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At the height of the bitter cold that left tens of thousands of New Mexicans without heat in their homes and workplaces last month, the Village of Taos sent out a plaintive news release updating the gravity of the situation.
“With temperatures again dropping, and communications from Taos’ community constituents becoming ever more urgent,” the release said, “Taosons are advised to take care of themselves…”
Translated: Folks, you’re on your own.
An historic storm had brought much of the state to its knees. It was the kind of emergency for which preparedness is essential in the name of public safety and health.
Yet key players in last month’s emergency were clearly ill-prepared.
True, all of the obvious public officials did all the obvious things officialdom does in emergencies.
The governor dispatched National Guardsmen hither and yon. State and local police did round-the-clock duty. Schools, universities and government buildings closed to conserve what natural gas there was, and in due course technicians, utility workers and volunteer plumbers fanned out to reignite pilot lights.
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