Thursday, November 08, 2012
Any Suggestions For the Next Zombie Apocalypse?
Don't get me wrong. Local government officials displayed remarkable dedication during a very serious storm. Whether volunteer firefighters, Mayors, County Executives, public works employees, National Guardsmen or emergency management professionals like Bob Mateff, we owe them our gratitude. They saved lives. Not one zombie fatality. But is there anything we can we do to minimize that even more?
One nice thing about a blog is that its interactivity makes it easy to sound off with suggestions or corrections. So if you were the King or Queen of the Lehigh Valley, what would you suggest?
Here's my ideas.
1) Warming stations. - Increase the number of warming and charging stations, trying to use government buildings when feasible. Last Friday, although the Northampton County Courthouse had power, it remained closed. Most of the homes surrounding it had no power or heat. It is the people's building, although there are obvious security concerns. With planning, part of the building could serve as a warming and charging station. It might even be possible to serve some hot food from the cafeteria
2) Undergrounding. - Local government officials, in concert with developers, engineers and the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission, should sit down with PPL and Met Ed and arrive at a plan that will gradually replace overhead power lines with under ground infrastructure. Because of the cost involved, this should be done in a long-range plan.
Current Pennsylvania law requires any new residential development, consisting of five or more contiguous lots, to install underground electrical service and distribution lines. This law should be expanded so that it applies to commercial, industrial and institutional development as well, and should apply to any new residential development, regardless of the number of homes involved. Exceptions to this requirement, based on physical impossibility or undue hardship, could only be granted by the state PUC, and only with the assent of the municipality affected.
In addition to reducing power outages, this would save the municipal expense of trimming trees.
3) The CCC. - A volunteer Civilian Conservation Corps should be established in each municipality. In the event of a power outage, emergency management officials can alert them to go door to door with announcements concerning warming and emergency shelters, and other important information. In addition, they would be charged with the responsibility of checking on elderly community residents.
And watching out for zombies.