|Posters and catastrophe at Holding Court|
- Food and Water
Could your business survive without electricity for 3 months? Experts agree that a major earthquake would likely cause critical services, like drinking water and sewer, and top-priority highways, to be down for up to a year. While there’s much to do to improve the reliability of basic services, the government can’t do it all. Every company needs to be prepared for the impacts of a severe outage of critical lifelines--fuel, transportation, utilities, communications, water and sewer--as well as the potential loss of data....At first it seemed the series was a good idea and was pretty neutral, but now that they've had several presentations over the course of a few months, it seems possible that there is a politics here, as well.
This series will give you the tools you need to not only prepare your business for disaster recovery, but to play a critical role in helping the community recover from catastrophe.
Business leaders engaged in the state’s disaster planning efforts have indicated that in a major disaster, interruptions of infrastructure lasting longer than two weeks will put their enterprises at risk. We can expect some interruptions to last much longer...even up to 36 months or more. Business leaders need to prepare their facilities, IT and data, and their valuable human resources now in order to be ready for a major catastrophe.
One, unfortunately, that dovetails with the way the City is handling the Police Station debate and the Chamber's position on transit.
The message? You're on your own.
Water and sewer, energy, and transportation all are supplied by markets and infrastructure that have key roles for government. Big Government, even. These are core parts of civilization that the unregulated private sector has been and may always be ill-equipped to handle in just and equitable and big-enough ways. Even when energy is supplied by the private sector, it is heavily regulated. There's a role for government here.
You'd think that a series about the earthquake would get around to the idea of needing to make public investment in resilient and reinforced infrastructure. Even if it started from a perspective of personal preparedness, you'd think it would then zoom out for the bigger picture.
Experts agree that a major earthquake would likely cause critical services, like drinking water and sewer, and top-priority highways, to be down for up to a year...the government can't do it all.But as a community we can ask the government to do more, can't we? Wouldn't it make sense to invest in things so they are down for much less time than a full year? So there is much less loss of life and suffering?
Clean water and poop management is going to be a problem, so in addition to asking people to keep a supply of drinking water on hand, there would be talk about the need to invest in our sewer system and our water purification and delivery system.
Bridges are going to collapse, so in addition to having your personal stash of gasoline and medicine, we need to invest in retrofits for key bridges across rivers and creeks.
And so on.
But the presentations have been mainly about preparing for the glorified camping adventure, the minor apocalypse. In spirit they are private and prepper rather than public.
So maybe it's not so mystifying after all that the idea of reinforcing the Library and City Hall at the same time we construct a new Police Station has not attracted more support on Council.
You're on your own.
When we overinvest and overbuild things like a Third Bridge, too many new fire stations, parking garages that sit half empty even at peak hours, highway-style intersections for city streets that are desolate at off-peak hours, then we are stuck with posters and slogans for earthquakes.
|11,000 square feet currently mothballed|
Fire Station 11 (Mackenzie architects)
|Work Session staff report and City summary of the URA|
If we are going to be using urban renewal funding for a large project, we should make sure that it has a realistic probability of increasing the assessed value of property. Helping out on a commercial redevelopment does that. A new police station probably does not.