I don’t often re-use other blogs, but I am making an exception to summarize today’s post in “The New Forty.”
My good friend, Dr. Carol Cwiak, is an Assistant Professor at North Dakota State University, teaching Emergency Management. She is truly dedicated to this field and educating her students to understand what it takes to be an emergency management professional. Her blog today “What we should take away from Sandy”, shows how deeply she gets it.
Lesson One: Mother Nature sets her own agenda and she appears to be becoming more volatile every year. “Is this a function of global warming, a normal cycle of activity that ebbs and flows, or just bad luck? Who knows…all you need to acknowledge at this juncture is that it is a reality.
Lesson Two: As population and complexity in society has increased over the centuries, so too has vulnerability increased. “We want to live where we want to live, but often we give little thought to the additional risk we incur with such choices. Add to that our increasing reliance on complex systems to not only fuel our day to day services, but for communicating with others.”
Lesson Three: Even if a disaster does not hit where you live and do business it can still profoundly affect you. “When it (the East Coast) takes a hit such as the one Sandy delivered, businesses around the world feel the pain and the whole tourism industry – to include everything from A to Z associated with tourism – holds its breath wondering what that will mean for their own economic situation.”
Lesson Four: If the government says get out – then GET OUT! “If you do not listen to these folks, you do so at your own peril and you should not expect help. And on a personal note allow me to add, if you do so and you have children – your children should be removed from your care as it is tantamount to child endangerment.”
Lesson Five: Turn around, don’t drown. “Never underestimate water or the force of water’s current. It has reshaped and moved mountains – your vehicle and your family are a party trick.”
Lesson Six: Expect that an emergency or disaster could affect your community on any given day and have a plan for what you will do. “Own your own risk, because truth be told, the government in all its vastness does not have the necessary resources to come to the aid of all the folks who will need help.”
Sometimes practitioners squint their eyes at academians. The truth is that those in the academic community are just as passionate and committed - and knowledgeable - about this profession as practitioners.
Besides which - knowing her - I seriously doubt Carol is going to let anyone squint at her.