Local Perspectives on Natural Disasters and Infrastructure

By Conklin, Hal; Morris, Kathy et al. | Nation's Cities Weekly, February 14, 1994 | Go to article overview

Local Perspectives on Natural Disasters and Infrastructure


Conklin, Hal, Morris, Kathy, Moore, David, Wennberg, Jeff, Blankenship, Eddie, Penelas, Alexander, Nation's Cities Weekly


Prepare To Keep The Community Together

"...30 seconds of shaking and $7 billion later is the answer to what a major natural disaster can do to a city's infrastructure. When freeways come tumbling down, commerce comes to a halt. There is no planning or heading that's going to pay for immediate infrastructure needs after a disaster strikes. But, a stitch in time, saves 9. Spend money now to lessen what will have to be paid later. And once the disaster is over be prepared to keep the community together, as a community."

--NLC Second Vice President Hal Conklin, mayor, Santa Barbara, Calif.

San Marcos Works At Staying Prepared

"San Marcos works at staying prepared. To respond to emergencies, we have an emergency operations team that is ready to go at the drop of a hat. In order to minimize damage to the community, we have just received voter approval to move forward with a storm drainage master plan to address the issues of flooding. Otherwise, floods cause constant problems as water damage undermines the base materials of streets and causes communities to be out of conformance with EPA standards because of damage done to treatment plants and pipes."

--Mayor Kathy Morris, San Marcos, Tex., chair, NLC Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations Committee.

New Technologies Leave Us Less Vulnerable

"Natural disasters prove that even the best made plans can be interrupted by uncontrollable acts of God. When it comes to preparing cities and towns for the unexpected, like natural disasters, new technologies in telecommunications and transportation infrastructure may leave us less vulnerable. In the meantime, however, traditional forms of infrastructure are still very important and cities must find creative ways to maintain and strengthen those systems."

--Councilmember David Moore, Beaumont, Tex., chair, NLC Transportation and Communications Committee.

Natural Disaster Elevates Infrastructure

"Nothing puts infrastructure at the top of the public agenda more quickly than a natural disaster. …

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