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The Government’s Last Resort To Natural Disasters

25 Nov

Natural disasters can and do happen everywhere and, for the most part, the come totally unexpected. That is part of what makes them disasters to begin with. Other times it might be the sheer size of an event that makes it a disaster. New Orleans knew that they would get a hurricane sooner or later they just did not expect it on that scale. Chicago knows they will get snow and are ready for it. What they are not ready for is 12 feet of snow in 3 days. Some places might be ready for that and even expect it but when an event happens in a place that was not expected on a scale nobody had considered you end up with a natural disaster.

For the most part the civil authorities prepare for ”the worst.” The Outer Banks of North Carolina has evacuation routes to help people safely get out of the area should a storm shift course. From Kansas through Florida there are warning sirens in case of tornadoes and towns that are under the shadow of volcanoes do as well in case one erupts enough to melt the snow and flood the valleys below. Even San Fransisco has earthquake sirens. That is all fine and dandy but what happens when these scenarios are worse? The storm in the Carolinas changes path at the last minute and grows in strength? Multiple tornadoes strike in a small area? The eruption is bigger than just melting ice and snow? The epicenter of the earthquake IS San Fransisco? The local civilian authorities would be in over their heads and their ability to act compromised.

This is when the military needs to step in and help. They do not take take over just help because the have what is needed. The most important thing they can offer is well organized manpower and the ability to communicate up a chain of command so that the civil authorities have a greater idea of what they are dealing with and how to best distribute what they have.

The other thing the military can offer is the ability to get manpower and supplies where they are most needed. Not only can items be flown in by plane, they can be moved by truck or landed by helicopters. The helicopters also provide a way to evacuate injured people for treatment if they can not be treated in the field. The US did this during the Haiti disaster using hospital ships.

Actions like this are not what the military trains for, however, the skill set and capabilities they have can help keep a bad situation from getting worse.
Natural disasters can and do happen everywhere and, for the most part, the come totally unexpected. That is part of what makes them disasters to begin with. Other times it might be the sheer size of an event that makes it a disaster. New Orleans knew that they would get a hurricane sooner or later they just did not expect it on that scale. Chicago knows they will get snow and are ready for it. What they are not ready for is 12 feet of snow in 3 days. Some places might be ready for that and even expect it but when an event happens in a place that was not expected on a scale nobody had considered you end up with a natural disaster.

For the most part the civil authorities prepare for ”the worst.” The Outer Banks of North Carolina has evacuation routes to help people safely get out of the area should a storm shift course. From Kansas through Florida there are warning sirens in case of tornadoes and towns that are under the shadow of volcanoes do as well in case one erupts enough to melt the snow and flood the valleys below. Even San Fransisco has earthquake sirens. That is all fine and dandy but what happens when these scenarios are worse? The storm in the Carolinas changes path at the last minute and grows in strength? Multiple tornadoes strike in a small area? The eruption is bigger than just melting ice and snow? The epicenter of the earthquake IS San Fransisco? The local civilian authorities would be in over their heads and their ability to act compromised.

This is when the military needs to step in and help. They do not take take over just help because the have what is needed. The most important thing they can offer is well organized manpower and the ability to communicate up a chain of command so that the civil authorities have a greater idea of what they are dealing with and how to best distribute what they have.

The other thing the military can offer is the ability to get manpower and supplies where they are most needed. Not only can items be flown in by plane, they can be moved by truck or landed by helicopters. The helicopters also provide a way to evacuate injured people for treatment if they can not be treated in the field. The US did this during the Haiti disaster using hospital ships.

Actions like this are not what the military trains for, however, the skill set and capabilities they have can help keep a bad situation from getting worse.

 
 

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