How do we fix what’s broken with our response system?
RE: Gary says fire Bush, fire them all (SDN Sept. 12)I appreciated this article for the humorous and serious content. It certainly raised questions in my mind which I feel I must answer to myself. If you are able to help me answer some of them, please do. I know that we in our towns, cities, counties, states and especially our federal government have plans for all things. You said as much in your article. My experience is that a plan is a plan, but usually it is only a skeleton to help leaders think about things. FEMA is certainly a good example of an agency which has a plan. I think it is possible that every town, county and state may be invited to add to the plan. So, it would seem that the plans for Katrina-like events failed. Thankfully, we have been able to identify the problem and get rid of the head of FEMA. Certainly, if we would only fund each plan, or contingency and each possible disaster as becomes very clear after the event, we would save billions. For example, should we not try to figure out what might happen with the fault buildup in Oregon so that we could prevent a serious disaster if nature decides to have a major earthquake or volcano? It was interesting to me that the citizens of Heeney and the nearby area met the Forest Service head on as described in the Summit Daily News (Monday) morning. I was empathic with their complaints and concerns. After all, we are taxpayers and we do want our money’s worth. And the government has a lot of money. Do they have enough? If not, why not tax the people more? Who should be taxed most, the providers of work or the workers? There are a lot of questions to which I don’t have answers. More to the immediate point is, what should our leaders at all levels have done before, during and after Katrina. Our news media reported that they, the Big Easy, escaped the bullet. It was several days later that the bullet hit. And, thank goodness the media was there to point out what went wrong.Thank goodness for that certainly attenuated much suffering.Gary, I pledge my time to help you answer some of these questions. If you have the answers, I would thank you for publishing them as I am sure I am not the only one with questions. If you don’t, I will be pleased to work with you and a committee you might appoint to do research and discussion to help find answers. I would not accept compensation and would rather not have publicity. But, I do think we citizens should think about our problems, certainly as you have, and try to find our own answers. If we would then share them in a way that all could consider, we might make some progress. I have a bit of free time. Most wage earners do not. Your help to organize any effort would be essential. And a committee would have to be composed of a cross section of our state if we are to be rewarded in even a small way for effort. I appreciate anyone who shares my thoughts and my appeal to others for help.
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