Commentary: Coming to Terms with What Went Right and What Went Wrong with Emergency Response

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Tuesday Night’s Davis City Council meeting came and went without much of a deep discussion of what went wrong and wrong with the city’s emergency planning.

City Manager Bill Emlen spent most of his time talking about what went right. He did acknowledge problems but they were larger expressed in vague generalities and pushed off for a future meeting in order to address these problems.

The fear of course is that the longer such discussions are put off the less accountability can be held and the more this can be largely swept under the rug.

I think many people have lost sight of why the lack of coordination and communication is a concern. It is not that for most of the residents of Davis this particular event was a large concern or an extremely dangerous situation.

Rather it is concern about the next event that may be far more serious. Furthermore it is out of concern for the most vulnerable residents.

To the credit of the Davis Enterprise, this has not merely been swept under the rug as so many other problems that have occurred in our community.

While Wednesday’s coverage of the council meeting was short on specifics, it did in fact lay out some of the concerns of residents.

The problem of communication is concerning. There was little info provided by PG&E on the status of power. There was also little information provided to residents from the city.

City Manager Bill Emlen said at the meeting:

“When the power is out, communications change a lot. Going through an event like this really crystallized what that means.”

But it is somewhat unclear what the city manager meant by that exactly.

A warming center was established at the downtown teen center. That sounds good in theory, but this occurred on Saturday night. What was done on Friday night when it was clear even from the meager reports from PG&E that there would not be power available until at least late afternoon on Saturday?

The Enterprise ran a story on Atria Covell Gardens and their failure to have a back up generator. Of course, the law does not require a backup generator at assisted living centers. So obviously the facility that is raising rent on seniors is doing fine since they followed minimal requirements. The fact that a number of residents fell and potentially could have been seriously injured not withstanding.

The issue came up at yesterday’s joint meeting between the City Council and Senior Citizens commission.

According to the law, they do not have to have back up generators as long as the common areas were with heat. One again has to wonder why the folks are paying such an exorbitant rent and two large rent increases if they facility is not planning better for emergency situations.

To me following the law is not an excuse, law represents a minimal amount of legal responsibility rather than a ceiling on the obligations of any facility–particularly one charging as much for its residents as Atria.

The city cites the lack of serious injuries as good news, and it is. But perhaps they were more lucky than good in this regard.

The key point that needs to be emphasized over and over again is that the reason people are complaining is that without complaints nothing will change. We can do things better. But we have to take responsibility for what went wrong and then fix it.

Personally I think a lot of people would have done much to attempt to help other residents if they knew where to go and how to help. But there was no planning for this. People did not know where to go to help or if that help was even needed. As a result most people assume the best thing they can do is take care of themselves and stay out of the way.

One of the issues that came up briefly yesterday and also Tuesday night is being personally prepared for an emergency. Having emergency supplies in a kit that one can utilize. The best thing the city can do is help people be ready for the next emergency so we know what to do. We may not know exactly where to go, but once we get there we can know what to expect and where to get information from.

Disappointingly, and this is not to criticize anyone, many of the services that would be helpful during an emergency–i.e. local TV, local radio, even the police–themselves had problems with their generators. That is an area of concern right there.

We all understand that PG&E was extremely busy restoring power, but someone, somewhere could have coordinated their information network so that residents had the best available information. There is nothing worse than being in the dark (literally and figuratively) about such things.

In the end, many of criticize because we expect better. It is my hope that the city will yet have the discussion and raise the tough issues at the next city council meeting but in the meantime one had to be a bit disappointed that the city manager was so eager to praise and so reluctant to talk about where we can improve next time.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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60 thoughts on “Commentary: Coming to Terms with What Went Right and What Went Wrong with Emergency Response”

  1. Anonymous

    Yes… it was pure luck that some Davis seniors were not SERIOUSLY impacted. On many fronts, it has become increasingly clear that Davis voters are not getting value for money from the mediocre performance of our city staff. Serious scrutiny and oversight by our Council is needed, never mind that some feelings may be hurt(something that we go out of our way to avoid, much to our detriment).

  2. Anonymous

    Yes… it was pure luck that some Davis seniors were not SERIOUSLY impacted. On many fronts, it has become increasingly clear that Davis voters are not getting value for money from the mediocre performance of our city staff. Serious scrutiny and oversight by our Council is needed, never mind that some feelings may be hurt(something that we go out of our way to avoid, much to our detriment).

