Thursday, August 31, 2006

Planning, Before and After

WASHINGTON - The government doesn't have plans for treating people downwind from a nuclear attack for radiation exposure, a report released Thursday concludes.

The study by the Physicians for Social Responsibility also faults the Homeland Security Department for lacking communication plans to tell the public whether to evacuate or take shelter where they are after a nuclear blast.

A Homeland Security Department spokesman said the government has focused on preventing nuclear attacks and that the report "seems to lack a grasp of reality."

This actually doesn't bother me too much.

While planning for the aftermath of a disaster is important, I have always been critical of situations where more planning is done in dealing with the aftermath than in preventing the crisis in the first place. That the government has worked more on prevention is, in my opinion, far more responsible.

For two years while I was in high school, the school instituted a policy where photo ID badges were worn around the neck. This was instituted shortly after the massacre at the Columbine high school.

What was the reasoning from our school board and administrators? Was this policy going to protect students? Were people without badges to be promptly removed from the building? No, according to them, the badges were so that, in case someone did come in and start shooting up students, the bodies could be identified as quickly as possible.

Yes, that is exactly what they told us.

I don't need to say how stupid that is. Suffice it to say, I much prefer when crisis is averted rather than handled well.

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