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Are we prepared for disasters?


By Lisa Brody
News Editor
...continued from page 8

The plan identifies almost 1,100 properties in the township either wholly or partially within a 100-year floodplain, and several other properties and intersections in flood hazard areas, and the township has determined these to be their biggest risk assessment. They acknowledge a transportation incident with hazardous materials could occur at any time, with major roadway arteries of I-75, Woodward and Telegraph within its boundaries, as well as CSX railroad in the eastern portion of the township, with the potential for evacuations, road closures, and environmental contamination. The plan assumes adequate planning for such an event.

What each community is quietly planning for, more and more, are lone wolf active shooters and hacking of computer systems. But not the hacking of individual computers hacking of large scale disrupters.

"They're not hacking individual computers. The goal is to hack corporations and financial institutions, to gain funds and disrupt business, or to access information," Connaugton said.

As for hacking into the power grid? All officials acknowledge that possibility, but are silent. Off the record, they acknowledge government systems, whether national, state or local, are targets.

Located as the Great Lakes state, amidst the wonder of inland lakes, the water system is a different situation, officials assure. Unlike in Beaumont, Texas, where the city of 110,000 residents found themselves with their water system non-functional after Hurricane Hugo, and in areas of Florida after Hurricane Irma, where water systems were flooded out and dysfunctional without power, "The water systems have always been required to have contingencies. It's a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) requirment," said Tim Price, chief manager with the Oakland County Water Resources Commission. "They all got beefed up because of natural and manmade hazards, from small situations that would impact one systems, which would be handled locally, to emergency interconnections between water systems that could be between two different communities."

While the specifics are kept internal and not made public, he said there are specific plans that "pretty much spell out what needs to be done."

Any concerns about the quality of water is mitigated, Price said, because water can be sampled at all hours. "It depends on the type of catastrophe, but we have independent contractors on hire. If there is a power outage, there are certain sites that have emergency generators that can kick in. It avoids structural failure."

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Tags: LONGFORM

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