  3. Anonymous

    Yes… it was pure luck that some Davis seniors were not SERIOUSLY impacted. On many fronts, it has become increasingly clear that Davis voters are not getting value for money from the mediocre performance of our city staff. Serious scrutiny and oversight by our Council is needed, never mind that some feelings may be hurt(something that we go out of our way to avoid, much to our detriment).

  4. Anonymous

    Yes… it was pure luck that some Davis seniors were not SERIOUSLY impacted. On many fronts, it has become increasingly clear that Davis voters are not getting value for money from the mediocre performance of our city staff. Serious scrutiny and oversight by our Council is needed, never mind that some feelings may be hurt(something that we go out of our way to avoid, much to our detriment).

  5. Interested Observer

    The situation with Atria Covell being without power is worrisome. This is the only assisted living facility in Davis. University Retirement Commons is a continuing care facility with an assisted living component, and they had backup generators. Atria Covell Gardens raised their rents 16% in two years, and can’t provide a backup generator in emergencies, but can replace furniture in the lobby? Where are there priorities?

    I got the impression the city will be having a big discussion on emergency preparedness at our next City Council meeting, and/or the next meeting after that. If you have a complaint or suggestion, come and voice your opinion during public comment. Now is the time to say something – this is a golden opportunity. I agree that public officials are trying to put as positive a face on their failures as possible. That’s OK too – but we still need CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM on how the city/county can do better. The fact that the 911 system was down for two hours is not good.

    But also I hope another lesson that is taken away from this mini-disaster event was each citizen’s responsibility to have certain items on hand to be able to shelter in place for at least 72 hours. Mayor Sue Greenwald has made two excellent suggestions – partner with UCD to set up a shelter there if UCD has access to generators; and perhaps the city should purchase a generator for the Senior Center so that can be a designated shelter, especially because it has cooking capabilities and seniors are familiar with it.

    Keep on this DPD, making sure to to keep this issue front and center until some concrete things are done to improve the situation. An actual disaster of more epic proportions will have much more serious repercussions if the city/county/citizens don’t tweak their emergency plans to be more prepared. But I would urge a collaborative tone, rather than the blame game. We all need to do better.

    By the way, I and my family were fairly well prepared and sheltered in place. We had flashlights, batteries, a battery operated radio, plenty of food and water, blankets to keep warm. However, I didn’t think about a way to heat food, the necessity for keeping some gasoline on hand for the car (ours was just about on empty when the storm hit – thank goodness a couple of stations were open in West Davis), nor did I think about my car battery being a possible power source for my cell phone and other things. I will be better prepared next time – which I hope never occurs, but know it is inevitable.

    It is important to note though, the whys and wherefores of the Hurrican Katrina debacle. They are instructive. First and foremost, the governor refused to make a decision to evacuate, even though everyone and his brother were advising her to do so. She decided to make no decision rather than the wrong one – a deadly choice.

    Secondly, in the aftermath the Mayor of New Orleans was heard to answer the question of why he didn’t have a better emergency plan in place with, “It was just too difficult.” In other words, he did not have the leadership skill sets to make it happen. If he didn’t, then he should have hired a consultant who could get the job done. Again, he made no decision rather than the wrong one.

    Thirdly, the federal gov’t sat back and waited to be asked to join in the rescue efforts. As soon as Bush was aware that there was a crisis, he should have stepped in and overridden the governor’s non-decision. But Bush chose to make no decision rather than the wrong one.

    Fourthly, a 30 foot wall of water hit Biloxi, Mississippi, an event that no gov’t can prepare for. Some disasters are so severe, the gov’t can’t do much but clean up the aftermath, so evacuation was the best emergency plan – even if it meant some seniors who were moved may have died in the process (I think its called “moving trauma”).

    And lastly, hindsight is always 20-20. What is more important is to make sure our gov’t and we do not make the same mistakes again. But from what I have seen in regard the Hurrican Katrina aftermath, too much has gone unchanged. Davis has a good opporunity to put in place a better emergency response to disasters. Let’s make sure our elected officials do the hard work, and improve. We have a perfect opportunity to use lessons learned from our little mini-disaster in which no one was hurt. It was a great testing ground.

  6. Interested Observer

    The situation with Atria Covell being without power is worrisome. This is the only assisted living facility in Davis. University Retirement Commons is a continuing care facility with an assisted living component, and they had backup generators. Atria Covell Gardens raised their rents 16% in two years, and can’t provide a backup generator in emergencies, but can replace furniture in the lobby? Where are there priorities?

