Missouri Uses Katrina Lessons to Prepare
Missouri's department of public safety is taking a second look at the New Madrid fault. Response time is everything! The state is using lessons from the recent past to keep Missouri's future safe.
Missouri Department of Public Safety director Mark James says an earthquake along the New Madrid fault line could be a catastrophe that would be as large and devastating as Hurricane Katrina.
It's a grim thought, but it's getting lots of attention as Missouri leaders met Friday to begin planning for the worst.
"We can't just be there waiting on the sidelines to fulfill requests coming from the local authorities. If the infrastructure can't even make known what their needs are, the state and federal authorities need to have anticipated what the demands and needs would be and be ready to enact them," said Mark James Director of Public Safety.
This group calls the meeting a 'self-critique.' Each of the agencies identified parts of Missouri's current all-hazard plan that they felt needed an update.
New ideas for better emergency communication came from lessons learned from Missouri's part in helping hurricane victims.
"The National Guard was able to respond in timely fashion with 47,000 soldiers to the gulf region, 2,000 of which came from Missouri. That, I think, speaks well for what we're going to be able to in the event that you would have to face an emergency of the magnitude of the New Madrid fault," said General King Sidewell of Missouri National Guard.
The group will meet again early 2006 to measure its progress and what still needs to be done.
That group consisted of the state fire marshal, the chief of the capital police, the Highway Patrol, SEMA, the Water Patrol, and the National Guard.