Preparing for the Big One – Lessons from Katrina
California is a veritable “seismic time bomb,” with high probabilities of a large earthquake happening in San Francisco and Los Angeles within the next 30 years. This article questions whether or not we are ready, in light of the response to the Katrina disaster in New Orleans. The state has spent billions to upgrade most of its overpasses, and has retrofitted many of its schools. But there hasn’t been enough money for everything. A 2002 inventory by the state architect’s office found 2,100 of the 9,600 schools surveyed are “not guaranteed” to hold up in future earthquakes. Many hospitals are in financial distress and don’t have the funds to complete needed retrofits.
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