    I got the impression the city will be having a big discussion on emergency preparedness at our next City Council meeting, and/or the next meeting after that. If you have a complaint or suggestion, come and voice your opinion during public comment. Now is the time to say something – this is a golden opportunity. I agree that public officials are trying to put as positive a face on their failures as possible. That’s OK too – but we still need CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM on how the city/county can do better. The fact that the 911 system was down for two hours is not good.

    But also I hope another lesson that is taken away from this mini-disaster event was each citizen’s responsibility to have certain items on hand to be able to shelter in place for at least 72 hours. Mayor Sue Greenwald has made two excellent suggestions – partner with UCD to set up a shelter there if UCD has access to generators; and perhaps the city should purchase a generator for the Senior Center so that can be a designated shelter, especially because it has cooking capabilities and seniors are familiar with it.

    Keep on this DPD, making sure to to keep this issue front and center until some concrete things are done to improve the situation. An actual disaster of more epic proportions will have much more serious repercussions if the city/county/citizens don’t tweak their emergency plans to be more prepared. But I would urge a collaborative tone, rather than the blame game. We all need to do better.

    By the way, I and my family were fairly well prepared and sheltered in place. We had flashlights, batteries, a battery operated radio, plenty of food and water, blankets to keep warm. However, I didn’t think about a way to heat food, the necessity for keeping some gasoline on hand for the car (ours was just about on empty when the storm hit – thank goodness a couple of stations were open in West Davis), nor did I think about my car battery being a possible power source for my cell phone and other things. I will be better prepared next time – which I hope never occurs, but know it is inevitable.

    It is important to note though, the whys and wherefores of the Hurrican Katrina debacle. They are instructive. First and foremost, the governor refused to make a decision to evacuate, even though everyone and his brother were advising her to do so. She decided to make no decision rather than the wrong one – a deadly choice.

    Secondly, in the aftermath the Mayor of New Orleans was heard to answer the question of why he didn’t have a better emergency plan in place with, “It was just too difficult.” In other words, he did not have the leadership skill sets to make it happen. If he didn’t, then he should have hired a consultant who could get the job done. Again, he made no decision rather than the wrong one.

    Thirdly, the federal gov’t sat back and waited to be asked to join in the rescue efforts. As soon as Bush was aware that there was a crisis, he should have stepped in and overridden the governor’s non-decision. But Bush chose to make no decision rather than the wrong one.

    Fourthly, a 30 foot wall of water hit Biloxi, Mississippi, an event that no gov’t can prepare for. Some disasters are so severe, the gov’t can’t do much but clean up the aftermath, so evacuation was the best emergency plan – even if it meant some seniors who were moved may have died in the process (I think its called “moving trauma”).

    And lastly, hindsight is always 20-20. What is more important is to make sure our gov’t and we do not make the same mistakes again. But from what I have seen in regard the Hurrican Katrina aftermath, too much has gone unchanged. Davis has a good opporunity to put in place a better emergency response to disasters. Let’s make sure our elected officials do the hard work, and improve. We have a perfect opportunity to use lessons learned from our little mini-disaster in which no one was hurt. It was a great testing ground.

  7. Interested Observer

    The situation with Atria Covell being without power is worrisome. This is the only assisted living facility in Davis. University Retirement Commons is a continuing care facility with an assisted living component, and they had backup generators. Atria Covell Gardens raised their rents 16% in two years, and can’t provide a backup generator in emergencies, but can replace furniture in the lobby? Where are there priorities?

    I got the impression the city will be having a big discussion on emergency preparedness at our next City Council meeting, and/or the next meeting after that. If you have a complaint or suggestion, come and voice your opinion during public comment. Now is the time to say something – this is a golden opportunity. I agree that public officials are trying to put as positive a face on their failures as possible. That’s OK too – but we still need CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM on how the city/county can do better. The fact that the 911 system was down for two hours is not good.

    But also I hope another lesson that is taken away from this mini-disaster event was each citizen’s responsibility to have certain items on hand to be able to shelter in place for at least 72 hours. Mayor Sue Greenwald has made two excellent suggestions – partner with UCD to set up a shelter there if UCD has access to generators; and perhaps the city should purchase a generator for the Senior Center so that can be a designated shelter, especially because it has cooking capabilities and seniors are familiar with it.

    Keep on this DPD, making sure to to keep this issue front and center until some concrete things are done to improve the situation. An actual disaster of more epic proportions will have much more serious repercussions if the city/county/citizens don’t tweak their emergency plans to be more prepared. But I would urge a collaborative tone, rather than the blame game. We all need to do better.

