WHEN THE BIG ONE HITS (9/12/08)
In 1989 when the Big One struck some of us that saw what we saw - as will the so called first responders - it, struck home the intensity of the focused information and resources that are needed to address death, injury, rescue, outreach, and all that goes to address the worst - calamities.
It does not help when the San Francisco Office of Emergency Services thinks it can gather heads of Departments from San Francisco and others - address a Big Earthquake, related issues or some other natural calamity striking San Francisco - and keeps addressing - the issues in vague - generalities.
The Mayor of San Francisco opened his big mouth and started by saying our sister city Haifa - have emergency exercises where the whole City of Haifa - with no exception participate in emergencies exercises and that San Francisco should do the same. It is this type of nonsense talk that betrays the ignorance of Mayor Gavin Newsom.
If we invited the authorities that conduct the Haifa emergency exercises, and Haifa is in Israel - the first thing the Haifa authorities would ask us is to review our empirical data and our Standard Operating Procedures linked to each quadrant in the City and County of San Francisco.
The population of San Francisco is about 760,000 - that grows to over 1.2 million daily. If the Big One strikes us as any other major calamity natural or otherwise - we San Franciscans are in deep trouble. San Francisco Office of Emergency Services loves to talk the talk but fails to walk the walk.
At the meeting held on September 12, 2008 at Pier 48 closer to Mission Bay - San Francisco City Department Heads were present. Our best equipment used in various emergencies were on display and so were the so called experts - that did not expect some ordinary citizens to ask them poignant questions only, to get drab and silly - answers.
The San Francisco Office of Emergency Services has come a long way from the days of Ann Marie Conroy but it still is managed by a few folks that have no clue about San Francisco and the seriousness of the emergency situations at hand. Of course they talk the talk - only because they make the big bucks but have little if nothing to show for huge salaries they earn - paid by the tax payers.
According to the United States Geological Survey and the excellent information on the website - we, in San Francisco are prime targets for a Big Earthquake. We also know that the areas that will be most prone to damage will be those areas that are landfill and areas that have soil that is not sturdy.
The Office of Emergency Service must learn to respect the community. Gone are the days when jerks could talk and get away with murder. Ever since Katrina we have learned a lot. We have learned from Gustav another well know hurricane - but we are learning more from Ike - and will learn more from other hurricanes that are on their way - pertaining to Emergencies Services.
We are fortunate that since 1989 we have not experienced a major Earthquake. However, we know one is in the pipeline - waiting to happen. We know the manner, the San Francisco Office of Emergency Services is operating - we will experience serious difficulties and the Southeast Sector will suffer the most.
Over ninety percent of the Hunters Point Shipyard is landfill. The Final Historical Radiological Assessment - a document prepared by the United States Navy gives detail information about radiological elements and there are other documents that speak of heavy metals like mercury, lead and other contaminants. Any land that is landfill is prone to heavy damage when a Big Earthquake strikes.
Yet, Mayor Gavin Newsom and some dubious entities want to build tall buildings on the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. More, a stadium that these fools think - serves some purpose - even though only ten football games - will be played a year. A Causeway is planned on land prone to liquefaction leading the proposed Stadium on Hunters Point.
The whole of Candlestick Point is prone to liquefaction and the tall buildings planned in this location - will, all come tumbling down and will be demolished. We must learn to respect Nature - but many in this City are so full of greed that they are defying Mother Nature.
The Office of Emergency Services continues to talk the talk but soon it must learn to walk the walk. It must do this because San Franciscans have spoken and the Office of Emergency Services does not seem to comprehend what the community is saying. Do we have an Emergency Plan - complete with detail plans - rescue, injury, evacuation and so on for the Bayview Hunters Point that we can review?
Can San Franciscans review the empirical data so that we can invite experts to give their input - since years have gone by and the Office of Emergency Services continues to fail and does so by talking the talk and failing to walk the walk.
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