In his 2006 book Disaster Response and Homeland Security James F. Miskel observes that the Government typically deals with past failures by adopting a narrow focus on specific problems, and generating targeted solutions. But because no two catastrophes are ever the same, a new and unforeseen failure is always just waiting right around the corner.
In fact, this “fine tuning” approach, coupled with a highly interdependent agency structure, practically guarantees that we won’t be ready for the next surprise.
“Benjamin Franklin defined insanity as expecting a different result after doing to same thing over and over again. This definition describes our approach to reforming the disaster relief program in the United States.”
And Miskel knows what he’s talking about when it comes to issues of government preparedness in the face of a crisis. He served as Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College for twelve years, and was also a member of the National Security Council under former Presidents Reagan and Bush (#1).
If the government isn’t prepared to deal with the next big hurricane, or earthquake, or terrorist attack, how then can we expect anything but confusion, communication gaps, and systemic breakdown when facing something as horrific as a zombie outbreak? Claims of a streamlined, vigilant post 9/11 government fall flat when compared to Miskal’s mountain of hard evidence and reasoned insights.
Unfortunately, it seems clear that when the dead rise to hunt the living we are all, quite literally, on our own.