Oh, No, You Didn't, Homeland Security!
By Alicia Dorr in News on Jan 3, 2007 8:08PM
Whether or not the folks down at Homeland Security are looking for a fight, it looks like they just got one. Pretty much all of the officials in Chicago allowed their panties to bunch up something awful when they read the report, which counted the city as one of the least prepared for disaster.
The report, which examined how major U.S. cities respond to potential dangers, basically said that Chicago and Cook County don't really know how to use the emergency systems, don't know how to cooperate and will probably melt into a senseless panic should anything actually happen. Though the department has yet to comment specifically on its findings, the Chicago info was apparently based on that one mock disaster exercise downtown. Homeland Security's report stated that communications were informal and fractured.
Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communication came out right away with a statement admonishing the results, saying the "parameters were inconsistent and limited." That could be true, since the city is ranked lowest along with American Samoa ... but Columbus is right up top. Mayor Daley responded today saying that we do all we can — like putting cameras on top of public art — and that the city will continue to improve.
The secretary of Homeland Security was glad that Daley got the idea about "situational awareness" which ABC 7 said was a "fancy phrase for 'knowing what's going on.'" Dang, B, who said that? You mean we have to know what's going ON during an emergency? We just planned on looting.