American Leadership Abroad is Fine But We Need Levees and Good Evacuation Programs

Mitigation has been dropped as a tool in America’s arsenal to defend against the most common attacks facing our communities.  Sure we do a good job at protecting ourselves against foreign invasions but if we really looked at the most effective enemy we have we aren’t doing so well. If a foreign invader destroyed as many homes and lives as preventable disasters have done this year alone we would throw out of office most elected officials.  All over this country the ravages of natural disasters destroy more property and kill more American people than all our wars and yet we seem to have lost our focus on where the fight should be.

We have thousands of levees that are ill-equipped to withstand the forces of nature and they sit silently waiting for their weaknesses to be exposed to the public at large.  Most local and State governments know these levees are vulnerable and yet there is no plan to fix them, and they don’t want you to know that. We focus on our boarders to keep illegal immigrants out and we should do that.  The destruction of our property from preventable disasters and emergencies destroy so much more each year than the forces of illegal immigrants.

The point is that we need to rebuild America and protect our collective investments.  Mitigation and prevention needs to be bought back to the forefront of our discussions.  With global warming and rising tides and water levels we will see far more destructive events if we don’t take appropriate action.  We saw Katrina destroy whole communities because of levees we knew were faulty. We question people because they live on the coasts that are vulnerable to storm surge.  But we don’t pay attention to the large problem of dams and levees that are failing all over this country that will do far more damage than the winds of the hurricanes.

Most people do not know that they live in a flood inundation zone as a result of a catastrophic collapse of a dam or levees.  The politics of flood plain management is so murky because if the truth were known many houses would lose value, so politicians hope that the events that are sure to come don’t happen during their terms. The American people are right to call for the end of wars and to turn our attention to nation building right here in the Untied States. Corporations don’t want us to retreat from global leadership and it sounds good.  At the same time American families are being left in devastating situations and we as a nation could prevent future occurrences of disasters if we just took a break from dominating other countries and dominated the forces that attack our nation everyday. The next devastating attack won’t come from over seas it will come from a dam or a levees destroying thousands of lives and homes.

Politicians have figured out that if we evacuate and keep deaths low the focus will fade from real causes of the devastation that could have been prevented.  That is why we are improving our evacuation but not preventing these events that are preventable. If we are not going to build up our levees we need better evacuation plans.

If you need preparedness training or would like to have a preparedness discussion for your employees checkout my website and contact me via email at


About managingemergencies

I am a professional consultant with 30 years of experience in managing emergencies. My background and skills gave me the foundation to start Systems Emergency Preparedness Consultants. If you need preparedness training or would like to have a preparedness discussion for your employees contact me via email at I held various positions in the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department until I retired in 2007. As a emergency planner and trainer in the Prince George's County Office of Homeland Security I planned exercises and training for government agencies and citizens groups. I was appointed Fire Chief of the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department in 2009. I started Systems Emergency Preparedness Consultants in June of that year. I had the opportunity to become the Assistant Fire Chief - Operations of the District of Columbia Fire/EMS Department and served for a year as the Interim Fire Chief. I am a trained mediator, mediator team leader and trainer. I also served as the Fire/EMS Department Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.
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