Lessons from Natural Disasters

When a massive landslide hit in Snohomish County, Washington in 2014, local leaders learned from the response. Now, they’re drawing on those lessons to fight the community’s opioid crisis.

They’re tackling the drug crisis as if it were a natural disaster, “straight out of FEMA's emergency response playbook,” writes Anna Boiko-Weyrauch. Government leaders—“people in charge of everything from firetrucks to the dump,” meet regularly, tackling a to-do list 100 items long. Along with long-term goals like reducing opioid misuse, the list includes manageable baby steps, like easing transportation for people in treatment and distributing needle clean-up kits.
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