"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

July 16, 2006

I think this is one of those good-news bad-news issues:

Press Release of Senator Boxer

Senate Passes Boxer Amendment Requiring FEMA To Outline Federal Earthquake Response Plans - Thursday, July 13, 2006

Washington, D.C. – The Senate passed an amendment by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today that would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency to submit a report outlining federal earthquake response plans in preparation for major earthquakes.

Boxer said, “Experts predict that a major California earthquake could happen along the southern end of the San Andreas fault at any time, which could cause catastrophic devastation. Despite the hard lessons we learned from Hurricane Katrina, the federal government remains frighteningly unprepared to respond to a major earthquake.”

Boxer’s amendment requires the Director of FEMA to submit a report to the Senate Appropriations Committee outlining the federal earthquake response plans for high risk earthquake regions. FEMA must submit the report within 90 days of this legislation being signed into law.

Currently, FEMA has not released a specific plan for how they would respond to a major California earthquake. Boxer has previously requested the response plan in numerous letters to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. The Department responded with a copy of the National Response Plan, which is a generic response plan for natural disasters and terrorist attacks in the United States, and a comprehensive review of disaster planning generally in California, not a specific plan for coping with the immediate aftermath of an earthquake.

Experts have recently predicted that the southern end of the San Andreas fault is under enormous pressure that could result in a magnitude 7.5 to 8 earthquake at any time.

It's great that Sen. Boxer is putting FEMA on notice that they need to start doing their job. It's unnerving knowing that there is a chance of a huge earthquake in my neighborhood. (Thanks, Ulla, for the heads-up.)

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