- Posted October 31, 2012 by
Des Moines, Iowa
This iReport is part of an assignment:
'Superstorm' Sandy: Your stories
Looking for Answers?
First of all, Can they rebuild neighborhoods in such a way that they solve a few problems at the same time? The following are a few ideas to consider.
1) Can new structures be at least 2 stories tall in place of severely damaged homes or business? These new buildings could become multi-use facilities, which may include a business, place of residence, or even classrooms. Its fixtures must be designed and portable to be moved up one story whenever necessary. This way the first story could allow room for future flooding.
2) Rebuild with advanced weather insulated windows, roofing and doors, to decrease energy waste in buildings. They say the best way we can reduce our dependency to foreign oil is by way of conserving energy. The more we can conserve energy, the lower the output of carbons into the air. Thus may help decrease this darn climate change and storms like Sandy.
3) Redesign neighborhoods into walkable self-sustainable neighborhoods. If you rebuild these structures into multi-story multiuse buildings, you are more likely to accomplish this. People currently drive many miles to get to work in the Northeast. They may drive many miles to buy groceries, prescriptions and other stuff. The more we drive, the more pollution we produce. This added pollution may be the cause of producing this massive storm. If we can simply walk to everything we need, you accomplish 4 things.
a) You decrease our dependence on foreign oil.
b) You decrease health care costs by people walking more.
c) You decrease everyone's gas costs.
d) You decrease pollution; thus climate change.
4) The first floor of these newly built buildings may include satellite offices to major businesses, a small retail store, or even rental apartments. This way, we may not only offer new space so people will not have to commute so far; they can buy emergency supplies being offered by these new retail stores. Whenever a severe storm watch is issued, they could pre-position these supplies to these new small retail stores.
Secondly, Can there be new disaster watch captains be appointed in every neighborhood? We currently have so called neighborhood watch captains in many neighborhoods. There is this thing called economy of scale; where you will find synergy by a few people working together to solve problems. It is obvious one must plan ahead so to not find empty store shelves for emergency supplies. This is especially true to purchase generators. Would it be more efficient for disaster captions to purchase much larger generators? These could power a few homes at a time?
Perhaps, some kind of neighborhood grant could be given to disaster street captains to pre-stock these larger generators. These items could be stocked in city storages.
The same could be true for other emergency equipment so to get ready for future disasters. These may include large snow removal and chainsaws, as examples.
Can these neighborhood disaster captions perform other tasks before a severe storm warning is issued? These warnings may include announcements for approaching ice storms and hurricanes, as examples.
These captions could then check up on neighbors to see if they are prepared for these storms. They could help deliver emergency supplies to these neighbors if need be. These neighbors may include for those who are unable to do so, like the elderly.
Perhaps the supplies may be the several gallons of water, the 7 days of prescriptions and several cans of food. They should change the food stamps ruling and other grants subsidies so people may buy emergency supplies like these ahead of time.
People could enter their addresses on the Red Cross website. Then indicate if they wish to be a neighborhood disaster caption. Then this website will produce a list of everyone on their street. And it will indicate the disaster captions there on that street.
Third, there ought to be regional emergency drills for these neighborhood disaster captions to participate in. These drills will help these captions to prepare for future disasters. Perhaps they could be taught to check up on neighbors, set up large generators and deliver supplies for people. They could be taught on how to check out emergency equipment from city storage. These items include the chainsaws, large generators and large snow removal equipment.
As they say, you cannot change the weather; however you may change how you react to it. Can they rebuild in such a way that they solve a few problems at the same time? Can they organize and appoint new neighborhood disaster street captions? Can we pre-purchase and pre-stock emergency supplies for future disasters, like mentioned above?