    By the way, I and my family were fairly well prepared and sheltered in place. We had flashlights, batteries, a battery operated radio, plenty of food and water, blankets to keep warm. However, I didn’t think about a way to heat food, the necessity for keeping some gasoline on hand for the car (ours was just about on empty when the storm hit – thank goodness a couple of stations were open in West Davis), nor did I think about my car battery being a possible power source for my cell phone and other things. I will be better prepared next time – which I hope never occurs, but know it is inevitable.

    It is important to note though, the whys and wherefores of the Hurrican Katrina debacle. They are instructive. First and foremost, the governor refused to make a decision to evacuate, even though everyone and his brother were advising her to do so. She decided to make no decision rather than the wrong one – a deadly choice.

    Secondly, in the aftermath the Mayor of New Orleans was heard to answer the question of why he didn’t have a better emergency plan in place with, “It was just too difficult.” In other words, he did not have the leadership skill sets to make it happen. If he didn’t, then he should have hired a consultant who could get the job done. Again, he made no decision rather than the wrong one.

    Thirdly, the federal gov’t sat back and waited to be asked to join in the rescue efforts. As soon as Bush was aware that there was a crisis, he should have stepped in and overridden the governor’s non-decision. But Bush chose to make no decision rather than the wrong one.

    Fourthly, a 30 foot wall of water hit Biloxi, Mississippi, an event that no gov’t can prepare for. Some disasters are so severe, the gov’t can’t do much but clean up the aftermath, so evacuation was the best emergency plan – even if it meant some seniors who were moved may have died in the process (I think its called “moving trauma”).

    And lastly, hindsight is always 20-20. What is more important is to make sure our gov’t and we do not make the same mistakes again. But from what I have seen in regard the Hurrican Katrina aftermath, too much has gone unchanged. Davis has a good opporunity to put in place a better emergency response to disasters. Let’s make sure our elected officials do the hard work, and improve. We have a perfect opportunity to use lessons learned from our little mini-disaster in which no one was hurt. It was a great testing ground.

  8. Interested Observer

    The situation with Atria Covell being without power is worrisome. This is the only assisted living facility in Davis. University Retirement Commons is a continuing care facility with an assisted living component, and they had backup generators. Atria Covell Gardens raised their rents 16% in two years, and can’t provide a backup generator in emergencies, but can replace furniture in the lobby? Where are there priorities?

    I got the impression the city will be having a big discussion on emergency preparedness at our next City Council meeting, and/or the next meeting after that. If you have a complaint or suggestion, come and voice your opinion during public comment. Now is the time to say something – this is a golden opportunity. I agree that public officials are trying to put as positive a face on their failures as possible. That’s OK too – but we still need CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM on how the city/county can do better. The fact that the 911 system was down for two hours is not good.

    But also I hope another lesson that is taken away from this mini-disaster event was each citizen’s responsibility to have certain items on hand to be able to shelter in place for at least 72 hours. Mayor Sue Greenwald has made two excellent suggestions – partner with UCD to set up a shelter there if UCD has access to generators; and perhaps the city should purchase a generator for the Senior Center so that can be a designated shelter, especially because it has cooking capabilities and seniors are familiar with it.

    Keep on this DPD, making sure to to keep this issue front and center until some concrete things are done to improve the situation. An actual disaster of more epic proportions will have much more serious repercussions if the city/county/citizens don’t tweak their emergency plans to be more prepared. But I would urge a collaborative tone, rather than the blame game. We all need to do better.

    By the way, I and my family were fairly well prepared and sheltered in place. We had flashlights, batteries, a battery operated radio, plenty of food and water, blankets to keep warm. However, I didn’t think about a way to heat food, the necessity for keeping some gasoline on hand for the car (ours was just about on empty when the storm hit – thank goodness a couple of stations were open in West Davis), nor did I think about my car battery being a possible power source for my cell phone and other things. I will be better prepared next time – which I hope never occurs, but know it is inevitable.

    It is important to note though, the whys and wherefores of the Hurrican Katrina debacle. They are instructive. First and foremost, the governor refused to make a decision to evacuate, even though everyone and his brother were advising her to do so. She decided to make no decision rather than the wrong one – a deadly choice.

    Secondly, in the aftermath the Mayor of New Orleans was heard to answer the question of why he didn’t have a better emergency plan in place with, “It was just too difficult.” In other words, he did not have the leadership skill sets to make it happen. If he didn’t, then he should have hired a consultant who could get the job done. Again, he made no decision rather than the wrong one.

