Would You Recommend Moving There?
By Lee Richards
You need to be where opportunities exist, or where you are able. But, would you otherwise recommend moving there (wherever there may be for you) or remaining there given the means and chance to do make a different choice? Would you make such a recommendation if it appears that city leaders, planners, and contracted civil engineers regularly:
- ignore the status of necessary natural resources (e.g., water).
ignore historical floodplains data.
ignore historical weather patterns (particularly catastrophic).
ignore historical fire patterns.
ignore geological and topographical data in relation to the type and volume of construction being considered.
ignore coastline erosion histories.
allow infrastructure to decay into states of disrepair and notably suboptimal function, including local streets, bridges, dams, highways and similar structures.
allow excessive subterranean water removal, as well as unfavorably voluminous, commercial extraction and diversion of natural resources.
construct infrastructure without honest representation of costs for future maintenance.
permit commercial and residential construction, and sales, based upon invalid presumptions, as well as inadequately comprehensive, if not falsified data.
engage foreign contractors and/or insufficiently qualified organizations under the guise of cost-savings.
have insufficient, if any, plans for managing catastrophic events.
But, you moved (or stayed) there anyway. Then come the storms, the floods, the fires, the roadway collapses, and all other adverse events. How shall you respond if local public servants are too few and too inadequately resourced? What if the insurers cannot be found in a timely manner? The previously hostile non-believers are now looking for help from churches. And, behold, the media and numerous internet trolls percolate through the quagmire demonstrating the audacity to allege that those involved in rescue and recovery efforts started late, are not working fast enough, are not delivering services of the type they would suggest, and in their preferred manner, are delivering assistance with insufficient investment, and possibly not dressed in a manner that they believe to be aesthetically desirable to rescue fashionistas. Exactly where do these media and internet trolls get their social emergency management training so as to afford them such ability to be so critical?
As people as busy casting aspersions, where are those mayors, city council members, engineers, contractors, Realtors, investors, investigative reporters, and others who should be taking responsibility for answering the following questions:
- Why did you let them build it in this manner or not ask more questions prior to construction?
Why did you build it?
Why did you not account for the risks?
What were your locally funded incident mitigation plans, with implementation not requiring distant, or federal intervention?
Why did your cities not insure against the risks?
Even if your cities insured against the risks, why do the policies not have riders for the individual, personal losses? You put your citizens at risk, why not cover them?
You didn’t confer with the rest of the country regarding your suboptimal development, maintenance, and emergency management plans. And, those who were aware of them thought they were short-sighted, misdirected and often risky at best. Although many of your distant neighbors are extraordinarily caring and generous, should they make your recovery the priority in their lives?
Noting the Three Little Pigs story, should the two sibling pigs who built their homes of straw and sticks complain to and about their brother who built his house of bricks? He was not their mayor, community adviser, contractor, Realtor, nor leader of their households. They moved where building codes allowed for inadequate construction. He probably counseled them in support of reconsideration regarding living there, to no avail. But, still their very generous brother, he helped them anyway.
We are simply a group of professionals living in a number of locations around the country. We all face the challenges of assuring optimal growth and maintenance of our local communities, while offering opinion where we can about better or poorer resources management elsewhere. As a nation, if your “house of straw and sticks” is blown down, it is likely that we will get to pay for it.
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