Wrong — North Texas !!
9 earthquakes in the last 24 hours. 24 in the last couple of months; and that is just in the Irving Texas area around the old Cowboys’ Stadium. Many other quakes have been recorded in the area. Luckily none of them have been very severe; most are 4.0 or under with just a few in the 3.0+ range. Damage has been very minimal Praise the Lord, just a few cracks in walls, foundations shifted and not much less. We have been lucky there have been no major disruptions; in this area we really have to be concerned about the huge number of overpasses. Many of our utilities are buried underground and could have been easily interrupted.
Looking at the severity of the quakes, the locations and the damage caused; I’m really not going to be changing my preparedness plans. They already cover most of the issues I would expect to see if we had a tornado or ice storm for example. I do need to get a pair of good boots or walking shoes that I can leave in my car. Still haven’t found any that I want to expose to the locked car all summer. I’m afraid I would end up with melted adhesives running out of the soles and ruining them.
The general public tends to converge on disaster scenes to offer help and people who are geographically distant routinely donate significant amounts of money and supplies. Uninjured victims are often the first to search for survivors, care for the injured and assist others in protecting property from further damage while awaiting intervention by authorities. Victims are typically supported by endeavors of official organizations and resources, as well as contributions from other households not directly affected by the event (Perry, & Lindell, 2003).
Anti-social behavior, such as looting, is relatively rare, and crime rates tend to decline following disaster impact. In the aftermath of Katrina, civil disturbances, i.e. looting, violence and other criminal activity only became serious problems as most of the attention of the authorities was focused on rescue efforts.
While I tend to agree and have seen such positive behaviors in the past, I think we need to bear in mind a few factors. One such factor is the developing trend of the government to shut down access to disaster areas. In Arlington after the last big tornado, the city blocked off access to the affected areas. In some cases not even allowing residents to get back to their homes. Most visitors were turned away from the area so clean up efforts were delayed greatly. Communication, especially cell signals, were often overwhelmed as people tried to connect.
Another factor to keep in mind:
Garrett, & Sobel (2003) believe that this perception could be at least partially true. They determined that nearly half of all disaster relief is politically motivated, rather than by need. They found evidence of a higher rate of disaster declaration by the president in states that are politically important. This leads many states to be overlooked, even when legitimate disasters are suffered, often in favor of electoral vote-rich states that experience only mild natural occurrences. There is also a link between the political affiliation of the governor and the president during election years, with more disaster declarations being made in states politically important to the president. Research has shown that flood declarations are greater during presidential reelection years. For instance, in 1996 (President Clinton’s reelection year) the level of disaster expenditures was roughly $140 million higher than in previous years. The unilateral nature of the Stafford Act makes this possible by allowing the president to bypass Congress, possibly punishing or rewarding legislators.
Disaster expenditures are also higher in states that have congressional representation on FEMA oversight committees (Garrett, & Sobel, 2003). States with legislators on a FEMA oversight subcommittee were estimated to receive an additional $31 million in excess expenditures. These statistics are disheartening to average citizens who place their trust in government officials to put personal interests aside for the public good.
Was it two years ago that Texas had a series of wildfires that scorched huge areas of the state; and no disaster relief declaration was made. Even though California, which had smaller and less devastating fires, was granted disaster aid. Given wide spread disruption, I would expect little governmental assistance for quite a while. And what assistance given would definitely come with strings attached.
I’m not too concerned about the earthquakes but thought it was a good time to cover a few things. Hopefully everyone is making plans and keeping their preps up.