Sunday, July 1, 2012
Arlington County's Disaster Preparedness is a Disaster
You would think that eleven years after 9-11-01 and with the County having experienced several episodes of severe weather over the past five years and the County investing tens of millions in communications and emergency preparedness County Government would be prepared for a severe storm generated by 100 degree daytime temperatures.
Wrong. County Government is totally reactive when it comes to severe storms and prolonged loss of electric power. Consequently, hundreds of Arlingtonians with major health issues are stuck in their homes, condos and apartments, with indoor temperatures in the high 80's. The number of 911 calls from Arlington residents, or residents' friends and family, who have become seriously ill from the effects of prolonged heat exposure averaged 10 per hour yesterday afternoon and evening.
What information have Arlington residents received from County Government? Two brief announcements on the County's 1700 kilohertz public service radio station, one with a list of emergency cooling stations. The National Weather Service's 162 Megahertz weather radio stations are off the air.
Our advice to everyone who's stuck without power: visit friends and family who have electric power. Toss out the food in your refrigerator, if you haven't already done so, pack up your pets, and LEAVE.
This is what we get for electing and re-electing people who are spending an inordinate, no unconscionable, amount of time, effort, and money preparing for the next 9-11 while ignoring the real threats to our health and safety.