Iatse local 798

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Preparing our cities for coming global upheavals (climatic, societal, man made and natural catastrophes) by neighborhoods, by city blocks.

In recent weeks, we've experienced a preview of what our world is heading to. Revolution in the Arab world, unimaginable destruction in Japan, climate change...that will greatly affect our future life in this planet.
We believe that fire drills are important and effective, yet we don't apply this common sense idea to a larger scope which is our cities, neighborhoods, city blocks, streets, homes, individuals. We have no coherent plans to prepare these sections of society to many unforeseen catastrophes.
My idea is to create very local responses to major upheavals and catastrophes by organizing each city blocks where residents are responsible for protecting their blocks and where many will be trained to be first responders rather than just wait for help ( that may take days or weeks) to arrive. We can organize food, water, and energy saving and sharing schemes that will sustain our individual blocks until outside help arrives. If these societal saving drills are implemented and become a part of our everyday lives, it may greatly improve our chances in surviving major disasters.

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    Apr 16 2011: I understand what you are getting at and I agree that more needs to be done in tectonicly active regions of the world. however, having been working on city mall during the christchurch earthquake I can illustrate one problem coming from my personal experience. Fire drills as you say, are easy to practice for. drills after drills from a young age, and we all know what to do. The problem with a natural catastrophe, especially those of a high mangniture and level of destruction, you simply can not prepare yourself. ok, you know where the exits are are registers can be taken etc.. but the underlining factor is, it is almost impossible to organise when uncontrollable fear takes over every single person. for example, we was advised to stay in our structurally sound building but as staff had children at near by school, they ran straight for the exits. its mayhem and human fear and emotion makes organisation extremely difficult indeed.

    also, in japan, as it is fully aware of it's violent tectonic conditions, they do have drills in work places, schools and on sites. the children know to dive under their school desk and where to evacuate to. it is however impossible to prepare for the tsunami that followed the recent monsterous quake.

    so yes, more can and should be done but there are limits to how much difference it can make in the grand scheme of things.
  • Apr 13 2011: Sounds great. Got any suggestions for what should be done? I'd like to read them, think on them, and respond.

    One thing that came to my mind while reading your proposal is that.. if people in these cities and suburban areas understood the danger they were in, they would be making the changes necessary to avoid the upheavals in the first place. They would be growing their own food, producing their own electricity through sustainable/clean methods, and reconnecting with their immediate community. You don't see this happening in large scale yet because people are convinced that everything is fine. "Business as usual".

    I think it will take a hard hit at home to shake the majority of Americans out of their dreamy slumber.

    I'm preparing for the food crisis by working at an organic farm. I'm going to learn to grow my own food, and I plan on offering a gardening service next spring and summer to people in the suburban sprawl where my parents currently live. Since I have never lived in the city, I don't know what it would take for people to survive there. I don't know what changes people need to make specifically, in regards to growing food locally and producing energy locally.

    People in the cities have to figure that out for themselves. I think that's the message, really. We have to work with our immediate community to create a better life for ourselves.