Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Act7 Urban disaster planning and resilience in Washington DC

I live in a mixed urban and rural area. There are 3 major metropolitan centers nearby, most notably Washington DC, several large communities, and then large expanses of rural land.

There are limited avenues of access and egress for vehicles--bottlenecks are the norm in the best of times. Combine overcrowded roads with emergency vehicles, and there is a real problem.

Solutions in the urban areas have included closing roads, and redirecting traffic around the city through the 19 transit corridors which radiate outward from downtown DC. Highways, beltways, surface roads; Metro-trains and open-rail trains; three airports, local helipads, ferries and boats--all could, potentially, be coordinated to assist in evacuation or support operations in the event of a disaster in Washington DC.

As a salient example, a few weeks ago, 30 March, 2010, DC Fire/EMS/Police communications were down for five hours. http://www.welovedc.com/2010/03/30/dc-fireemspolice-communications-... An electrical problem at DC's Office of Unified Communications crashed the emergency responders' primary radio system. DC Fire/EMS/Police, and the MPD defaulted to their backup radios, which were augmented by backup channels in Arlington County (VA) and Montgomery County (MD) on the 800Mhz radio band. Fire/EMS/Police and MPD also utilized cell phone communications and computers, and a temporary external command center to further coordinate command/control and assistance during the outage.

DC has a few redundancies (in multiple languages) of emergency action plans, to ensure preparedness. Some of the information available includes:



http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12445&page=R1 (role of transit)

http://www.state.gov/doc**ents/organization/2083.pdf (contingency planning applicable to DC and elsewhere)


(emergency walk-out evacuation plan for DC)

Host to many of the cutting edge organizations in green reform, humanitarian aid and development, emergency planning and management, DC itself is home to many individuals, neighborhoods, and communities which are now trying to catch up, address specific issues and insufficiencies, and bind all existing efforts (food banks, shelters, enforcement and civilian support patrols, etc) into a cohesive and effective wh***.

On the civilian side, groups are forming to look at all the key aspects of life (food, water, energy, transport, health, services, economics, ethic-ergonomics...), and working to implement action plans to diminish energy consumption and pollution, to enhance people's understanding of resilient community engagement and development (http://www.transitiontowns.org/ ).

A relatively new group, Ecolocity DC (http://ecolocity.ning.com/ ) is working to transition DC from one of the nation's most air-polluted, bottle-necked cities to a resilient, international community which can apply and practice alternative solutions to vulnerabilities in population, transit, health, food, water, and other critical issues. The primary focus is to transform DC into a Transition town, an ecocity, which can spread its innovative solutions to neighboring areas, and in widening circles thereafter.

Views: 50

Comment by Marc Norab on April 17, 2010 at 11:59am
Good post! Things could have been much worse in DC from a traffic infrastructure standpoint -- the original urban planning for regional transportation back in the 50's called for a massive freeway network (a la Los Angeles). Instead, the metrorail system was developed (somewhat remarkably, considering it involves two states (Virginia and Maryland), the district of Columbia), with a circular freeway bypass of the greater DC area (thus giving rise to the phrase "inside/outside the beltway). Metro today is the 2nd largest (by passenger) subway system in the U.S. (trailing (by a large margin) New York City), although DC itself is only the 27th largest city in the U.S.
Comment by Michele Baron on April 17, 2010 at 1:20pm
thank you very much for the additional knowledge, Marc... the DC metro is much cleaner (by a large margin) than the subway system in New York... :) thanks again for your comments.
Comment by A.V.Koshy on April 19, 2010 at 9:36pm
so civilian engagement is the way forward?
Comment by Michele Baron on April 19, 2010 at 10:25pm
could you please clarify, koshy?
Comment by Dr Pete on April 19, 2010 at 11:25pm
Nice work... but we New Yorkers like our subway with a little Eau d'Urine scent
Comment by Michele Baron on April 20, 2010 at 2:28am
lol! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger! :) Thank you for your comments, Dr. Pete, and koshy
Comment by A.V.Koshy on April 20, 2010 at 7:04am
the best work seems to be done by civilians
Comment by Michele Baron on April 20, 2010 at 12:06pm
true, koshy. I think I understand--governments after all should represent the will, the hearts and minds of the people--and so the people should already be capable of attaining great things themselves. Maybe innovative solutions, your civilian engagement is like the quantum trade rings circle--the levels of trust, activity, talent grow with practise and this week's assignment--resilience training. Governments should support the best efforts and motivations, serve as social representatives and perhaps guides (being elected, having higher levels of access to knowledge as purview of service position?) and not as instruments of force, corruption, lack of transparency? Civilians, also, have more autonomy in some cases, to volunteer, within the social and legal frameworks as codified within the governments they have elected? Is this within your concept of civilian engagement, koshy?
Comment by A.V.Koshy on April 20, 2010 at 12:13pm
yes more or less
the idea of governemnts sharing knoweldge it is wish fulfullment
but civilians can make for less force and less corruption and more transparency over time
Comment by Wintermute on April 20, 2010 at 3:51pm
Well it seems that DC isn't too bad off. Especially when their are active civilians working to improve the situation.


