catastrophic as that, but there should still be order and a base plan to start the recovery effort.

            This applies to today, in 2009, by the effects of the efforts of recovery. I went down to New Orleans this summer on a service trip and got a good look at the city and the areas it was hardest hit. Four years later there is still a lot of work to be done. The lower ninth ward of the city isn't nearly close to being back where it was. There are mostly still vacant homes, empty lots, overgrown vegetation, and still ruins of what were houses or buildings. In the downtown area there are buildings that used to be malls, or even a hospital, that are now just sitting vacant because they still aren't able to be used. Of course, the rebuilding effort has been forgotten long ago by the media while there are still many things to be done. One question would be if we are sending money and troops into foreign nations to help rebuild their government and country, shouldn't we take care of ours first?

            We should be more prepared for a situation like this by making sure that we can recover from it. Government should maybe look more into the problems in our own country more readily than looking in other countries. What if disaster struck Omaha? A bad storm could produce a large or maybe even multiple tornadoes that could tear through the city. I think we would appreciate a little help and have the assurance that we could recover. On a much larger (and hopefully never happens), what if an atomic bomb would strike our country? We've been worried about other countries testing nuclear devices, but are we ready to respond and react if something like that was launched at us? Hopefully, we can prepare and be ready for an emergency situation so that we won't have to suffer the consequences for a long time.


- The Man with No Name    

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