Watching the waves spill onto the beach in Clatsop County, Oregon, it's easy to forget that the nearby houses are doomed. The Pacific waters are frigid blue. The beaches run inland from white sand to tough, salt-sprayed grass. It's too peaceful to envision disaster.
I can say with certainty that the current budget standoff has a real impact on our ability to ensure that a wide range of emergency personnel across the country have the resources they need to do their jobs and keep our communities safer and more secure.
Science has a long-standing black eye for what is called the "science to practice" gap: the extraordinary time delays in closing the gap between what we know and what we do. There is a still a prominent gap to be closed for disaster mental health care.
Until we have another super storm or when the major quake due for Hawai'i island hits, tell your legislators that the HHRF should be protected. In fact, disaster preparedness on multiple fronts should be a high priority for the state.
Even though we can't always predict natural disasters, we can anticipate their likely aftermaths, including property loss, power or water service disruption, scarcity of food and supplies and overtaxed relief organizations.