You need to be a member of Urgent Evoke to add comments!

Join Urgent Evoke

Latest Activity

Meghan Mulvey posted a blog post

Fourth of July on the Lake

This past weekend was the annual celebration at the lake house in Connecticut. It is amazing that the lake is still so clear and beautiful after all these years. The watershed association has done a wonderful job protecting these waters from the damaging effects of development.The wood grill was finally ready to cook on, so we didn't miss the propane tank fueled grill anymore. The food actually tasted fresher than in the past and was easy to keep fueled.Dad was very proud of the solar hybrid…See More
Asger Jon Vistisen posted a blog post

Stinging Nettle

In this blog post I will focus on a plant that is abundant in our nature, and which is immensely nutritious. It's of course the Stinging Nettle. Let's start with the chemical constituents of this plant:37 % Non-Nitrogen-Extracts19 - 29 % Ash9 - 21 % Fiber4 % Fat22 % ProteinOnce the leaves are drid, their protein content can reach an astounding 40 %, which is much higher than beef, which even under the best of circ***tances can never exceed 31 % protein. In addition the Stinging Nettle consists…See More
Apr 13
Jonathon McCallum posted a blog post

The meal

It is 7'oclock, I was late home from work due to an assignment that i wanted to get ahead on. By the time I get home I am feeling extremley tired and I cannot be bothered to make a proper meal. I walk to the fridge and open it to see what there is for me to eat. All of the out of date foodstuffs have been automaticaly thrown away by the fridge, they will be recycled tomorrow as animal feed or something. I see i have organic local eggs and some local cheese. Foods are vacc** sealded for easy…See More
Mar 10
Jean Paul Galea shared a profile on Facebook
Mar 1
Kevin posted a blog post


FutureToday is 2020/1/1. It is just like yesterday. The war is still continuing. It has started since 2010. In 2010, that year was a horrible year. Almost every energy ran out. Every country’s governments were crushed down at the same time. There were riots everywhere. All of the big company’s bosses were killed xdeadx in the riots. Troops fought each other everywhere. Food was bought up xawayx at once. There were no more food supplies in any shops. The economy was all crushed down. All the…See More
Jan 1
Namwaka Mooto posted blog posts
Jan 13, 2016
T D updated their profile
Sep 3, 2015
Brook Warner posted blog posts
Aug 25, 2015
Santiago Vega posted blog posts
May 5, 2015
Santiago Vega commented on Santiago Vega's blog post Act 8
May 5, 2015
Santiago Vega posted photos
May 5, 2015
Rico Angel Rodriguez posted blog posts
May 2, 2015
Rico Angel Rodriguez posted a photo

public servants

The exchange works directly for state and public workers and servants. It gives them credit in exchange for the amount of public work they contribute to the community. The more constructive they are based off a base rate the more credit they recieve.
May 2, 2015
Brian Hurley posted blog posts
May 2, 2015
Brian Hurley commented on Brian Hurley's blog post ACT: Future of Currency
May 2, 2015
Rico Angel Rodriguez posted a blog post

Where I will be in ten years.

Ten years from now I will be in a political job assisting with people in the midlands of South Carolina particularly the rural working class and farmers. As the class of people that feed the nation I find that it is imperative that we assist with making sure they produce as much food as possible. I would like to support local scientists as well that are leading in research on how to produce food more efficiently. I will also be participating in missions to foreign countries to help people with…See More
May 1, 2015

Follow EVOKE on Twitter

Official EVOKE Facebook Page

EVOKE RSS Activity Feed

© 2020   Created by Alchemy.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service