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RE: Responding to Katrina (offtopic even if XML is part of the

  • To: 'sterling' <sstouden@t...>, "'Nathan Young (natyoung)'" <natyoung@c...>
  • Subject: RE: Responding to Katrina (offtopic even if XML is part of the soluti on)
  • From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <len.bullard@i...>
  • Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 11:02:40 -0500
  • Cc: 'XML Developers List' <xml-dev@l...>

multiple points of failure
That is why interoperable asset management systems are 
key to rapid and adaptive response.

What it won't fix are guys on a bridge with guns telling 
people who were given instructions to head in that 
direction by the last authority that this authority 
refuses them.  Unfortunately for Federal authorities, 
the fish is rotting from the head.

Good planning can't fix faulty execution.  Multiple 
ROAs and HITL-with-guns-and-no-discipline are a 
perfect means to make bad go to worse at light speed.


From: sterling [mailto:sstouden@t...]

The obligation to rescue becomes mandatory only after a fault in disaster 
planning appears.  If pre hurricane planning were adequate, then there 
would be little rescue to do. . 

If the disaster plan is appropriate and compliance were mandatory then 
there would be no rescue?   One disaster plan that would work is to refuse 
federal flood insurance to barrier island structures. 

In the gulf coast of Florida evacuation there has been major retail 
gasoline shortages.  As a result it is impossible to get out of town or 
at least such a senario renders it . 

Seems the first big problem to solve is ample gas at the retail pump. Gas 
needs to be available and guaranteed right up to the last minute that one 
might decide to evacuate all along the evacation routes at least 400 
miles out.  Otherwise it is problematic to leaves one's home.


On Thu, 8 Sep 2005, Nathan Young (natyoung) wrote:

> I wonder if there were lessons from the tsunami that could have applied
> to Katrina's aftermath?
> What both have in common (and what I think a lot of future disasters
> will also have in common) is that the number of people physically killed
> by the disaster is dwarfed by the number that are killed in the
> aftermath as a result of infrastructure destroyed.  Drinking water and
> basic medical supplies seem to be the choke points here.  If people can
> survive for a week without needing infrastructure support then there's a
> very good chance they can survive until the infrastructure is adequately
> repaired to take over for them again.
> Information is arguably the next on the list.  If you know where to go,
> where not to go, and how long you may have to wait you can make informed
> decisions that optimize for your own survival.
> Cutting down on the amount of urgently needed rescue work (and
> decentralizing what's left??) also frees up resources for restoration of
> basic infrastructure.
> ------------>Nathan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) [mailto:len.bullard@i...] 
> Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2005 1:06 PM
> To: Nathan Young (natyoung)
> Cc: XML Developers List
> Subject: RE:  Responding to Katrina (offtopic even if XML is
> part of the soluti on)
> BTW: while we are doing this American issues thread, keep 
> in mind that just a very short time ago, India was struck 
> by floods of equal and massive scale.  What we learn here 
> surely can be applied elsewhere, not the politics, but the 
> technical mitigations.  That is what I dispute: technology 
> can be very helpful.  It costs money.  What can we do to 
> improve that and reduce costs?
> The known risk areas are prioritized and have been.  The New 
> Orleans levees are on that list.  However, a MUCH bigger area 
> than New Orleans was affected.  Bruce may be a security expert 
> but he isn't a public safety expert and that is what you 
> really want to study to determine how this got out of hand.
> I agree that post 9/11 priorities got out of whack and I am 
> in a position to know that.
> I suspect when it is studied hard, the final conclusion 
> will be that even with the best performance possible, this 
> was of such magnitude that even adequate preparation would 
> have fallen short.  
> On the other hand... the comment that caught my eye was 
> "With respect to security and defense: initial hurricane responders fell
> prey to the same problem that impeded 9/11 rescue efforts: failure of
> their
> digital communication systems. Police and fire departments today rely
> heavily on trunked radios. Each mobile radio uses a low-power signal to
> communicate with a network of repeaters, which in turn send traffic
> city-wide via a central computer-controlled station. Trunked radios make
> extremely efficient use of scarce radio spectrum, but when the repeaters
> fail (as in New York) or the central station is flooded (as in New
> Orleans),
> these critical first responders lose all communication. A military-style
> radio system, or even a 20-year-old old-fashioned analog radio, would
> serve
> emergency officials far better in these worst-case situations. They
> should
> be ashamed to not carry such radios as backup.
> Posted by: Daniel Feldman at September 6, 2005 04:53 PM"
> That is something that can be fixed but it will cost.  Note that 
> I mention this one on my blog:  mobile responders are the edge 
> of the network where the work gets done.  It is critically 
> important to have standards for these systems so that when 
> central dispatch is overwhelmed, the failover to other regional systems 
> can interoperate with them.  We can fix this.
> Repeating:  there are issues here that members of the list and 
> our technologies can improve.   No one here can fix the political 
> problems of the US because they are rooted in a culture 
> war that isn't useful, productive, or moral:  it's the politics 
> of distraction.  We let our entire country become what was once 
> attributed to 1960's era Alabama.  We made stupidity chic.
> len (native alabamian)
> From: Nathan Young (natyoung) [mailto:natyoung@c...]
> I remember the national geographic article as well.  I thought about it
> when I heard Katrina was heading towards New Orleans.  In retrospect not
> paying more attention to the levies was a horrible mistake, just like
> not paying more attention to the fact that airplanes filled with fuel
> can be used as bombs when crashed into tall buildings.
> How many known areas of risk are out there right now?  I'm willing to
> bet there are way to many to fix given the amount of money we have (or
> could have even if we re-prioritzed defense w/re disaster preparedness).
> People hate to ask optimization questions where loss of life is one of
> the variables in the equation.  But in the absence of some kind of
> optimization of how we spend disaster preparednes dollars, we're left
> not knowing if we made the right decisions.  
> +-------------+--------------------+
> | Money spent | disaster happened  |
> +-------------+--------------------+
> |     X       |          X         |
> |             |          X         |
> |     X       |                    |
> +-------------+--------------------+
> The first row represents spending everyone can feel good about.  The
> second row looks bad in retrospect (especially to people directly
> effected).  The third row is in danger of looking like wasted money.
> Big money gets spent on addressing big single points of failure.  It may
> be that looking back at what actually killed people in Louisiana, there
> are some quick wins, especially with small individual and distributed
> efforts.
> Bruce Scheier often talks about how to spend on security, when there's
> always multiple points of failure and never truly enough money to go
> around.  His blog article on Katrina is short and mainly makes the point
> that money spent on disaster response benefits no matter what causes the
> disaster.
> http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/09/security_lesson.html
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