    Thirdly, the federal gov’t sat back and waited to be asked to join in the rescue efforts. As soon as Bush was aware that there was a crisis, he should have stepped in and overridden the governor’s non-decision. But Bush chose to make no decision rather than the wrong one.

    Fourthly, a 30 foot wall of water hit Biloxi, Mississippi, an event that no gov’t can prepare for. Some disasters are so severe, the gov’t can’t do much but clean up the aftermath, so evacuation was the best emergency plan – even if it meant some seniors who were moved may have died in the process (I think its called “moving trauma”).

    And lastly, hindsight is always 20-20. What is more important is to make sure our gov’t and we do not make the same mistakes again. But from what I have seen in regard the Hurrican Katrina aftermath, too much has gone unchanged. Davis has a good opporunity to put in place a better emergency response to disasters. Let’s make sure our elected officials do the hard work, and improve. We have a perfect opportunity to use lessons learned from our little mini-disaster in which no one was hurt. It was a great testing ground.

  9. Derek

    In my opinion it’s just you anonymous. There have been a number of suggestions pointed out for how to improve things next time around and the overall sense of shining light I think has its own intrinsic value. If anything, what has grown tiresome are the one line put downs from anonymous posters like yourself.

  10. Derek

    In my opinion it’s just you anonymous. There have been a number of suggestions pointed out for how to improve things next time around and the overall sense of shining light I think has its own intrinsic value. If anything, what has grown tiresome are the one line put downs from anonymous posters like yourself.

  11. Derek

    In my opinion it’s just you anonymous. There have been a number of suggestions pointed out for how to improve things next time around and the overall sense of shining light I think has its own intrinsic value. If anything, what has grown tiresome are the one line put downs from anonymous posters like yourself.

  12. Derek

    In my opinion it’s just you anonymous. There have been a number of suggestions pointed out for how to improve things next time around and the overall sense of shining light I think has its own intrinsic value. If anything, what has grown tiresome are the one line put downs from anonymous posters like yourself.

  13. sharla

    I lived through both the Loma Prieta earthquake and the Berkeley/Oakland fire. I felt that the region, my city, my neighborhood and my own household was somewhat prepared for the earthquake, but not completely. For example – who would guess that our local phone service would be pretty much inoperable, but we could call long distance? I knew where to turn off the gas to my own house, but didn’t have a clue when it came to my neighbor’s houses. ATM’s were inoperable so it was impossible to get cash. Batteries only operate so long… and on and on.

    So we prepared for another earthquake – our children’s emergency cards at school included a long distance phone number to a family member or a friend so the schools could contact somebody if local service went down. Our school’s PTA fundraised and created emergency backpacks that would hang on a hook in every classroom next to the door. We stocked up on flashlights and batteries, sunk earthquake storage containers in our back yard to hold emergency supplies – food, water, radios, blankets, first aid supplies, cash,etc – and more.

    Then came the fire. If you had 30 minutes to grab your most important items and flee, what would you grab? Where would you meet up if your family was separated? What if you needed emergency services, but thousand’s of other people did too? So we expanded our emergency plan – consolidated our important financial information, made copies of family photographs and gave them to family, opened safety deposit boxes, we took first aid classes, we replanted around our house and made sure the leaves were off the roof, and checked over our home insurance coverage and on and on. Again the neighborhood and the community discussed and identified what went right and wrong and made changes to emergency plans.

    It is definitely not wrong to discuss, identify where things could have been better in order to prepare for the next crisis. It is not whining – nothing of the sort. It is part and parcel of smart planning.

  14. sharla

    I lived through both the Loma Prieta earthquake and the Berkeley/Oakland fire. I felt that the region, my city, my neighborhood and my own household was somewhat prepared for the earthquake, but not completely. For example – who would guess that our local phone service would be pretty much inoperable, but we could call long distance? I knew where to turn off the gas to my own house, but didn’t have a clue when it came to my neighbor’s houses. ATM’s were inoperable so it was impossible to get cash. Batteries only operate so long… and on and on.

    So we prepared for another earthquake – our children’s emergency cards at school included a long distance phone number to a family member or a friend so the schools could contact somebody if local service went down. Our school’s PTA fundraised and created emergency backpacks that would hang on a hook in every classroom next to the door. We stocked up on flashlights and batteries, sunk earthquake storage containers in our back yard to hold emergency supplies – food, water, radios, blankets, first aid supplies, cash,etc – and more.

