Police Chief Posts an Excellent Y2K Alertgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Thought you might be interested in this.
This came from Gary Norths site. Actually, he is getting a lot of info in right now. More than normal. ______________________________________________________________________
Link: http://www.hudson-oh-pd.org/y2kcomplacency.html Comment: If there had been about 50,000 police chiefs like this in the U.S., I would be less concerned. Most people cannot write this well, either.
The Hudson, Ohio police department has the best local law enforcement Web site that I have seen. It has a detailed y2k section.
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COMPLACENCY: THE TEMPTING OF FATE
We are but mere weeks away from the turn of another century, and yet many communities continue to struggle with the issue of community-wide contingency planning and preparedness. For some there is a lack of leadership that has perhaps failed to recognize that Y2K is an opportunity to seize control of the elusive development of a simplistic yet workable disaster plan--one that makes sense, is fiscally responsible and financially prudent without compromising safety and security and is understood by all within the community through an aggressive educational campaign.
In other communities, there is a reported lack of personnel coordination or the necessary financial resources to purchase essential communications equipment or back-up power generation equipment and a corresponding failure to recognize the option of establishing a very basic yet workable disaster plan, even with a strained budget. There are viable alternatives within confined parameters, the requirements for which are ingenuity, creativity, desire, dedication, and commitment. You can't throw money at a situation and expect a successful outcome without having and utilizing the aforementioned personal assets from somewhere within your community leadership.
Finally, there is a continuing sense of ignorance or denial that has laid its foundation through an historical perspective that suggests, "It hasn't happened here, it can't happen here, and it's unlikely it will ever happen here," as though we possess the ability to somehow manage or dictate fate. In some respects, those communities ill-prepared for disaster/crisis may have sealed their own fate. Certainly they have tempted it.
I'm concerned that we have mistakenly become so completely dependent upon the reliability of our utilities/infrastructure that we have failed to recognize the possibility that they may one day fail us. We must never lose sight of the fact that every mechanical device/system, regardless of its reliability, is not only prone to failure but will in fact most assuredly fail us at some point in time or another. The failure may be unforeseen, unavoidable, or accidental, and yet failure will occur nevertheless, Y2K or no Y2K! Y2k is but one example of a man-made disaster whose potential remains unknown.
Y2K may or may not be a significant event; however, there is a prevailing attitude that we live under a protected shield that is impervious to the dynamic forces of Mother Nature's wrath or is somehow inoculated from experiencing a man-made disaster because of the quality of life many communities as a whole enjoy. Bad assumption! Disaster can strike at a moment's notice and tear the heart and soul out of a community in a matter of minutes in the form of a funnel cloud lasting less than five minutes and cutting a destructive path less than 100 yards wide for a mile or two. Can't happen in your community? Bad assumption!
It's the preparedness issues (disaster planning) that a community addresses in earnest well in advance of the disaster that determine its survivability. It's the ability to channel its energies in an organized fashion that minimizes the effects of the disaster at hand, allows the community to sustain itself during its time of trial and tribulation, and quickly rebuild itself so as to return to the quality of life that had so quickly been swept away.
As I previously stated in an earlier writing, "A comprehensive contingency plan establishes a solution for every anticipated failure, and it provides guidance in the absence of direction." Disasters bring with them virtual absolutes and virtual uncertainties. The "absolutes" are the failures/problems whereby fairly specific and comprehensive plans are established to manage obvious difficulties, i.e., traffic control problems due to malfunctioning or inoperative traffic signals, radio communications malfunctions or failures due to damaged components and non-conforming frequencies and a lack of effective leadership and coordination among the safety forces and other governmental services.
Contingency plans should also provide general guidance for the uncertainties, the unexpected, and the unanticipated--guidance in the absence of specific direction. It may be nothing more than a comprehensive list of civilian and business resources able to provide people and equipment resources to attack a problem.
Other communities are focused, diligent, and quietly going about the work of contingency planning and preparedness. Some are doing it effectively and promoting their efforts through the media as part of an extensive educational campaign, and yet others have shortchanged their efforts by failing to communicate with their residents. Clearly, a community's survivability in a disaster/crisis is dependent upon a prepared administration and its community services; however, there is no substitute for a well-informed household that has accepted a responsibility for its own survivability, independent of government assistance.
