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#181823 - 09/09/09 06:06 PM Re: A Letter from Emergency Management [Re: MartinFocazio]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Here's another angle. I was only thinking about it because I ran across a reference to some survey done after Katrina. Obviously, the psychology of why people do what they do, or don't do, in the face of emergencies is very complicated.

This is similar to what I think Art was trying to generalize in his post about Katrina--that people will fear what they fear.

Some researchers surveyed folks who didn't evacuate before Katrina. Although the stereotype is that it was the poor with no cars and resources who stayed, they weren't the only ones who stayed. A significant number of folks with the ability to leave did not. There were multiple reasons, but fear of looting was apparently high on the list, regardless of high nice or not so nice their neighborhood was.

The past few fire seasons here in Southern Cal, with all the fire activity we've been getting, whenever there's a briefing live on local TV, there's always a representative from law enforcement there to reassure residents that there are officers ready to prevent looting, so residents feel comfortable about leaving when asked to evacuate.

Anyway, a part of me wonders if mentioning so many things that the authorities can't do might have some unintended consequences, like making people less likely to leave their flooded homes because of fear of looting. Or lead to more gun purchases but not really more general preparedness. So, whatever people around there fear the most could have the opposite effect of what you wanted--that is, more personal preparedness. Just a thought.

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#181833 - 09/09/09 08:01 PM Re: A Letter from Emergency Management [Re: MartinFocazio]
Lon Offline
Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 115
Loc: middle Tennessee
I applaud your effort to "tell it like it is" ... my opinion may sound harsh, but I think that only a fool would not appreciate a "straight up" notification of what assistance will, or will not, be available to them.

Others (responding to this thread) that were concerned that some folks might be angered with that type of letter are probably correct.
But, I don't think you can worry about that.
For those that would be angry... if they get a more steady diet of truth, instead of political promises and sugar-coated crap, they might eventually see the need for some level of personal preparedness.

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#181844 - 09/09/09 10:26 PM Re: A Letter from Emergency Management [Re: Blast]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: Blast

Maybe you could add a blurb about budget cuts or that not as many people are volunteering anymore. You might also say something about attending CERT classes to help the community.


-Blast


Budget cut hell!!!!

I know what Martin's budget allocation is, he told me. It is spelled $INSULT.ING!

I believe I likened it to my average monthly Diesel Fuel bill for my pick-up, except I budget $600.00 more per month. EDIT: Meaning my monthly fuel budget for ONE vehicle is $600.00 more than his YEARLY budget!

Martin,

Just let them see the budget, it will save a lot of letter writing. Example:

[i]Dear citizen,

We have exactly $0.00025 available to rescue each person within our jurisdiction. As such, we decided to buy beer for the county commissioners to drink as a last meal before you lynch them after the next disaster. Sorry we couldn't help you more, and you wouldn't even have wanted one of the beers... it was discounted Pearl and Lone Star.

Better luck next time
County OEM

[/i]

See, a simple solution!

Seriously though, I will work on this with a few folks I know and get back to ya'


Edited by Desperado (09/09/09 11:20 PM)
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#181847 - 09/09/09 10:51 PM Re: A Letter from Emergency Management [Re: MartinFocazio]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Martin, I love this letter. I have only one problem: I don't think you can eat on what you are paid to be a mod at ETS.

I don't think people will be angry. I imagine about a quarter to a third of the population will completely freak out, which will lead to the elected whatevers asking for your head on a platter.

If you do it, I would make one suggestion:
"as during the initial phases of an emergency, the most critical emergency resource is YOU."

I'd rewrite it thusly:
"as during the initial phases of an emergency, your most critical emergency resource is YOU."

_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#181851 - 09/09/09 11:15 PM Re: A Letter from Emergency Management [Re: Desperado]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3558
Loc: Spring, Texas
Quote:
and you wouldn't even have wanted one of the beers... it was discounted Pearl and Lone Star.


But I like Lone Star!
-Blast, unrefined
_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

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#181852 - 09/09/09 11:16 PM Re: A Letter from Emergency Management [Re: ironraven]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
You are assuming he is paid from the OEM gig, I know better.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#181853 - 09/09/09 11:24 PM Re: A Letter from Emergency Management [Re: Blast]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Originally Posted By: Blast
Quote:
and you wouldn't even have wanted one of the beers... it was discounted Pearl and Lone Star.


But I like Lone Star!
-Blast, unrefined


To make it regional I guess you could substitute Steel City in place of Lone Star.

Blast,

Lone Star...Really????
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#181854 - 09/09/09 11:29 PM Re: A Letter from Emergency Management [Re: ironraven]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 814
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Martin,

I think that the approach needs to be positive; anything that says that you can't do something will never see the light of day. IMO, you need to turn it around into positive suggestions for what the public can/should do for themselves.

I liked bsmith's revised letter except for the "We cannot." Let me try something from his letter in a slightly different way, that may make the same point and illustrate what I mean:

Bsmith's original:
During an emergency,
We will:
evaluate situations from most critical to least critical just like patients in an emergency room.
provide you with information and recommended action plans.

We cannot:
immediately provide drinking water, food or sanitation facilities.
provide shelter within the township.
provide fuels of any kind.


My alternative:

During an emergency,
We will:
evaluate situations from most critical to least critical just like patients in an emergency room.
provide you with information and recommended action plans.

You can Help us help you by:
Having a supply of drinking water, food, and sanitation supplies on-hand and available for your use during the emergency; we suggest a 72 (96?)hour supply should be kept on hand.
Make plans for an alternate shelter for you and your family should you be forced to leave your home.
Have a supply of fuels you may require, or plan to make use of alternate fuels. Your normal supply may be disrupted.

So, turn the 'cannots' into positive suggestions.
I think it may actually be more effective that way. I've seen enough situations where people want to help, but simply don't know what to do, but are willing to do something. All they need is someone to point them in the right direction.

Good luck


Edited by bws48 (09/09/09 11:30 PM)
Edit Reason: I can't type
_________________________
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

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#181855 - 09/09/09 11:35 PM Re: A Letter from Emergency Management [Re: ironraven]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Quote:
I don't think people will be angry. I imagine about a quarter to a third of the population will completely freak out, which will lead to the elected whatevers asking for your head on a platter.


I'm actually now eagerly looking forward to that CNN video news story. Best to do the interview with Anderson Cooper in bare feet though grin and refer him to the British Protect and Survive videos on Youtube such as this . wink

Remember the news media and politicians like hyperbole and telling folks some uncomfortable facts could be a problem for you no matter how sensible they seem to folks on this particular forum.




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#181860 - 09/10/09 12:45 AM Re: A Letter from Emergency Management [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
ki4buc Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/10/03
Posts: 710
Loc: Augusta, GA
I like the edits done by bsmith and bws48. I like the idea you cannot save everyone. Need to push the distributed emergency management approach! More classes and workshops!

Regarding the "we" and "us", I think I understand what you mean. Definitely need the "us" part!

Please do post what you finally come up with, I'm looking forward to see what it's going to be.

Edited to Add:
What about suggesting volunteering in the letter to? People can do things like getting more medical training, etc.


Edited by ki4buc (09/10/09 12:46 AM)

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