    Then came the fire. If you had 30 minutes to grab your most important items and flee, what would you grab? Where would you meet up if your family was separated? What if you needed emergency services, but thousand’s of other people did too? So we expanded our emergency plan – consolidated our important financial information, made copies of family photographs and gave them to family, opened safety deposit boxes, we took first aid classes, we replanted around our house and made sure the leaves were off the roof, and checked over our home insurance coverage and on and on. Again the neighborhood and the community discussed and identified what went right and wrong and made changes to emergency plans.

    It is definitely not wrong to discuss, identify where things could have been better in order to prepare for the next crisis. It is not whining – nothing of the sort. It is part and parcel of smart planning.

  15. sharla

    I lived through both the Loma Prieta earthquake and the Berkeley/Oakland fire. I felt that the region, my city, my neighborhood and my own household was somewhat prepared for the earthquake, but not completely. For example – who would guess that our local phone service would be pretty much inoperable, but we could call long distance? I knew where to turn off the gas to my own house, but didn’t have a clue when it came to my neighbor’s houses. ATM’s were inoperable so it was impossible to get cash. Batteries only operate so long… and on and on.

    So we prepared for another earthquake – our children’s emergency cards at school included a long distance phone number to a family member or a friend so the schools could contact somebody if local service went down. Our school’s PTA fundraised and created emergency backpacks that would hang on a hook in every classroom next to the door. We stocked up on flashlights and batteries, sunk earthquake storage containers in our back yard to hold emergency supplies – food, water, radios, blankets, first aid supplies, cash,etc – and more.

    Then came the fire. If you had 30 minutes to grab your most important items and flee, what would you grab? Where would you meet up if your family was separated? What if you needed emergency services, but thousand’s of other people did too? So we expanded our emergency plan – consolidated our important financial information, made copies of family photographs and gave them to family, opened safety deposit boxes, we took first aid classes, we replanted around our house and made sure the leaves were off the roof, and checked over our home insurance coverage and on and on. Again the neighborhood and the community discussed and identified what went right and wrong and made changes to emergency plans.

    It is definitely not wrong to discuss, identify where things could have been better in order to prepare for the next crisis. It is not whining – nothing of the sort. It is part and parcel of smart planning.

  16. sharla

    I lived through both the Loma Prieta earthquake and the Berkeley/Oakland fire. I felt that the region, my city, my neighborhood and my own household was somewhat prepared for the earthquake, but not completely. For example – who would guess that our local phone service would be pretty much inoperable, but we could call long distance? I knew where to turn off the gas to my own house, but didn’t have a clue when it came to my neighbor’s houses. ATM’s were inoperable so it was impossible to get cash. Batteries only operate so long… and on and on.

    So we prepared for another earthquake – our children’s emergency cards at school included a long distance phone number to a family member or a friend so the schools could contact somebody if local service went down. Our school’s PTA fundraised and created emergency backpacks that would hang on a hook in every classroom next to the door. We stocked up on flashlights and batteries, sunk earthquake storage containers in our back yard to hold emergency supplies – food, water, radios, blankets, first aid supplies, cash,etc – and more.

    Then came the fire. If you had 30 minutes to grab your most important items and flee, what would you grab? Where would you meet up if your family was separated? What if you needed emergency services, but thousand’s of other people did too? So we expanded our emergency plan – consolidated our important financial information, made copies of family photographs and gave them to family, opened safety deposit boxes, we took first aid classes, we replanted around our house and made sure the leaves were off the roof, and checked over our home insurance coverage and on and on. Again the neighborhood and the community discussed and identified what went right and wrong and made changes to emergency plans.

    It is definitely not wrong to discuss, identify where things could have been better in order to prepare for the next crisis. It is not whining – nothing of the sort. It is part and parcel of smart planning.

  17. Interested Observer

    Sharla – Loved your ideas! I don’t think I would have thought of half of them! One point you make very well is that each type of disaster has its own requirements, so disaster preparedness is a bit more complicated than anyone may think.

    As for “Is it just me or has this blog become tiresome, repetitive and whiny without solutions to its complaints?”, if you don’t want to join in the discussion, feel free not to. I personally prefer to identify problems and come up with constructive solutions, than “kill the messenger”.

    If you haven’t been following, when DPD points out a problem, often readers give enormous amounts of information to fill in the gaps that a lot of us are not aware of. And I for one, like to get differing points of view before I make up my mind. And the Davis Enterprise often does not delve into the more controversial issues unless push comes to shove. Think about it!

