the unthinkable

That’s the title of a new book by Amanda Ripley that’s featured in this article.  The article talks about the “disaster myths”, one of them being “disasters affect us all”, where she says:

Disasters are neither fair nor blind. Disasters have a strong prejudice against the poor. “I never fought a fire in a rich person’s home,” a veteran firefighter once told me. Fires are much more likely to happen in homes with shoddy construction, portable heaters and no working smoke detectors.

I’ve been loudly saying for a while that there are “too many firemen” in my home town.  That turns out to be wrong, on several levels.  There are five fire stations here.  Station 10 is a few blocks away from us.  It covers the largest geographical district in the city, and is the third busiest engine in the county.  The fire-fighting assets and skills needed in Redwood City are quite varied – it’s not just flat suburban streets and house fires; there are wildland grass fires, industrial accidents and hazardous materials, bay and small stream flooding, two major freeways that bisect the city, and a very active port and recreational waterway.

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