Monday, January 08, 2007

Columbus prepared for disaster says Homeland Security

I was reading an article the other day about a study conducted by the Homeland Security Department on disaster preparedness that made no sense. The study found that only six of 75 metropolitan areas were adequately ready to handle a disaster. The top four cities were:

Washington, D.C
San Diego
Minneapolis-St. Paul
Columbus, Ohio.

Most of the areas named make sense – D.C. has to be ready because of government security and San Diego could be swallowed by the earth at any given time but Columbus? Columbus, Ohio? It made no sense: how is Columbus prepared for a disaster and why? Then I read on and the article states the following:

In an overview, the report said all 75 areas surveyed have policies in place for helping their emergency workers communicate. But it cautioned that regular testing and exercises are needed "to effectively link disparate systems."

Then I read this article: Columbus prepares for rowdy behavior post title game.

The city will ban parking, empty trash bins and place undercover police officers in neighborhoods around Ohio State University to dissuade rowdy fan behavior following Monday night's national championship game, officials said Thursday.

The measures are similar to the plan the city used to minimize problems when the Buckeyes beat rival Michigan in Columbus on Nov. 18. Police arrested nearly 40 people and dozens of fires were set in student neighborhoods, but authorities reported a relatively smooth night and Ohio State President Karen Holbrook said she was generally pleased with the post-game celebrations.

Then it dawned on me: Columbus gets to “test” and “exercise” their disaster handling every home game on the Buckeye’s schedule. Six days out of the year, and in this year’s case – seven thanks to the championship game, the Columbus emergency response and police force get to practice coordinating efforts while they stop the notorious jackass behavior of Buckeye fans. Now it all makes sense to me – completely rowdy and uncontrollable fan base equals the ability to handle any disaster thrown at the emergency response units. If the government is looking for ways to train the disaster response teams of other metropolitan areas, they just need to visit Columbus on a home Saturday.


You stay classy Columbus!

2 comments:

SWMichigan said...

Hahaha, brilliant. It makes perfect sense. But why Minneapolis?

Galen said...

SWMichigan,

Good question... Popular Science named Minne the top "Tech" city, perhaps all the computer geeks need to protect their Wi-Fi Hotspots?

Just a guess.