Friday, September 29, 2017

War Gaming Disasters

I'm tempted to say the Trump administration is probably getting some undeserved* flak over their reaction to Hurricane Maria.  What I wonder is the extent to which the bureaucracies war game their responses to disaster.  Does FEMA do a war game, do they war game with state agencies, or is the gaming at the DHS/DOD level?  Or how about at the Presidential level?

We know, I think, that the national security establishment has war gamed North Korea.  Has the national disaster establishment war gamed Hurricane Maria, or other emergencies (like an 8.0 earthquake in California, sun flares that zap transmission lines, etc.?

My guess is they haven't, or the war gaming has at best extended one length beyond the worst disaster that's already happened.  In other words, after Katrina hit NOLA, there likely were simulations and games using a 5.0 hurricane, but I'm guessing the simulations of a Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands wipeout haven't happened.

*though the comparison to the response to the Haitian earthquake leads me to qualify my sympathy.  My point, once again, is the Harshaw rule--we haven't had a major hurricane which squarely hit American territory in the Caribbean for years and so, without a war game, the bureaucracy is doing its thing for the first time.

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