Castle Takoma?

Takoma Park City HallThis would become a drawbridge.

BY LIRPA LOFOYAD

APRIL 1: The Extreme Emergency Preparedness Task Force (EEPTF) will present it’s long-awaited report to the city council tonight.

TFEEP was formed on the recommendation of the Emergency Preparedness Committee. It’s purpose is to develop plans for a natural or man-made long-term catastrophe.

Though such catastrophes  are unlikely, many incidents over the past decade have demonstrated civilization’s fragility. Areas of New York are still recovering from Hurricane Sandy six months after that super-storm came within a few miles of Takoma Park.  A few inches of snow can cause power outages lasting days or weeks here.  A region-wide super-storm, or a series of storms, could interrupt power and fuel transport for a significant time period. There is always a chance of a war, terrorist attack, meteor-strike, tsunami, nuclear power-plant accident, or climate-change event.

Any of these could lead to a long-term collapse of county, state, and national authority, and severe disruptions in utilities, communication, and the economy.

10 point plan

If such an event  happens, the city of Takoma Park, will be prepared. The task force report (available for down load on the city website) recommends a 10 point plan.

In the worst case scenario, says the report, the city must be ready to become an agrarian society. We must also prepare to defend our borders and enforce our laws within them.

The city is in a good position and mind-set, says the report, given it’s strong interest in sustainability, recycling, and protection of its trees.

The task force plan has three top priorities. The city must ensure it has enough land to plant crops. The city will also need trees for fuel and for building. It will also need a protective surrounding wall.

They recommend beefing up the tree ordinance to mandate the planting of more trees in certain areas. They also would require the planting of yew trees as that is the best wood for making archery bows, which will be needed as modern ammunition becomes scarce.

Extreme measures

When catastrophe strikes, the plan is to clear large plots of ground in each ward. Houses will be torn down, the debris used to build city walls and fortifications. The residents of those homes, unfortunately, would become a drain on resources at a time of great need. So, they will be put to death.

The remaining residents of each ward will become responsible for the crops grown there. Some will, as their talents tell, become skilled craftspeople or trades-persons.

Sligo Creek Park is a vital part of the plan. It will be dammed so a water-wheel powered mill can be built there. In the meantime, the plan says, the city will introduce wild horses into that and other large parks such as Takoma Piney Branch Park, Spring Park, and Long Branch. Their descendants can, if the need arises, be used for transport, plowing, and food.

Takoma Park City Hall

This would become a fortified drawbridge.

Simplifying government

The city government will retain its authority, but it will have to adapt to the extreme situation. Elections are inefficient and distracting so they will be dispensed with. Each councilmember will become the lord of his or her ward and its constituents will be considered his or her property. The title will pass to each Lord’s first born child. The Mayor will oversee the entire city and will be known as His Majesty.

The current council has indicated a strong preference for this part of the plan.

Every ward will be encouraged to extend its boundaries outward. The more land and subjects, the richer and more self-sustaining the wards will become. Wards will be discouraged from conquering and absorbing other wards, but if it comes to that, says the task force, hopefully it will be done with a minimum of bloodshed.

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