Geographically speaking, I live in a very safe area. No nearby volcanoes or fault lines. Flooding and fire might be a possibility but the infrastructure to proactively deal with these problems are in place.
The greatest threat in the natural disaster category are tornadoes but they are small, infrequent, and you don't really need a warning system to know that there's trouble brewing: the sky turns a strange sick colour that lets you know that you better find cover fast.
Problems like pandemics are another matter.
When swine flu hit the area last year, there was considerable misinformation and chaos swirling around - even though there were very few deaths caused by H1N1 in these parts. It makes me worry if and when something strange and potent like SARS comes to town.
But one positive outcome from this fiasco is that the various health agencies at the municipal, provincial and federal level know that they *have to* coordinate their public information so the message received is both consistent and correct.
Understanding how social networking works and how some ideas go 'viral' is going to be very important to these agencies. To help them in these efforts, I'm going to invite the local public health authorities to the local ChangeCamp that I'm helping organize. Its one small way I can help be part of a better future response.
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