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Response to NorCal 's Massive Wildfires Needs Evaluation -- Without Delay

The Northern California wildfire devastation is nearly impossible to comprehend unless you lived through it, which we have not had to do in Sacramento. But the disaster has touched everyone no matter where they live, and citizens now have opportunities -- if not an outright obligation -- to do what we can in response. Monetary donations are perhaps the easiest, but each of us can also dig deep to see what we can contribute from our own experiences and backgrounds.

No response system is immune from improvement, and the death toll from these wildfires -- now at 41 and rising -- demands a rethinking of how our elected and appointed officials responded to this emergency. Subjects in need of a thorough review include:
* Emergency notification systems; the Sacramento Bee today delves into what worked and what didn't
* Optimal positioning of fire-fighting assets once hurricane-strength winds are forecast and fires break out;
* Many more....

I started this Citizens Helping Officials Respond to Emergencies (CHORE) blog after the 2006 earthquakes off the coast of Hawaii's Big Island -- 11 years ago today on Sunday, October 15, 2006. My "Your CHORE" blog detailed the inadequacy of the response, and it's now time for citizens to take up this new chore. Please read the first post from 2006 here at Your CHORE and contribute your thoughts by leaving a Comment.

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CHORE’S goal has always been improved emergency communications, and its recommendations stem from the writer’s personal experience as a five-decade communicator. We’ve written here and elsewhere on communications failures during and after tsunamis, earthquakes, and wildfires and have used Lessons Learned to propose improvements.
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“The high death toll of the Camp Fire is in large part due to people failing to learn of the danger and quickly evacuate. Several burned in their cars.”
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This is Your CHORE if You Choose to Accept It

CHORE stands for the title of this new blog: 
 Citizens Helping Officials Respond to Emergencies.

Specifically, the focus is helping officials in Hawaii respond to emergencies such as the one we just had -- the two earthquakes (6.7 and 6.0 on the scale) that struck the islands on Sunday, October 15, 2006.

"Help" is the operable concept. I get the feeling -- based on news coverage of officialdom's emergency response -- that some good old-fashioned idea mongering and suggestions might help improve communications to our population during and after emergencies.

You be the judge after reading this report in The Honolulu Advertiser today, headlined: "Debate begins on delay of news"

My reaction to that story is that our Civil Defense officials, elected government leaders and broadcast media need to communicate more, not less. Comments by officials in this story suggest a mindset to not tell the population too much for fear the messages might be misunderstood.

My thoughts…