The recent disaster in the Philippines highlights yet again that communications being wiped out inhibit coordination of timely aid! Images of Tacloban so utterly destroyed bely the fact that many managed to hang on to life – at least initially, only to be confronted by isolation, despair, and survival challenges.
Realize that even a city like Adelaide could be surprised by a massive storm. Hot dry air masses from central Australia encountering ice cold moist ones sweeping in from the South West could engender tornadoes as occur in the US Mid-West. Now what infrastructure initiatives would help us deal with that here?
Some cell towers need to be storm hardened. Perhaps the CBD, military bases, airports and perimeter approaches to the city might be a good start. Even standby towers recessed into the ground could pay dividends were a true cataclysm to strike.
Other initiatives would be uninterruptible power supplies on traffic signals on probable evacuation routes from the city – no longer such a big deal with lower power LED lights.
Generator-backed petrol bowsers on major routes out of town also make sense given the vision of survivors fishing up petrol with bottles on sticks when electricity was knocked out. Mobile phone charging stations at generator equipped petrol stations and public buildings seem to be worthwhile complementary risk mitigation strategies were power & communications lost on a large scale.
So much for Adelaide itself but what about other remote towns?
The same applies of course but why not have deployable containerised kits with pallets of generators, pumps, water purifiers, body bags, face-masks, blankets, tents, rations & medical kits?
We have an emergency services levy but is any of it spent on preparatory infrastructure? Some should be.