Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11 Aftermath: No DC Evacuation Plan or Communications Upgrade for US

There are many images from Sept. 11, 2001, but other than the attacks themselves none was as scary as the daylong traffic jam in Washington, D.C. that horrible day.

No one could get out of the nation's capital as the roads were clogged all day long, and sadly there still remains no workable evacuation plan for Washington 10 years later.

Last month a wimpy earthquake by California standards struck the MidAtlantic and in Washington the roads to Maryland and Virginia were clogged for hours after the ground shook for five seconds.

When reporters inquired about the traffic jams after the earthquake and asked "What if?" questions, local and federal authorities revealed plans that called for pitching giant canvas tents in the event of another spectacular attack or incident.

Does canvas deflect radiation, biology or chemistry?

New York City is in the same boat.

Equally troubling is that due to intense lobbying from the communications industry little has been done in the past decade to open up communications spectrums that ensure police and firefighters absolutely will be able to contact each other. The calls will not go through the next time something goes boom, particularly in Manhattan's manmade canyons.

It matters that people cannot escape or first responders cannot communicate, because as experts sadly note, terrorism (along with acts of God like earthquakes and floods) is here to stay.

"You cannot defeat terrorism... It's part of our lives," said uber-diplomat Richard Haass, president of the non-partisan Council on Foreign Relations.

"Ten years after 9/11, terrorism is part of the fabric," Haass told MSNBC this morning. "We cannot eliminate it; wars in Iraq, wars in Afghanistan will not do that."

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