November 7, 2005

A Real Asset For Disaster Response

In the aftermath of the disasterous wave of hurricanes we were recently slammed by, acts of nature that turned thousands of U.S. citizens into “refugees” of a kind as they flooded cities and destroyed homes, there is still much recrimination from both sides of the political spectrum as to who was to blame for what has been termed an “inadequate response.”

Face it, no matter how much a government plans for natural disasters, until one comes down on us with a vengeance as Katrina and her siblings did, we really cannot know whether those untested rescue and relief measures we have planned are going to be adequate to the task.

Now our response system has indeed been tested and found wanting, and we know more — ain’t hindsight wonderful — about how bad things can get and what we need in the event of another “worst case scenario.”

So what happens now? Do a bunch of politicians sit around and do what they do best, which is jaw the subject around for a few months{before and after the coming congressional recess — boy, I’ll bet a lot of working Americans wish they could enjoy the lengthy holiday vacation Members of Congress are entitled to} — and then produce some wordy page of legalese only an attorney can understand, full of doubletalk, pontification and little else?

Or will they look here?

So, you want to see what these old girls will be able to do? Here’s a list of only a few things we can provide during a Coastal State disaster (such as flooding or a hurricane)

—-Service a disaster area of up to 10,000 square miles (up to 100 miles inland) with minimal (if any) outside support

—-Provide complete berthing facilities for up to 400 emergency responders “on scene” at a disaster site

—-Fully integrated communications system serving all local, state, and federal agencies, as well as cell phone coverage and military band frequencies–allowing for seamless communications between all disaster scene personnel, no matter what radio frequency or cell phone is being used.

—-Daily provide 110 tons of bagged and palletized ice to the disaster region

—-Daily generate, bottle, and palletize up to 50,000 gallons of fresh water

—-Provide refueling station and loading platform for helicopters operating in the disaster area

—-Carry over 7,000 tons of food and supplies for a disaster area

—-Store (and provide delivery of) 700,000 gallons of diesel, gasoline, and aviation fuel for use in the disaster area on emergency vehicles and critical needs generators (hospitals, emergency operation centers, etc)

We now have the opportunity to add a couple of these eminently mega-useful ships to our disaster response effort, but in order for this to take place, Congress must give it a thumbs up. Congress will only be available for another two weeks before their next session opens in 2006.

So there is a rush on this, and all of us can be instrumental, with a simple email or telephone call, in making it happen.

Below are those to contact:

Senator Cochran, (R-MS) (Chairman of Appropriations)
Phone: (202) 224-5054
Internet Contact Form

Senator DeWine, (R-OH)
Phone: (202) 224-2315
Fax: (202) 224-6519
Becky Watts has the legislation for his office
Internet Contact Form

Senator Shelby, (R-AL)
Phone: (202) 224-5744
Fax: (202) 224-3416
Ryan Welch has the legislation for his office

Senator Sessions, (R-AL)
Phone: (202) 224-4124
Fax: (202) 224-3149
Stephen Boyd has the legislation for his office
Internet Contact Form

For further information and links to other sites posting on this, please visit Phin’s Blog.

by @ 12:01 pm. Filed under Homeland Security
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