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Federal disaster response: 1906 vs. 2005

Disasters Federal Responses 1906-2005

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#1 MuseZack

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 05:17 PM

Someone posted this over on Dailykos, its data gathered from the San Francisco museum's website.  While it should be pointed out that an earthquake and a hurricane aren't exactly analogous, San Francisco itself has problems with geographical isolation and of course an earthquake provides no advance warning.  Anyway, here it is, and dang, the contrast in response time is striking:

The earthquake struck at 5:13 AM.
By 7 AM federal troops had reported to the mayor.

By 8 AM they were patrolling the entire downtown area and searching for survivors.

The second quake struck at 8:14 AM.

By 10:05 AM the USS Chicago was on its way from San Diego to San Francisco; by 10:30 the USS Preble had landed a medical team and set up an emergency hospital.

By 11 AM large parts of the city were on fire; troops continued to arrive throughout the day, evacuating people from the areas threatened by fire to emergency shelters and Golden Gate Park.

St. Mary's hospital was destroyed by the fire at 1 PM, with no loss of life, the staff and patients having already been evacuated across the bay to Oakland.

By 3 PM troops had shot several looters, and dynamited buildings to make a firebreak; by five they had buried dozens of corpses, the morgue and the police pistol range being unable to hold any more.

At 8:40 PM General Funston requested emergency housing - tents and shelters - from the War Department in Washington; all of the tents in the U.S. Army were on their way to San Francisco by 4:55 AM the next morning.

Prisoners were evacuated to Alcatraz, and by April 20 (two days after the earthquake) the USS Chicago had reached San Francisco, where it evacuated 20,000 refugees.

"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#2 Cait

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 05:35 PM

I guess it all depends on who is in charge, doesn't it.  Efficiency is all part of good management.  It really is as simple as that.  It's not really political at all.  It's just a question of good management, and good management goes hand in hand with good leadership.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#3 waterpanther

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 06:13 PM

And they managed to do all that without benefit of jet aircraft, helicopters, nuclear-powered ships, computers, cell phones, satellite imagery,  FEMA, or the Department of Homeland Security.  

Superb management, as Cait says, and a clear sense of priorities.
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#4 Anarch

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 06:19 PM

Awwwww.  I was gonna post that once I had a chance!

*pouts*

If it's not impertinent to ask, btw, how's Ash?  I thought he had some Southern connections, but maybe I'm smokin' da crack again...

#5 MuseZack

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 06:21 PM

Anarch, on Sep 5 2005, 11:19 PM, said:

Awwwww.  I was gonna post that once I had a chance!

*pouts*

If it's not impertinent to ask, btw, how's Ash?  I thought he had some Southern connections, but maybe I'm smokin' da crack again...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


A-okay.  Ash's family is up in Virginia and Pennsylvania, mostly.  He and I are feverishly working to finish a new period action-adventure/science fiction spec feature that we're really excited about.

Best,

Zack
"Some day, after we have mastered the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity,
We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

#6 Hibblette

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 06:31 PM

That beats the response time with Galveston.

And they didn't know this thing was going to hit when it did.

:cool:
"There are many ways of going forward, but there is only one way of standing still."  FDR explaining why Liberals are so often divided and Conservatives are so often united.

"I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat."  Will Rogers

#7 Natolii

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 09:19 PM

The Hurricane of '38 ripped up New England from Rhode Island to Maine.

Hurricane Carol ('54) repeated the scenrio and we still have scars up here from it (Stonebridge in Tiverton, RI.)
"I have on this board written pages and pages pointing out the science, and I will be dammed if I am going to attempt to reach closed minds that donít even know how to use a reference library." -emsparks (Fenton E. Magill, dec. 1/25/07 - Love you Dad)

#8 Cheile

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Posted 05 September 2005 - 10:53 PM

yes i recall a lot of that from a book i have i picked up in a used bookstore in SF recommended by the owner.

problem is their organization went downhill fast later on.

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