Thursday, March 4, 2010

Los Chilenos

The jury is still out as to what exactly this is. I saw it buried in the woods as I was driving down an Atlanta country road during a "snow storm". It was like seeing Bigfoot.

Just as I was loading my final dirty clothes from Haiti into the washing machine , Chile happened, and I considered the possibilities of immediately deploying to the new earthquake zone. After five weeks in Haiti the prospect was not that appealing, besides I was on Daddy duty all week while wife attended an out-of -town conference.

I lived in Chile for over a year and have traveled what seems like every mile of that country, from it's Antarctic base in the south (I concede that it's not sovereign territory) to the salt flats of the north near the Peruvian boarder. Chile is not Haiti. The Chileans are no strangers to natural disasters and are well-prepared to respond to them as evidenced by rapid mobilization of it's military and world-class police force. In Haiti, I didn't see any public security on the streets for three weeks, in Chile they are in every media shot coming out of the disaster.

Granted the Chilean quake was of a different nature than Haiti's, but even so the damage was minimized with strong construction techniques, disaster preparedness plans, and superior medical capabilities. I would venture to say that aside from the west coast of the United States, and the country of Japan, Chile is one of the most well-prepared countries in the world to deal with earthquakes. Bien hecho los Chilenos.

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