  18. Interested Observer

    Sharla – Loved your ideas! I don’t think I would have thought of half of them! One point you make very well is that each type of disaster has its own requirements, so disaster preparedness is a bit more complicated than anyone may think.

    As for “Is it just me or has this blog become tiresome, repetitive and whiny without solutions to its complaints?”, if you don’t want to join in the discussion, feel free not to. I personally prefer to identify problems and come up with constructive solutions, than “kill the messenger”.

    If you haven’t been following, when DPD points out a problem, often readers give enormous amounts of information to fill in the gaps that a lot of us are not aware of. And I for one, like to get differing points of view before I make up my mind. And the Davis Enterprise often does not delve into the more controversial issues unless push comes to shove. Think about it!

  19. Interested Observer

    Sharla – Loved your ideas! I don’t think I would have thought of half of them! One point you make very well is that each type of disaster has its own requirements, so disaster preparedness is a bit more complicated than anyone may think.

    As for “Is it just me or has this blog become tiresome, repetitive and whiny without solutions to its complaints?”, if you don’t want to join in the discussion, feel free not to. I personally prefer to identify problems and come up with constructive solutions, than “kill the messenger”.

    If you haven’t been following, when DPD points out a problem, often readers give enormous amounts of information to fill in the gaps that a lot of us are not aware of. And I for one, like to get differing points of view before I make up my mind. And the Davis Enterprise often does not delve into the more controversial issues unless push comes to shove. Think about it!

  20. Interested Observer

    Sharla – Loved your ideas! I don’t think I would have thought of half of them! One point you make very well is that each type of disaster has its own requirements, so disaster preparedness is a bit more complicated than anyone may think.

    As for “Is it just me or has this blog become tiresome, repetitive and whiny without solutions to its complaints?”, if you don’t want to join in the discussion, feel free not to. I personally prefer to identify problems and come up with constructive solutions, than “kill the messenger”.

    If you haven’t been following, when DPD points out a problem, often readers give enormous amounts of information to fill in the gaps that a lot of us are not aware of. And I for one, like to get differing points of view before I make up my mind. And the Davis Enterprise often does not delve into the more controversial issues unless push comes to shove. Think about it!

  21. Anonymous

    Interested Observer.
    Thanks for all your suggestions. I am not interested in paying more taxes for the City to provide a generator for the Senior Center.
    Ray Nagey, the mayor of New Orleans, is just another self serving politician from Lousiana and does not have the intelligence of foresight or hindsight.
    Prepare yourself for future problems, of which there will be more. Also look up the word, verbose.

  22. Anonymous

    Interested Observer.
    Thanks for all your suggestions. I am not interested in paying more taxes for the City to provide a generator for the Senior Center.
    Ray Nagey, the mayor of New Orleans, is just another self serving politician from Lousiana and does not have the intelligence of foresight or hindsight.
    Prepare yourself for future problems, of which there will be more. Also look up the word, verbose.

  23. Anonymous

    Interested Observer.
    Thanks for all your suggestions. I am not interested in paying more taxes for the City to provide a generator for the Senior Center.
    Ray Nagey, the mayor of New Orleans, is just another self serving politician from Lousiana and does not have the intelligence of foresight or hindsight.
    Prepare yourself for future problems, of which there will be more. Also look up the word, verbose.

  24. Anonymous

    Interested Observer.
    Thanks for all your suggestions. I am not interested in paying more taxes for the City to provide a generator for the Senior Center.
    Ray Nagey, the mayor of New Orleans, is just another self serving politician from Lousiana and does not have the intelligence of foresight or hindsight.
    Prepare yourself for future problems, of which there will be more. Also look up the word, verbose.

  25. Anonymous

    A backup generator sufficient to power a facility the size of Atria or the Senior Center would be expensive and complicated. This would not be a simple portable generator. It would have to be installed permanently outside, along with storage for the gasoline, diesel, or propane that would be operating it. It would need to be enclosed for safety. I assume something in the range of several hundred KW would be necessary, at least for Atria. And it would have to be wired in separately.

  26. Anonymous

    A backup generator sufficient to power a facility the size of Atria or the Senior Center would be expensive and complicated. This would not be a simple portable generator. It would have to be installed permanently outside, along with storage for the gasoline, diesel, or propane that would be operating it. It would need to be enclosed for safety. I assume something in the range of several hundred KW would be necessary, at least for Atria. And it would have to be wired in separately.

  27. Anonymous

    A backup generator sufficient to power a facility the size of Atria or the Senior Center would be expensive and complicated. This would not be a simple portable generator. It would have to be installed permanently outside, along with storage for the gasoline, diesel, or propane that would be operating it. It would need to be enclosed for safety. I assume something in the range of several hundred KW would be necessary, at least for Atria. And it would have to be wired in separately.

