This book is shocking. It documents the “fantasy” emergency plans that rely on wishful thinking, non-existent private cars and with no mention of public transit to evacuate citizens. It documents how many apparent solutions may cause more loss of life than the emergency. Traffic “contra-flow” (all lanes going out) prevents emergency vehicles from entering the affected area and more people may die trying to evacuate than die from the event that caused the evacuation order.
The author and a team of researchers studied 100 urban emergency plans. They found jargon, acronyms, lists of civic leaders, laborious definitions, unreadable maps and analysis of non-existent hazards. While humorous, this will kill people, and has. Terrorism, increased density and severe weather events make this book a necessity in all city police, fire, emergency and political offices–at least for those who want to save lives.
The author uses the lens of Utopian planning, redundant transport systems and new building materials to help move us to safer cities of the future.