Perhaps in my own way in following the recent mega natural / man made disaster of the US Gulf Coast region. I have a suggested concept to offer up that in no way is a cure all. I also offer my deepest sincere remorse in how there was a lack of cohesive execution of the disaster relief plan by all parties involved. Alas this is "Tombstone Technology" at its worst, but still America is known for its innovative approach to surmount climatic challenges to the human condition. And this to will be licked and hopefully during our collective lifetimes.
Now onto my suggested Urban Disaster Prevention System. In no particular order:
- For those citizens who are able bodied be required to enlist into a citizen volunteer corps as humanitarian workers. Be it as first preventers, first responders, or other auxiliary compassionate aid workers during a local disaster.
- For those citizens that qualify due to proverty conditions to be granted an "allowance" package or waiver. Where they can fill up their car with a tank of gasoline or purchase disaster relief supplies. Much like the "WIC" program where newborn mothers are provided with a type of food stamp program for infants formula for nutrition or other needs for infants. This "allowance" program could be administered by local human service agencies of the needy.
- Similar to the allowance program for the disadvantaged there can be a Federally or State government mandated "Disaster Kit" for every adult citizen. It would be something akin like the State of Israel provided "gas masks" to its citizenry during the first Gulf War. Due to suspected fears of Saddems SCUD missile attacks delivering a chemical or biological attack to Israel. In this case it would be required that all US Citizens be provided with a government mandated and approved all purpose disaster relief kit. Whether if it is provided at no charge or paid for by each citizen. There would be mandated certification classes for all citizens in the use of such a all purpose disaster relief kit.
- For urban & suburban city planners to create neighborhood bunkers for disasters. The current school districts in America are often burdened with this responsibility. Which is like doing something backwards as a band-aid solution. What I'm suggesting is more in line with America's "Duck & Cover" days of urban bunkers during the early cold war. Where easily reachable urban bunkers for a certain capacity of citizenry to use during a natural or man made disaster. Whether such installations are above or below ground is up to the city planners. Such bunkers would include a: medical clinic, caches of food stuffs (that are up to date), and assorted needed supplies for a capacity suitable for a neighborhood population for the short to mid-term. Aka a mini decentralized self-sufficient village within a city of need be for such dire civil emergencies.
- In line with a metropolitan bunker network for city residents. To include any major military bases in the vicinity of a major city as the back-up city government during a disaster. Besides command & control coordination relief there would be the launch point for all humanitarian aid. Including law enforcement assistance doing major civil disobedience following a disaster. If no large military installation is nearby a major city. Then a adhoc para-military civilian government installation should be built to facilitate such a service to the burgeoning metropolitan region for emergency uses.
- To contract with mass transit providers, be it the local bus system or airlines / cruise ships or chartered bus services. That in the very likely case of a imminent disaster that when a mandatory evacuation order is issued. As many of the locally affected citizenry are to be evacuated and ferried out of harms way. To be housed in available motels that are also contracted by either the State or Federal governments. Whilst the threat of a disaster passes from their regional vicinity.
Finally when a mandatory evacuation order is issued in expectation of a disaster. That it is enforced or be arrested by local authorities. Since for those citizens who are either ignorant or fool hardy that stay behind during a natural or man made disaster. Later on put themselves in jeopardy including any first responders who have to rescue them afterwards. Which compounds the risk for both the victim and the rescuer.
Those are my suggested proposals for a potential disaster relief program many municipalities could consider in light of the rude awakening that Hurricane Katrina has offered America as of now.