Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Northwest Disasters

NTSB: Helicopter rotated 360 degrees before crash

Slide near Oso

We've had two of them in less than a week.  First, the fiery news helicopter crash last week.  Then last Saturday, a horrific mudslide in Snohomish County, where rescue operations have been too dangerous to be fully undertaken, even though both the president and the governor have now declared it a disaster.

Lots for risk professionals to think about in each event.   Should helicopters be allowed to land and take off in dense urban areas?  What criteria would we set for when it is allowed.  Should people be allowed to build, buy and sell homes in areas where the hazards are well known?  (This latter question is one that applies to many types of geography past that of our region, but in particular to areas where there is privacy and remoteness, but where there are also hazards like wildfires, flooding, mudslides, even earthquakes.

I suspect there will be a significant amount of discussion around this topic on Thursday when a broad-based group of owners, executives, and public servants are convened in City Hall to spend four hours on Seattle's disaster plan.  These two events will certainly cause us to think more carefully on what can go wrong, and where.

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