Baltimore is Hacked. How Much Trust Should We Put in Our Government and Agencies?
Myopia? Optimism? Stupidity? Who knows, but the city of Baltimore neglected to patch their Windows computers with a software update and ultimately were brought to their knees with an NSA developed piece of malware. The patch that would have prevented it was distributed two years ago. The city is still hobbling and as of early June they've spent $18 million to fix the issue.
This raises the question of how much trust we should put in government officials. Odds are most public entities we rely on to keep us safe do the right thing. But it's not always the case. We don't have to think much beyond what happened in Puerto Rico with Hurricane Maria, or even why Hurricane Katrina was so devastating to New Orleans.
New Orleans knew how exposed they were. Exactly one year prior to Katrina, Hurricane Ivan was threatening New Orleans. As the city scrambled to prepare an evacuation it become dangerously clear they were just not prepared. Luckily, Ivan turned away. During the next year after the scare New Orleans did exactly - nothing. Katrina struck a city that was completely incapable of dealing with it. Our post on Inertia bias goes into more detail about Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans.
California doesn't require that communities make evacuation plans, and if they have them there's no requirement to make them public. Just the fact that there's disagreement on how to deal with evacuation preparation makes one question how prepared our officials are for a serious event.
What this reiterates to us is the need for everyone to personally prepare in the event our elected and/or appointed officials fail in their planning. Patch your computer systems, backup your data, have an emergency plan, and assemble a GO-bag.