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6 of 75 cities get top disaster rating

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Only 6 of 75 cities get top disaster rating

Source: Associated Press and DHS

WASHINGTON - Only six of 75 U.S. cities and surrounding areas rate top grades for their emergency agencies' ability to communicate during a disaster, according to a federal report obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

A draft portion of the report, to be released Wednesday, gives the highest ratings to Washington, San Diego, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Columbus, Ohio; Sioux Falls, S.D., and Laramie County, Wyoming.

The lowest scores went to Chicago; Cleveland, Baton Rouge, La.; Mandan, N.D., and American Samoa.

The study, conducted by the Department of

Homeland Security, comes five years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, revealed major problems in how well emergency agencies were able to talk to each other during a catastrophe. Many firefighters climbing the World Trade Center towers died when they were unable to hear police radio warnings to leave the crumbling buildings.

Here's a PDF file of the results, http://wid.ap.org/documents/dhs.pdf its not very professionally done and doesn't explain the results well but Honolulu, Puerto Rico, Anchorage, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands are all listed.

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That is a bad thing that so many cities fail =/

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Here's a brief outline of some of the area's that Hawaii will try to improve it's current system according to the Governor's Comprehensive Communications Review Committee:

# Upgrade the state's Emergency Alert System plan.

# Improve communication with all media, which would include establishing a working area for reporters at state Civil Defense headquarters in Diamond Head as well as putting in place easier methods for media to access information remotely.

# Use an Emergency Alert System "civil emergency" code that would automatically interrupt broadcast programming to notify people when an earthquake has struck that will not generate a tsunami.

# Work with foreign language and sign language interpreters to help keep informed citizens who cannot rely on English radio.

# Better educate the public on how to prepare for emergencies.

# Explore the feasibility of using cell phone text messaging in emergencies.

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Here's a brief outline of some of the area's that Hawaii will try to improve it's current system according to the Governor's Comprehensive Communications Review Committee:

# Upgrade the state's Emergency Alert System plan.

# Improve communication with all media, which would include establishing a working area for reporters at state Civil Defense headquarters in Diamond Head as well as putting in place easier methods for media to access information remotely.

# Use an Emergency Alert System "civil emergency" code that would automatically interrupt broadcast programming to notify people when an earthquake has struck that will not generate a tsunami.

# Work with foreign language and sign language interpreters to help keep informed citizens who cannot rely on English radio.

# Better educate the public on how to prepare for emergencies.

# Explore the feasibility of using cell phone text messaging in emergencies.

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