Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Salem -- whistling past the earthquake warnings

Fellow Salem blog HinesSight points to the important New Yorker story on The Big One that's coming on a date to be determined (after the fact), a date which will truly Live in Infamy long after the original date that earned that title is forgotten.

Perhaps lyrical New Yorker prose can wake up and convince the so-called leaders of Salem to actually lead an appropriate effort -- that is, an emergency effort -- to make Salem earthquake resilient, which would start with getting all the public safety folks and their offices out of City Hall NOW, and distributing them into several of the many suitable, newer (designed for earthquakes) empty buildings sitting unused. 

That's probably job 1 -- increase the survival rate of public safety folks.  If the Big quake hits on a weekday morning now, as things are, few city employees will survive to blame for letting volunteer politicians mislead and misdirect our priorities so badly. 

If I were the Chief of Police, I would tell the Mayor and City Manager that they have 30 days to negotiate leases and move all the police offices into facilities spread across town, but whether they've done it or not, on Day 31, the Salem police will not be in working in the tombs-to-be on the bottom of three stories of flattened concrete. Let them Mayor and Manager try to fire the Chief who has the courage and foresight to actually do the job required of a leader.

There are lots of other quake preparedness jobs the city should be leading -- helping residents identify and fix what is fixable in their homes (and to finance such improvements), instead of squandering our wealth on ever more foolish giveaways to try and restart the sprawl era. 

There's plenty of economic development work right here -- making what we have survivable and investing in people and in procedures and preparedness for what we know is coming.

People of Pacific Northwest: be scared, very scared. The Big One is coming.
// HinesSight

If you live in Oregon, Washington, northern California, or British Columbia, you MUST do this -- read a scarily truthful story in The New Yorker, "The Really Big One: an earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest; the question is when.

The Big One

"Let's live on the planet as if we intend to stay."

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