Palo Alto to hold 'disaster fair' Saturday

How well Palo Altans survive and recover from a natural or man-made disaster will depend on how prepared they are — in big and many little ways — as individuals, families and businesses.

That is the core message of a free community disaster-prepaaredness fair Saturday (April 5), 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cubberley Community Center auditorium, 4000 Middlefield Road.

"All elements of the community will need to come together following a disaster," Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce CEO Sandra Lonnquist said.

"This event will help connect members of the public with both government and the private sector resources in order to build a strong and more resilient community."

The fair is sponsored by the City of Palo Alto and the Chamber of Commerce.

-- Don Kazak


Like this comment
Posted by William
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 1, 2008 at 5:16 pm

> "All elements of the community will need to come
> together following a disaster," Palo Alto Chamber of
> Commerce CEO Sandra Lonnquist said. "This event will
> help connect members of the public with both government
> and the private sector resources in order to build a strong
> and more resilient community."

It would be really nice of some of these so-called "leaders" had actually been in a disaster and could provide some evidence of knowing what they are talking about. Suppose a nuclear bomb hits the Silicon Valley .. what will be left of Palo Alto? Or what about a bio-attack.. that kills off 60%-70% of Palo Alto within a week. Will there be quarantines, or will the survivors look for some other less lethal place to be?

And then there is the matter of utilities and communications. In their little dream worlds--will there be electricity and telephones? Will the cell phones work? Will there be gasoline to power any kind of equipment?

During a big hurricane on the east coast a few years ago the power grid and the telephone grid for one of the Central Atlantic states were complete destroyed by the winds. It took over a month for all of the electrical and telephone infrastructure to be replaced.

It is doubtful that people would stay in town if only Palo Alto were hit with a "disaster". Particularly if water, gas, electricity and telephones were all down.

One of the problems on the East Coast after a big hurricane is price gouging for needed commodities, such as chain saws, gasoline, water and food. Think the Chamber of Commerce will be taking a pledge to not price gouge during a Palo Alto disaster? Don't bet on it.

Too many people with too much time on their hands.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2008 at 7:40 am

Whereas I agree that a disaster preparedness plan and fair is a good idea, there is an underlying problem in this idea.

In the time of emergency, life as we know it would stop for several days as coping with the emergency would be paramount. However, in the event of a fair, most people still have other things going on in their lives that prevent their attendance or even their priority of thinking about such things in light of work, school, health, sport, events that have to be dealt with first. Even in the time of an emergency, the likelihood that the majority of Palo Altans would be at home with their complete family surrounding them is unlikely, even if it happened in the middle of the night.

Therefore, although emergency preparedness is crucial for a community, it is unfortunately going to be up to the few who are prepared to take on this form of civil leadership, to be the ones who are most prepared to take on that role.

Like this comment
Posted by I'm Ready
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Apr 2, 2008 at 7:53 am

Wow what an assumption "Civil Leadership" in a disaster.

What is more likely is anarchy and actions closer to mine, mine, mine. Some what a derivative of what we have everyday in Palo Alto: me, me, me.

These fairs are for the peddling of over priced items that can be purchased for less at Home Depot.

Like this comment
Posted by a long time resident
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 4, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Probably the biggest disaster that is predictable is the flooding of the "Flood Zone" property/houses in the city.
I wonder why this is never mentioned.

Putting up signs along roads showing the potential depth of flood water seems like a logical and low cost way of notifying people what will happen if flooding does occurr.

Also advising those who live where the water will be over waist deep to get a rubber boat or two seems logical.

People who rent probably don't even know they live in a flood zone or area that can and probably will flood as it has several times in the not to distance past.

Also of interest is that only one and maybe none Police or Firemen live in Palo Alto. In a big area wide disaster many or all may go home to take care of their family. We should mandate a certain percentage of them live in the city. The more the better as they would be actually a part of the community and care more for it.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2008 at 7:32 am

Long Time

Whereas I agree with you in your thinking of police and firefighters living in the town where they work as having many advantages in a time of emergency, I think you will find that many police (if not firefighters) do prefer to work in a different city from where they live. Their primary reason is that it is a protection for their family and their personal lives. How do you think they would feel if they have the child of one of the people they have just given a speeding ticket to (or worse) be on their child's sports team or someone they have interviewed as a suspect in a crime standing in line behind him and his wife in the local grocery store. Police and firefighters also think that working at a distance from their home means that in a localised emergency their home and family are not affected so that they can concentrate on doing their job without having to worry about their family.

As with all decisions, there is a plus and a minus with the various options and each person has to weigh them up for themselves. I think that putting any kind of mandate or incentive to make these decisions for them is unwise as it may just work against us in the end.

Like this comment
Posted by Fireman
a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2008 at 9:34 am

All you are putting the cart in front of the Horse.. The leaders of the DEPARTMENT have conned you like all other CPA SERVICES..

These services are on paper only... example.. We have many ,many times used Emergency Equipment that does not work. Correctly of Fully..

NOT SAFE,,,, on a good day!!!

Fire Engines that have no working pumps,missing equipment, Ladder trucks with no working
elevating ladder.
I have had to use a 4x4 pick up truck to respond in as a AMBULANCE. Why we had no working ambulances. This was on a normal day. No emergency..

If there is a huge problem in Palo Alto... Go to Mountain View for help!!

All you will get from the CPA is..... NO COMMENT!!

Like this comment
Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on Apr 9, 2008 at 9:12 am

We called this the DOG and PONY show.. With the Fire Department Leaders[lol] selling the citizens A TANKER FULL OF SNAKE OIL!! at a discounted price of way too much for not enough.. Talk is cheap, FREE. Services cost money..

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Fu Lam Mum shutters temporarily in Mountain View
By Elena Kadvany | 5 comments | 3,502 views

How Does Silicon Valley’s Culture Affect Your Marriage?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 973 views


Best Of Palo Alto ballot is here

It's time to decide what local business is worthy of the title "Best Of Palo Alto" — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 29th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 21st issue of the Palo Alto Weekly.