Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Disaster Response

A couple of really interesting articles on disaster response over the course of the last few years.

The June 2 issue of Time Magazine gives "Roused by Disaster" about the response of the Chinese government to the disastrous earthquake of May 12. It's a fascinating read that describes a response much greater and more human that might have been expected.

From the Time issue one week later, "How to Survive a Disaster" describes the steps that can be taken by an average citizen in cases of calamity... with special mention of the Morgan Stanley Security Director Rick Rescorla who saves scores of lives in one of the Towers on 9/11.

Finally, if you go back to an August 2007 issue of BusinessWeek, there's "If the Levees Fail In California" about the potential for disaster in the Sacramento Delta region of California.

Thinking about these stories, they come at the topic from different angles... one is the response of an entire government to tragedy, one is what a government could do in cases of disaster and one features near superhuman individual response. I guess the point is that in cases of need, both the government and average citizens need to rise to the occasion. Something that didn't happen enough on either side in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, but... you gotta hope for the future.