Can anyone imagine an earthquake in Missouri, with sirens going off and no one able to quickly determine whether the sirens are a drill or not before it's too late? Communication might be threatened, ground cables might be disrupted by the eruptions, satellites might also be disrupted.
Persons working in communication centers might not get access to their facilities or they might choose to be at home with their families. Communication lines might be flooded, if they are available. What could be communicated? Where can people go?
Many of us know what to do in case of an impending tornado. What do we do with an impending warning that is only a minute in advance and we haven’t planned for it? What good is it? Do we all run to Interstate 70? Where would we be going? Would people be trying to get here? For what? What do we do if we choose to stay put? What are the power, transportation, health and subsistence options available to us? Income, class, race, location are mute when it comes to a disaster. They don’t mean anything. It affects all of us. Remember Katrina?
Are we prepared if we all don’t have a plan? Who’s in charge of what? Public and private institutions should be concerned.
I previously wrote about the need to have such a plan. What is our state, city, county, neighborhood, family plan? What is the health and hospital plan? When do we address these general issues when we learn we only have a minute’s notice? If we are going to address this issue, we might also use the organization to address less ominous issues in our community.
William E. "Gene" Robertson is a Columbia resident and a professor emeritus at MU.