Doug Bedell — May 27, 2011, 10:20 am

Sometimes, Ultimates Strike

The tornado that ravaged Joplin, Missouri, prompts Mark Chubb to recall another F5 storm that he experienced in Xenia, Ohio, in 1974. (There were 148 twisters in the Midwest that year.) On this Memorial Day weekend, it’s fitting to ponder how nature can be an ultimate security challenge.

“A clear-eyed assessment of these risks.” Chubb writes, “just might encourage people to invest in the institutions, develop the dispositions and reinforce the relationships that will allow them to respond with resilience when disaster strikes rather than relying on the planners and preachers who spend so much of their time extolling the virtues of preparedness that they have neither the time nor the inclination to come to the rescue.

“The skills and sensibilities emergency managers need for this work,” Chubb adds, “emphasize asking the right questions, not supplying prepackaged answers. Inevitably, the communities that come back better have taken the time to get the questions right before they start implementing the answers.” That holds for individual facilities, too.

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