Thursday, June 7, 2012

Disaster relief - with a somber twist

I note that Red Cross relief supplies are being stored in some of the thousand-plus concrete 'igloo' storage facilities at the former US Army Umatilla Chemical Depot facility.  According to Oregon Live:

After seven decades of warehousing a nightmarish inventory of chemical weapons, rockets, bombs, land mines and ammunition at the Army's Umatilla Chemical Depot in eastern Oregon, the base is shifting to kinder and gentler missions.

Instead of war chemicals, the depot may soon be known for the disaster relief supplies assembled there -- cots, blankets and food -- in case a monster earthquake or tsunami strikes the Northwest.

At least five of the depot's 1,001 partially buried concrete storage igloos are filled with emergency supplies -- and the cache could grow, said Eric Corliss, American Red Cross chief operating officer for the Oregon Region.

. . .

The Army incinerated the last of 7.4 million pounds of lethal Cold War-era chemical weapons stashed at the depot in late October. The $2.7 billion incineration program began in 2004, with roughly 11.5 percent of the entire U.S. chemical weapons inventory destroyed in a 1,400-degree natural gas furnace on the base.

There's more at the link.

That's all very well, and I'm glad that so large a facility is being put to good use - but I hope they cleaned out those 'igloos' thoroughly!  With those sorts of nasties having been kept in them, one never knows . . .  I'd hate to lie down on a cot, and cover myself with a blanket, that had been stored there, only to start itching a few moments later.  I'd be out of them both so fast you wouldn't see me for dust!



Judy said...

IF you didn't die from inhaling the dust from the cot and blanket or ripping open a MRE.

DaddyBear said...

All that is old is new again. The government used to stockpile a lot of civilian supplies for use in relief operations after a nuclear war. After the Soviet Union fell, Clinton sold a lot of it off to save money. Now we're rebuilding some of that stockpile, at today's prices. Hooray progress.