Bridge Collapse in Italy is a Painful Reminder of the Need for Effective Mitigation Strategies
By Allison G. S. Knox
Contributor, EDM Digest
Earlier this week, a bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy. According to ABC News, the collapse killed 39 people, with more victims believed to be lying in the bridge’s debris. Dozens more have been injured and hospitalized.
Four hundred emergency workers are at the scene to search for more victims. Emergency services in Italy are working round the clock to manage the situation and to save as many lives as possible.
Incidents like this bridge collapse are horrifying, shocking and tragic. Unfortunately, they also demonstrate the need for effective mitigation strategies.
Italian Bridge Collapsed due to Structural Failure
According to a report by the New York Times, the bridge was an aging structure and collapsed due to a structural failure. The Times also reported that several bridges throughout Italy have collapsed in the past few decades.
Mitigation Strategies Vital to Emergency Management
Structural collapses are one of the many reasons why mitigation strategies are an important component of emergency management. In the United States, mitigation involves a systematic approach to evaluating structures and other potential hazards to the community. Ideally, any problems are corrected before they become emergency situations and cause loss of life and property.
Funding Mitigation Strategies
The United States has several mechanisms for handling the budgets associated with mitigation strategies. In many cases, a jurisdiction can submit a budget request to pay for certain mitigation strategies.
Unfortunately, finding sufficient funds can be difficult sometimes, which may make the necessary repairs difficult to achieve.
Italian Citizens Will Push Hard for Government Policy Changes
Because of the recent bridge collapses, the Italian government may find that citizens will push harder to get the government to make necessary repairs and prevent future accidents. Although there may have been government issues that delayed or halted bridge repairs, government officials may find that their mitigation strategies need faster updating.
Often, what’s needed in society influences the decisions of government officials. Disasters such as the Genoa bridge collapse might also fuel the need for change.
Moving Forward with Emergency Response Efforts
Over the next week, emergency workers will prioritize their response efforts while looking for more survivors. Once the immediate recovery process ends, government officials will need to contemplate how to prevent such tragic incidents from happening again. They should evaluate effective mitigation strategies and determine how to quickly fix their aging bridges before more collapses occur.