Thursday, Sept. 01, 2005 - 12:47 a.m.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Cats, Dogs and Floodplains
OK, the Katrina rain has stopped here completely. I rather miss it. Really it was soothing and cool and nice like those fountains they put in the corner of the room to calm you. Good for the garden.
People have been sending me links, as is wont to happen.
This one is very good... it is a rescue agency for animals in disasters called Noah's Wish... sort of the fauna version of the Red Cross. Take a look at it.
There is a lot of information there about preparing for yourself and your animals in the case of disaster. One of course doesn't think of these things until one's house needs to be evacuated.
You might want to read the information on the animals you own in this list.
Here is a site to buy Evacpacs... basically emergency evacuation bags for raptors (!!) cats, other small animals that could freak out in an evacuation situation (ie rabbits), bite, scratch and basically escape you, to their great peril. Very cool. Keep a couple with photos of the animals, vet innoculation info (so that people will admit them to a shelter), food, water, leash, id tags for your temporary refuge address etc...
The whole shebang on preparing an animal-specific emergency evacuation kit.
And call Noah's Wish if you have a disaster in your area where animals need to be saved or cared for.
That is so so so sad. So incredibly sad.
Here is a quote from that article:
Now there was some mention yesterday of the dangers of building in disaster-prone zones, and The Pumpkin Queen said this in my comments:
i do agree that it's insane to build in tornado/hurricane alley, on fault lines, on mountainsides, in flood plains, etc. but in defence of that insanity, is there really anywhere to build that isn't vulnerable to some kind of insane disasters? even here in relatively safe canada, we still get floods and sinkholes and washouts and forest fires and ice storms and tornadoes and sometimes earthquakes.
Is there really anywhere to build that isn't vulnerable to some kind of insane disasters?
Well, actually, most of the world is not prone to insane disasters, or if there are insane disasters, there are safe or safer spots.
My father has a master's degree in urban planning and believe me I lived his thesis on the effects of clay soils in the lake basin that is my hometown. They suck up water and expand, and dry out and contract, and as a result, they basically break apart anything manmade on them. Roads, water systems, sewer lines, building foundations. And because clay tends to have runoff rather than drain in summer thundershowers,AND it is flat (it's a lake bottom for god's sake): flooding problems.
Oh my oh my, we say, but whatever could we do??
Gravel. Yes, what they use to put under roads to create stable solid roadbeds. Gravel. Doesn't expand or contract. Drains beautifully, besides the deposits made the land bad for farming of any type, AND make the land higher than the lakebottom so no flooding.
My father's solution? Moratorium on development in the city, all suburbs built on the gravel 10 miles north of the city. Basically a ten minute drive. As much as people were used to driving to get from the suburbs already. Nope. That would take RADICAL PLANNING.
So every year, basements a year old form inch wide cracks and flood. Roads need constant repair. Sewer lines crack. Insurance is costly, infrastructure is costly for the city. But oh woe, whatever could be done?!!!
Tornados tend to go through the exact same corridors year after year since they form depending on relatively predicable weatherpatterns and geographic features of the earth. They follow the earth's rotation and go in predicable directions. Being only a few miles one way or the other of a really common tornado corridor will make a huge difference.
Same with earthquakes. Predictable fault lines. The worst could be NOT built on. The difference between building a skyscraper ON a fault line, or ten miles away is a lot.
Mudslides and flood plains... building on the bottom of valleys instead of shelted sides of hills causes disasters that are totally forseeable. Building on the edge of the coastline for the view (property values property values) instead of a quarter mile back means every time the edge erodes into the ocean, million dollar properties are lost.
Building huge hotels and cities along the shoreline in areas prone to hurricanes rather than leaving a belt between the shore and the actual city means that damage is maximised. We all want to see the sea out our front window, walk to the beach. And then are boggled when the ocean carries us away.
Building in below sea-level depressions. Instead of putting a moratorium on development there and insisting it take place on only above sea-level land. New Orleans wasn't wiped out by the actual hurricane. It was wiped out a day later by lake water flooding in.
Really, it is all about convenience, human desire to be where the action is, where it is beautiful and cool etc, the natural propensity to keep expanding wherever people naturally settled hundreds of years ago, when they had no water systems so had to be next to running water, when they had no cars or trains so they had to be next to the ports, when it made sense not to travel for an hour to work (now people travel an hour to work even WHEN they live in a disaster prone geographical region... having put a moratorium on further development in the old historical city and have them drive from homes in a satellite city inland and on dry ground really wouldn't change the driving distance much these days.
No, there will always be natural disasters. But we know enough to logically plan to have our primary building in areas where the impact of said disasters would be minimized. And we don't do it. We do the opposite. Spend billions on fancy engineering projects to allow us to keep water out of natural floodbasins, allow us to build 100 floor buildings on earthquake epicenters, put houses on stilts hanging over seacliffs etc, and then we are surprised that they fall down go boom when normally bad weather boffs them one.
It is not neglecting to pray to the god of your choice that punishes us with disasters, it is neglecting to use the brains and foresight the god of your choice gave us to put the valuables away on a dry top shelf instead of putting them on the basement floor next to the floordrain and the washingmachine.
ps, I also agree with the Pumpkin Queen that the idiocy of those who neglected to use the brains and foresight that the god of their choice gave them, and willfully ignored the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans is really really sad as well. If someone says to evacuate a huge bloody historical major city, it probably is for a damn good reason.
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Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
*inspired by Chaosdaily