Governmental Silence Is Not Good Emergency Preparedness And Response

White Rock

One month ago, Los Alamos faced a major outage of telephone and internet services. That outage raised a number of issues related to the health and well-being of the community, including:

  • How could community members reach 911 in an emergency?
  • Where was information about the outage being broadcast?
  • Were there sites within the county at which we could use the internet or make telephone calls, despite the outage?

I was exceptionally disappointed that the County was silent on these matters during the outage, since the provision of such information to the community should be an essential part of emergency preparedness and response at every level of government. 

It is even more disappointing that the County has remained silent about the information above in the month since the outage. I might expect such a failure of communication in the low-income countries on which I spent my professional career. However, I expect better of Los Alamos, as I hope you will, too.

I strongly encourage the county to issue in the next few weeks an FAQ for the community that addresses the questions noted above and related matters of importance.

Alternatively, we can continue to muddle along, until people suffer needless health and welfare events because they did not know how to get appropriate help when normal internet and phone services don’t work.

(I thank Andrew Fraser for his January 8 letter to the editor, which also highlighted some of the above points).