In Case of Emergency...
The Department of Homeland Security today officially released a report in which it details just how well prepared 75 U.S. metropolitan areas in case of an emergency. Specifically, the DHS wanted to whether cities' emegency agencies were able to talk to each other in case of some kind of a disaster, be it man-made or natural. And it turns out, Dallas-Fort Worth -- which, in this instance, includes Collin, Dallas, Denton, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise counties -- is kinda-sorta prepared, though not as well as Houston. C'mon. Houston beats us?
You can read the entirety of the report here; Dallas-Fort Worth's info is found on pages 106 and 107. But it says, in short,while there are some positive signs that folks in, say, Dallas can talk to, oh, Rockwall in an emergency, there are too many agencies (some 300) saying too little to each other, and there's no cohesive "regional interoperability strategic plan" in place at the moment. And there are little things like this: The Arlington Police Department and Arlington Fire Department couldn't talk to each other. Turns out each "used different command channels, since there was no talk groups designated for the use of unified command," says the report. Little things like that. --Robert Wilonsky
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.