As an earthquake rocked the Eastern seaboard today, it's another reminder to take stock in each and everyone of our communities of our preparedness planning for a major natural or man-made disaster.
It's not just about designing and warehousing shelter. If you are concerned about your community, have you thought about the following:
1) Do you have a plan, but more importantly, do you have the financial instruments in place that will allow the plan to be executed? Those take longer to setup than any other aspect of disaster reconstruction and are too often ignored.
2) Where will you house your residents? Preparedness is knowing where you are going to build transitional shelter and executing planning and zoning permits, easements, etc. in advance.
3) Does your community have a clear understanding of how many it may need to shelter? It’s not 100% of your population...
Most disaster preparedness focuses on evacuation and immediate response, that addresses only half of the issues that arise. NYC and NY State through Office of Emergency Management worked with our local New York City chapter to start thinking through some of these longer-term housing issues. Only city i know of that is working to develop a housing strategy that truly addresses the dense population of an urban environment-- in advance of catastrophe.