Y2K has been the vehicle that the Hudson Police Department has attempted to ride, so to speak, to aggressively tackle the issue of organizational preparedness, establish comprehensive community-wide contingency planning, and educate the community as to the critical importance of personal preparedness. None of this means anything, of course, unless individuals take it upon themselves to be prepared to sustain themselves and their families without governmental assistance.
Perhaps there is a comfort level many communities enjoy due to the dependability, reliability, and the efficiency of its safety forces and other departments that has allowed for this "transfer of ownership" whereby there is an expectation that limited resources utilized effectively will be sufficient to manage the disaster/crisis, regardless of its magnitude. Bad assumption! Each and every adult in every household needs to accept a responsibility for itself in the event the disaster/crisis overwhelms the local governmental resources available. It makes good sense, it's practical, it's doable, and it can be relatively easily accomplished with a minimum of expense and effort. The clock is ticking!
Within a growing segment of America's population, there is a dangerous and troubling presupposition that our enormous and complex government, supported by phenomenal tax dollars, has assumed the responsibility for everyone's safety, security, and total well-being in a disaster/crisis, and that the participation and assistance of the average resident is unnecessary. Unfortunately, there's a prevailing sense of entitlement!
Furthermore, there is a dependence and reliance upon governmental assistance in its infinite forms to assume control, "save the day," and return normalcy to a disaster-stricken area in nothing short of a miraculous but unrealistic time frame. How it is, and why it is, we got to this point in history could be an issue of debate that would fuel "talk shows" for years. However, be there no mistake: We're there!
Most assuredly, it is a catalyst that sparked the "community policing" initiative several years ago and continues today in earnest. We must return to the day when safety and security are "participatory" in nature and everyone assumes the responsibility for the general health of their community--not just a select few, not just the local government administration, not just the safety forces, but absolutely everyone living in the community. If and when we do return to such a positive and beneficial community initiative from a nationwide perspective, we'll see a corresponding decrease in civil litigation, finger pointing, and blame game antics so prevalent today.
We need to generate positive initiatives and expend our energies in such a way that will benefit our communities in good times and in bad. For those of you internalizing the frustration over the lack of your community's disaster/crisis planning efforts, perhaps it's time to make a few well-placed phone calls, write a few letters to your local political figures or other persons of influence in the community government or administration, or make contact with the local sheriff, safety director, police chief, or fire chief to find out where your community stands in terms of preparedness and what it is you may be able to do to be of assistance.
Y2K or no Y2K, the clock is ticking and will continue to do so beyond January 1, 2000. Disasters don't care about the hour of the day, day of the week, or the economic status of your community. There is one constantly lurking just around the corner. I suspect that if disasters could communicate with us, they might marvel at their ability to sneak up unannounced, revel in their ability to create relentless and maximal amounts of havoc and destruction even when they announce their arrival, and express their disappointment in failing to administer sustained misery to a well-prepared community brimming with spirit and pride and an unwillingness to surrender to the unimaginable and/or the unthinkable.
Let's get to work! It will never be too late to start, nor will it ever be too soon. Disasters can't necessarily be averted; however, a prolonged state of misery and helplessness can quickly, effectively, and efficiently be addressed by a community that is prepared.
Jim Brown, Chief of Police
Hudson Ohio Police Department
-- Familyman (email@example.com), December 09, 1999
Looks like Hudson, Ohio, might be needing a new Chief of Police soon...
If he'd kept Y2K out of this, it would no doubt have been "sensible and prudent". I'll bet money (not Spam) that this will instead be slated as "alarmist over-reaction" by some local politician looking for a cheap sound bite. :(
-- Servant (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 09, 1999.
Very well written indeed!
"It hasn't happened here, it can't happen here, and it's unlikely it will ever happen here," as though we possess the ability to somehow manage or dictate fate. In some respects, those communities ill- prepared for disaster/crisis may have sealed their own fate. Certainly they have tempted it. ...
...there is no substitute for a well-informed household that has accepted a responsibility for its own survivability, independent of government assistance. ...
Wish he were in Silicon Valley!
