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.

Susan

28 Comments:

At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if you own an i-phone it's only going to be able to operate as long as the battery's charged.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

People who plan Arlington's emergency preparedness don't live in Arlington.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of really sick seniors with breathing problems calling 9-11.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tree maintenance funds? What County Board pet vanity project are they being spent on? If you can't see daylight through a mature tree the foliage is too thick.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Ted said...

I am hearing the National Weather Service's 162 Megahertz weather radio broadcasts from Richmond and Atlantic City. Temps will be in the mid 90's this week and a couple of weak cold fronts will cross the region. So that will mean what? More violent storms crossing the region?

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave now. Take a week's vacation, call in sick from the heat, say there's a family emergency. A couple of weak cold fronts are going to cross the region and temps will be in the mid 90's all week. Toss the food in your refrigerator or take it with you if you have ice.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As demonstrated by the recent CIP work sessions County Board could care less about basic maintenance, including street trees.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Several seniors have died in over heated apartments since Friday night.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

National Guard and other military are arriving to assist. Same area that was hit hard by the July 4th storm last year was hit hard again.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

National Guard Headquarters for the USA is located on George Mason at Route 50.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous 2100 said...

County VIPs are making up 'strategy' as they go along.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Geriatric RN said...

Seniors and others with health issues should NOT be in overheated apartments.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous 1425 said...

Yupette, appears that at least 20 Arlington residents who had preexisting medical conditions have died while living in their overheated homes. Hundreds more have been taken to hospitals.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

UN-believable. More than $1 Trillion spent on Homeland Security since 9-11-01

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Katrina was what, 6 years ago?

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

County Manager Donnellan has crews going out picking up downed tree limbs so she can claim that the storm was just a 'normal occurrence'. Needless to say the trees that lost major limbs look terrible, a consequence of no maintenance for decades.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can't see daylight through a mature tree, the tree is either going to come down during a major summer storm or lose major limbs.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hundreds of 911 calls from people stuck in overheated homes with no power who have trouble breathing.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous 2100 said...

Heat related medical emergency calls to Arlington 911 are running about 15 per hour - 11AM this morning.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

County's 1700 AM station is telling people at risk to visit designated public buildings to cool off. Then the building closes and the person goes home at night to a stifling apartment? How sane is that?

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

DO NOT STAY IN AN OVERHEATED HOME, APARTMENT, CONDO !! VISIT FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO HAVE WORKING A/C AND PLAN ON STAYING UNTIL THE POWER IN YOUR HOME COMES ON AND YOUR HOME A/C IS WORKING.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Shelter in Place' was something dreamed up by County Staff who live in the outer burbs, own single family homes on large lots, and have 10 KW emergency generators.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

V A C A T I O N ** T I M E

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You always wanted to visit Maine. Here's your excuse.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So wait, let me get this straight.... In the beginning of your blog posting you reference the post 9-11 culture and the expectation of the County being prepared to serve its residents but by the end of your short opinion piece you reference the post 9-11 culture and training to prepare for emergencies as a poor choice... I suppose the adage, "you can't have your cake and eat it too" applies directly to your incredibly logical argument.

I've already forwarded your BLOG to FEMA, you seem to have all of the solutions... but absolutely no initiative to get out in your community and help your neighbors.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Normal summer weekend for Arlington Government, except for the employees removing downed trees and tree limbs, police, and fire / EMS.

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Blogger Arlington Yupette said...

Helping our Communities?

There have been at least 50 "check for the welfare" calls to 911 since Friday night referencing elderly relatives living alone and not heard from since Friday night. At least 250 calls to 911 from residents feeling very ill. How many 70-80-90 year old Arlington residents are living alone in a home, apartment, condo with 90 degree indoor temperatures tonight?

"Shelter in Place" for the elderly w/o air conditioning is a Disaster on top of a Disaster !!

We need the National Guard mobilized here ASAP. Oh, National Guard Headquarters for the USA is located at Rt 50 and George Mason Drive. So let's get the National Guard mobilized A S A P !

 
At 01 July, 2012 , Anonymous Lawrence - 75 years old said...

YES, MOBILIZE THE NATIONAL GUARD !!!

No Power. I'm 75. Live in a home off N. Harrison street. No power. It's 88 degrees here. Taking your advice and visiting my daughter in Fredericksburg. Taking the dog. Thank you for your blog.

I served in the National Guard for 24 years. Time for the Guard to take over from these corrupt do-nothing Sleazycrats.

 

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