The ‘Great ShakeOut’ Earthquake Drill

Go Lean Commentary

At this moment (Thursday October 16), there is a Category 4 Hurricane (Gonzalo) bearing down on a Caribbean member-state (Bermuda), and yet this commentary is focusing on another type of natural disaster: Earthquakes.

January 2010 saw a devastating tremor hit Haiti. The whole world came to a halt – from Haiti’s perspective – the island nation has still not recovered.

Hurricanes. Earthquakes. This is the reality of Caribbean life – we have to contend with natural disasters; some with advanced warnings, some with no warnings at all.

In the past, our region has not done well managing the crisis associated with natural disasters. In fact, this was a motivation for the origination of the book, Go Lean … Caribbean. We do not have the luxury of “sticking our head in the sand” and pretending that there is no problem. Rather, we must prepare.

The foregoing news article/VIDEO is an example of earthquake preparation around the world, but especially in a region (US Eastern Seaboard) that usually do not have to contend with the threat of earthquakes; and yet got a surprising “shake” in August 2011:

Title: Damaged National Cathedral Hosts ‘Great ShakeOut’ Earthquake Drill
By: Alex DeMetrick, General Assignment Reporter

WASHINGTON (WJZ) – There’s nothing like an earthquake to get your attention, and the large quake Maryland felt three years ago is helping to spread the word to prepare for another.

Alex DeMetrick reports it’s all part of the great shakeout campaign.

Earthquake Drill - Photo 1

Depending on where you were three years ago, experiencing a 5.8 magnitude earthquake made an impression.

And you didn’t have to be scrambling out of the Washington Monument.

Maryland rocked all over.

“The Earth’s crust here is old; it’s cold. It transmits energy very effectively. Sort of rings like a bell,” said Dr. David Applegate, U.S. Geological Survey.

And because it could ring again, the Mid-Atlantic region is now part of the Great ShakeOut.

With the National Cathedral as a backdrop, the day is used to promote “drop, cover and hold on” in a quake.

“Something as simple as a book could hurt you, or a bookshelf could hurt, so you don’t want to try and run out, especially in our area here,” said Wendy Phillips, FEMA program specialist.

Bricks and masonry can fall. Thousands of pounds worth fell from the top of the National Cathedral.

“Top of the tower is the absolute worst,” said James Shepherd, director of preservation at the National Cathedral. “So those are the areas that really released the energy. Those are the areas we have the most damage.”

Repairs made the inside safe, although work still continues at the rear of the cathedral.

Just this reinforcement effort has cost $10 million.

Another $22 million will have to be found to strengthen the structure’s flying buttresses.

If it isn’t done, “what that means if there’s an earthquake, the stones move,” Shepherd said.

While repairs may still take years, the cathedral is a reminder the next earthquake could happen any time.

“Absolutely, earthquakes have defied efforts to give a short term prediction, so an earthquake in the east, less frequent, but the shaking can be a real issue over a wide area,” Applegate said.

The Great ShakeOut campaign began in California, and worldwide an estimated 25 million people, including 1 million in the Mid-Atlantic, practiced drop, cover and hold-on drills Thursday.
Baltimore Local CBS Station WJZ Newscast  (Retrieved 10-16-2014) –

CBS Baltimore Video:

The Go Lean book posits that earthquakes are outside of our control and can easily wreak havoc on one Caribbean island after another. This regional threat is due to the active Enriquillo fault-line in the Greater Antilles (Jamaica, Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico) and the Lesser Antilles subduction zone (also known for volcanoes) along the rim of the Eastern Caribbean basin. Already there have been a number of small quakes in a few Caribbean islands for 2014, including Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Martinique, Barbados and others.

So the earthquake threat is real. The foregoing article/VIDEO advocates preparing people in the region to survive quaking and shaking. The Caribbean has to be on guard for danger from seismic activities – we have failed miserably in the past, as in Haiti.

Earthquake Drill - Photo 2A previous blog/commentary asserted that the risk of earthquakes plus the constant threats during the annual hurricane season creates the need for a full-time sentinel to monitor, mitigate and manage the risks of natural disasters in the region. This is the mandate for the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) for the 30 member-states of the Caribbean region. The Go Lean … Caribbean roadmap describes the CU’s prime directives as empowering the region’s economic engines, providing homeland security assurances and preparing/responding the region’s governance for natural disasters.

The point of natural disaster preparation, especially in the era of climate change, is pronounced early in the book with this Declaration of Interdependence (Page 11), with this opening statement:

i.        Whereas the earth’s climate has undeniably changed resulting in more severe tropical weather storms, it is necessary to prepare to insure the safety and security of life, property and systems of commerce in our geographical region. As nature recognizes no borders in the target of its destruction, we also must set aside border considerations in the preparation and response to these weather challenges.

The Go Lean book details the economic principles and community ethos to adopt, plus the executions of the following strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to prepare for the eventuality of earthquakes and hurricanes in Caribbean communities:

Economic Principles – People Respond to Incentives Page 21
Economic Principles – Economic Systems Influence   Individual Choices Page 21
Economic Principles – Consequences of Choices Lie in the   Future Page 21
Community Ethos – “Crap” Happens Page 23
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments (ROI) Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing Page 35
Community Ethos – Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederating 30 Member-states in a Union Page 45
Strategy – Agents of Change – Climate Change Page 57
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Emergency Management   Agency Page 76
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Implementation – Ways to Foster International Aid – Haiti’s   Earthquakes Page 115
Planning – 10 Big Ideas – Homeland Security Pact Page 127
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Improve for Natural Disasters Page 184
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Emergency Management Page 196

This is the change that has come to the region: the Caribbean is accepting that it is undoubtedly an earthquake zone.

There is the need for a regional sentinel to coordinate the preparation for earthquakes among the Caribbean member-states. There is the need for participation in the ‘Great ShakeOut’ Earthquake Drill, as related in the foregoing article and VIDEO, for this year (but its too late) and next year, and henceforth.

Natural disasters are unavoidable in the Caribbean. But we can prepare for them, we can make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play. These elevations are identified, qualified and proposed in the book Go Lean…Caribbean; the mitigations are not just reactive, but also proactive.

All of the Caribbean, the people and institutions, are urged to lean-in to the roadmap from this book – and to “drop, cover and hold-on”.

Download the book Go Lean…Caribbean now!

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