-- Diane J. Squire (email@example.com), December 09, 1999.
I agree. Basically, it's better and SMARTER to be safe than sorry.
-- Familyman (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 09, 1999.
Actually his position is NOT getting ANY play outside of here on the forum and in Hudson. Not even in the Cleveland paper or media.
-- Chuck, a night driver (email@example.com), December 09, 1999.
City of Hudson, Ohio, Police Department
Y2K Preparedness: City of Hudson
Preparation For Residents
PREPAREDNESS SUPPLIES/SURPLUS ISSUES
Theres a whole host of recommendations within this section to assist you in developing a fairly generalized plan of being able to provide for yourself and your family, as well as some of your neighbors who may find themselves ill-prepared in times of emergency. Once again, this is not an all-inclusive list of preparedness items required to sustain a personal comfort level of self-reliability. There will inevitably be various degrees of preparedness found throughout the community based on budget, availability of storage space, and your own personal philosophies as to what you believe is an appropriate level of preparedness. Regardless of the number of days you plan on being self-reliant, be it a recommended minimum of 14 days on up to perhaps 30 days or longer, by following these guidelines you should be feeling significantly more confident to successfully contend with any crisis or calamity that may find its way to our community. Were talking about taking fear, panic, and concern normally associated with crises and transforming them into a creative and effective action plan. We, as a community, are up to that challenge!
So, what exactly do I consider having in my preparedness kit?
FOOD: Extra canned goods, freeze dried foods, dehydrated foods, and other packaged foods with a long shelf life that dont require refrigeration prior to opening. How much? Recommended 3 days to as much as 30 days' worth. When do I make my purchases? Start immediately and build up your reserves over the course of several weeks, if not a few months. Remember, you can always use these products and they wont go to waste. Develop a system of rotation whereby you utilize your oldest purchases first and replenish your supplies promptly when next you grocery shop. Make sure you have a manual can opener!
WATER: Some bottled water stored in a cool dry location within your home is a vitally important aspect of any preparedness pantry and should regularly be utilized and replaced in rotation to assure freshness. Two-liter plastic pop bottles, thoroughly rinsed out, filled with tap water, treated with chlorine bleach to kill any bacteria present and prevent future bacteria growth. Use un-scented chlorine bleach to treat the water as follows: 8 eyedropper drops per gallon; 1/2 teaspoon per five gallons. Rotate and replace your water every three months to ensure the bleach is working at full strength. After treatment, tightly re-seal the bottle cap. This will provide you with water for drinking, washing, flushing toilets, etc.
In an emergency situation you also have, hidden from view, usable water reserves in your hot water tank, as well as the water awaiting usage in your plumbing. (There are several home repair manuals available at the library and various Internet sites that can easily guide you, step by step, to safely draw from these usable water sources.)
How much will I need? Plan on one gallon of water, per person, per day. If you have a family of four it would require having 4 gallons of available water per day multiplied by whatever number of days you prefer to have available. Once again, a minimum 3-day reserve is recommended on up to 30 days worth. As a safety issue, keep in mind that water is extremely heavy and takes up a considerable amount of storage space, so choose your amounts and storage containers carefully so as to prevent injury.
When should I begin storing some emergency water? Start now and get yourself into a regular rotation of use and replenishment so that it will be available whenever you need it.
OTHER PREPAREDNESS ITEMS TO CONSIDER
Assuming that electricity, water, natural gas, waste water treatment and telecommunications could be disrupted at any time year round due to a weather-related calamity, construction accident, or other man- made disaster, a generous supply of the following items are great to have available in larger quantities in the event they are needed:
Paper plates, cups, and plastic utensils (to conserve water)
Extra toilet paper
Extra paper towels
Heavy duty plastic garbage bags
Plenty of spare batteries
A supply of flashlights
(Please also refer to all previously mentioned suggestions.)
Last, but certainly not least, consider the purchase of a cellular phone as a back-up to your home system. These phones are relatively inexpensive to lease or buy, and they provide a certain level of reassurance from a safety and security perspective while traveling in your car and out and about. Consider buying a spare battery with your cellular phone as back-up.
-- Diane J. Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 09, 1999.