  28. Anonymous

    A backup generator sufficient to power a facility the size of Atria or the Senior Center would be expensive and complicated. This would not be a simple portable generator. It would have to be installed permanently outside, along with storage for the gasoline, diesel, or propane that would be operating it. It would need to be enclosed for safety. I assume something in the range of several hundred KW would be necessary, at least for Atria. And it would have to be wired in separately.

  29. whining about whiners

    This blog is tiresome and whiny.
    Get your asses off this blog and go do something.
    I read this blag from time to time and every freakin time I kick myself.

    the city did fine, i know city workers that are working on little sleep, and ya we pay for it but go to sac or woodland and whine see where it gets you.

    The city bends over backwards every day, who was prepared for winds to blow over ever pg&e massacred tree in one storm?

    is it the readers feeling that every act of nature or humanity is somehow someones responsibility besides the person who it happened to?

    How bad was it? 15 years ago it was below freezing for a week, pipes broke all over town. Houses flooded people lost whole houses of belongings due to pipes bursting in attics. We survived? No
    Vanguard? come one. . .

    Buy a generator or solar panels. or for gods sake burn some wood, or go without. It was a change to see the neighbors out from their computers or tv’s.

    scrutiny of city staff? Isn’t that done every damn day here in mayberry. . . get a committee together and raise some money for a recall.

    you whine about conspiracies, I whine about you.

  30. whining about whiners

    This blog is tiresome and whiny.
    Get your asses off this blog and go do something.
    I read this blag from time to time and every freakin time I kick myself.

    the city did fine, i know city workers that are working on little sleep, and ya we pay for it but go to sac or woodland and whine see where it gets you.

    The city bends over backwards every day, who was prepared for winds to blow over ever pg&e massacred tree in one storm?

    is it the readers feeling that every act of nature or humanity is somehow someones responsibility besides the person who it happened to?

    How bad was it? 15 years ago it was below freezing for a week, pipes broke all over town. Houses flooded people lost whole houses of belongings due to pipes bursting in attics. We survived? No
    Vanguard? come one. . .

    Buy a generator or solar panels. or for gods sake burn some wood, or go without. It was a change to see the neighbors out from their computers or tv’s.

    scrutiny of city staff? Isn’t that done every damn day here in mayberry. . . get a committee together and raise some money for a recall.

    you whine about conspiracies, I whine about you.

  31. whining about whiners

    This blog is tiresome and whiny.
    Get your asses off this blog and go do something.
    I read this blag from time to time and every freakin time I kick myself.

    the city did fine, i know city workers that are working on little sleep, and ya we pay for it but go to sac or woodland and whine see where it gets you.

    The city bends over backwards every day, who was prepared for winds to blow over ever pg&e massacred tree in one storm?

    is it the readers feeling that every act of nature or humanity is somehow someones responsibility besides the person who it happened to?

    How bad was it? 15 years ago it was below freezing for a week, pipes broke all over town. Houses flooded people lost whole houses of belongings due to pipes bursting in attics. We survived? No
    Vanguard? come one. . .

    Buy a generator or solar panels. or for gods sake burn some wood, or go without. It was a change to see the neighbors out from their computers or tv’s.

    scrutiny of city staff? Isn’t that done every damn day here in mayberry. . . get a committee together and raise some money for a recall.

    you whine about conspiracies, I whine about you.

  32. whining about whiners

    This blog is tiresome and whiny.
    Get your asses off this blog and go do something.
    I read this blag from time to time and every freakin time I kick myself.

    the city did fine, i know city workers that are working on little sleep, and ya we pay for it but go to sac or woodland and whine see where it gets you.

    The city bends over backwards every day, who was prepared for winds to blow over ever pg&e massacred tree in one storm?

    is it the readers feeling that every act of nature or humanity is somehow someones responsibility besides the person who it happened to?

    How bad was it? 15 years ago it was below freezing for a week, pipes broke all over town. Houses flooded people lost whole houses of belongings due to pipes bursting in attics. We survived? No
    Vanguard? come one. . .

    Buy a generator or solar panels. or for gods sake burn some wood, or go without. It was a change to see the neighbors out from their computers or tv’s.

    scrutiny of city staff? Isn’t that done every damn day here in mayberry. . . get a committee together and raise some money for a recall.

    you whine about conspiracies, I whine about you.

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