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Global Skywatch

silly whack jobs

spoon feedingOne response to my Community Preparedness meeting announcements goes something like this:
Are you people working with Ravalli County emergency planning, or are you another wacky militia group?
… I think I’ll take my chances with the county’s action plan.

Have they even looked at “the county’s action plan”? I think not. But they are happy to trust their, and their family’s well-being to it. Don’t worry. Somebody will feed you. Somebody will shelter you. No need to plan ahead. Trust the experts. There are adults in charge.

I looked at it. I met with the planners and the sheriff who is the director in case of most emergencies. I published a link to their plan here: Comprehensive Emergency Operations Guideline

The plan goes roughly like this: In case of emergency, we will be in charge.

That’s it. Food? Blankets? Shelters? Uh, well, the guy in charge will figure something out when the time comes. Somebody will bring us what we need.

I had discussions with them over their (lack of) planning for Painted Rocks dam failure.
me: Your data shows flooding wiping out Conner, Darby and a big chunk of Hamilton.
me: Does that seem credible to you?
emergency planning director: We believe the engineering reports.
me: That would be roughly 10,000 people dead.
emergency planning director: Yeah. Maybe something like that.
me: And you have no plan for dam failure?
emergency planning director: They assure us the dam won’t break.
My report on that meeting is here: http://www.bitterrootbugle.com/2014/04/23/dam-cavalier-attitude/

I am not likely the smartest guy on the planet, or even in Ravalli County, but if I was, I would still not be as smart as several of us combined. And I most certainly am smart enough to know that.

Similarly, even IF the Director of the Office of Emergency Management for Ravalli County was the smartest guy on the planet, there is no way he could think of everything and plan for every contingency, let alone acquire all the resources we might need in an emergency.

Thus some of us in the remote southern half of the county are taking some responsibility for our own emergency preparedness. Rather obviously, if there were a significant calamity in Ravalli County, the handful of people whose jobs are emergency response will have their hands over-full just in the town of Hamilton. Darby-Conner-Sula could be waiting days, weeks …

Moreover, the tiny fraction of Missoula’s population who are officially emergency responders could be overtaxed in the heart of Missoula, never even reaching Lolo with men and materials before both ran out. On a national scale, in a real disaster, Montana will be on its own; The Bitterroot will be on its own.

If nobody in your neighborhood thinks of that, plans for that, and prepares for that, it will be terminal …
for you, for me, for the community.