by Ron Rego 12/15/11
When it comes to disasters, this planet has certainly seen its' share this past couple of years. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and heat waves have all been in the forefront in the news. What has been talked about a lot lately is how ready some of the cities across the globe are for these disasters or any emergency they face.
The United States had New York in the news and this country was not ready when the events on 9/11 happened. Since then, we thought we were ready, then hurricane Katrina hit the gulf and showed us we were not ready. Now, with cities trying to prepare themselves for any disaster, what cities are ready for the worst case scenario?
The U.S. Center for Disease Control launched the "Cities Readiness Initiative" (CRI) to enhance the emergency preparedness of America’s largest cities and metropolitan statistical areas. These areas represent more than 50% of the nation’s population. The CRI considers the capabilities of public-health departments in large metropolitan areas to manage the mother of all crises – a mega-scale bio-terrorism attack. Using that type of crisis will show how ready a city is for any disaster. It will show response time and how well organized a city will be in dispersing its' emergency response. CRI, the CDC and state public health personnel assess local emergency-management plans, protocols and capabilities for 72 Metropolitan Statistical Areas and four non-MSA large cities. The CRI calculates a score for each MSA that ranges from zero to 100 that is based on the assessment. A score of 69 or higher indicates that the city has established acceptable "plans to receive, distribute, and Strategic National Stockpile medical assets."
The worst prepared cities will now have to improve their position
for getting bad recognition is not good for their publicity and
tourism. Pittsburgh, PA (57), Fresno, CA (56), Birmingham, AL
(54), Seattle, WA (53) and Albuquerque, NM (50.6) all ranked
at the bottom five of those cities. The troubling thing to me is
that with Seattle on the coast and close to the Canadian border,
it is very vulnerable to many disasters. Birmingham seems to
have already forgotten about Katrina and also the oil spill in the
gulf. Birmingham, you would think, would have been putting
themselves in a better position. How could this city be so
irresponsible to their citizens?
The best prepared cities should be a hot spot to move to as you are more likely to survive a crisis. Washington, DC (94.6), Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY (96.6), Chicago (97.3), Dover, DE (97.6) and New York City, NY (99.6) are the best prepared. It is nice to see that the Statue of Liberty is more likely to survive a disaster than congress. But again, the city is much more prepared since the events on 9/11.
So when you are traveling, you may want to do some research before you go somewhere to find out what happens in case of disaster. Whether it is here in the USA or anywhere in the world, how will that city respond.