Thread: Lessons Learned
09-05-2005, 03:11 PM #1LasVegasFTOFirehouse.com Guest
What have we learned from this?? Probably more than words can express. I am not going to sit here and arm-chair quarterback (going to save that for next weekend when football starts - GO STEELERS !!!)
First of all, WE all need to take a hard look at ourselves, our departments and our communities. What if this happened to you? Granted, not all communities are subject to hurricanes, but each community is subject to some sort of disaster (natural or man-made). Now is the time to get out those contingency plans, blow the dust off, review them and practice them. Get plans going for what you don't have. Sure, everyone has drills, but do all players participate? Does the mayor understand his/her role in a disaster? Even the mayor's secretary needs to understand his/her role. What if #1 and #2 are incapacitated, can #3 step up to the plate?? Most of us have been in some incident where our regular players are missing (vacation, training, seminars). You know, acting captains and acting engineers when we pull up on the "big one".
Where are these plans?? If stored electronically, can you access them in a power failure? Does your emergency generator supply all of headquarters or just part of it?? When communications goes down and we need to rely on portable radios, do you have enough batteries and how will you charge them once they are dead?? Got enough fuel to run apparatus?? Can you run the fuel pumps?? Food and water?? Where are contacts stored (State, Local, OES, FEMA)?? Once again, if these plans and contacts are stored electronically, can you access them or should you have hard copies?? Sure, laptops are great, but they too need batteries.
Sure, most departments have mutual-aid agreements. What if the disaster is wide-spread and you can't rely on mutual-aid.
There are several articles on this web-site. Stephen Marks writes about Hurricane Preparedness, but why limit yourself to hurricanes. Be ready for all. Goldfeder wrote "Who forgot what?" Yeah, more than one person, agency probably dropped the ball, but now is the time to pick up the ball and run with it. Another forum member wrote a thread about Culture Change needed? I agree with the originator.
There is nothing worse than allowing disaster to strike twice because we fail to learn or be prepared. Surely not all senarios can be covered, but something is better than nothing. Disaster preys on the weak and unprepared.......TAKE CARE OF THE LITTLE THINGS AND THE BIG THINGS TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES
09-05-2005, 03:27 PM #2
- Join Date
- Mar 2003
Agree with take care of the little things ad the big ones will take care of them selves ------ problem is ---- people running things --- have never actually done the little things -- and are put in charge of running the big things. I am not advocating micro managing --- but in a disaster situation you need to realize if one or two of the little things either go wrong or are left out ---- they can undermine the big things. The tradition of a leader working himself up through the ranks has just about died out.
09-06-2005, 07:18 AM #3
So far, the two things that stand out to me:
The Feds are going to be 72 hours out. Prior to that, you're on your own. Actually, that's what they have advertised for years and it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone - but this incident is a good reminder.
An ounce of mitigation - and politics be damned - could solve many of our response problems. For example I think the impact of improved building codes (and enforcement thereof) will have a tremendous positive impact in the coming years in Florida - which doesn't absolve anyone of taking responsibility for the fact that they live where hurricanes are going to happen. Aggressive wildland interface management (i.e. brush clearing) will pay off huge dividends out west. NO had warnings on their levee systems that weny unaddressed and they paid the price. Their own plans to use city busses to evacuate those who could not otherwise do so went unused and they paid the price.
In my area, we urgently need seismic standards. The handwriting is on the wall and it's up to us to make sure that people take note.ullrichk
a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for
09-06-2005, 09:48 AM #4
The sad truth is that a few progressive organizations will totally re-evaluate operations in light of this catastrophic event.
The harsh reality is that 99% of the fire departments will go back to a status quo after all is said and done. The price paid by our brothers and sisters in the Southeast will, more likely than not, be in vain.
I hope am proven wrong!
09-06-2005, 10:27 AM #5
I was just sent the following link that simply left me speechless. It is a story from National Geographic that was written one year ago that predicts with saddening accuracy the devistation that will occur should a hurricane strike New Orleans.
http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/Resident Chaplain of the IACOJ
09-06-2005, 11:01 AM #6
Unbelievable...I started reading the article and thought "What's the Rev thinking of? This is talking about Katrina, not last year..." Just unbelievable.
Is there an estimated number of people who actually didn't evacuate? I'm sure it's known, I just haven't seen it. The article talks about 200,000 not evacuating. I'd like to see the comparison.
09-06-2005, 11:11 AM #7What have we learned from this??"This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?
09-07-2005, 08:34 PM #8Originally Posted by Bones42
09-08-2005, 09:08 AM #9
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