Preventive Measures And Preparedness Disaster Planning

1576 Words7 Pages
Sometimes government bodies, corporations, and the like fall short in instituting preventative systems to avert a disaster, oftentimes causing the general populous to be inadequately prepared should a catastrophe occur. This action is due to an overall shift in emphasis from preventative measures to preparedness in disaster planning. In “Generic Biothreat, or, How We Became Unprepared,” Andrew Lakoff articulates that today’s crises management involves the development of methods that could be used to prepare for crises in advance. Yet, this current system casts away the notion of prevention of crises, thus resulting in an orientation towards a future full of pending catastrophes that appear to be inevitable. Drawing on the Sapir-Whorf…show more content…
An estimated 30-40 tons of MIC “escaped from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, the industrial capital of Madhya Pradesh” on the night of December 2, 1984 (Das 1996, 143). That night a faulty valve had allowed water for cleaning the internal pipes to mix with 40 tons of MIC, thus yielding an exothermic reaction within the tank as pressure and heat continued to build. A plant operator “noticed a small leak of MIC gas” and watched in horror as pressure increased inside the tank. Three weeks prior to the event “the vent-gas scrubber, a safety device designed to neutralize the toxic discharge from the MIC system, had been turned off” (Broughton 2005). The situation was exacerbated as a refrigeration unit, an additional safety component that cools the MIC storage tank, “had been drained of its coolant for use in another part of the plant” (Broughton 2005). The resulting gas leak killed more than 2,500 people that night alone, and would go on to claim the lives of over thousands of others.
The sequence of events of that evening is arguably the result of operating errors, design flaws, maintenance failures, training deficiencies, and economic measures that endangered the safety amongst the residents living nearby (Das 1996, 160-161). The decommissioned refrigeration unit, the faulty pressure level, and
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