Federal courts have greatly improved their response to natural disasters in the last decade, according to a new U.S. Courts video, released in observance of National Preparedness Month.
The video, available under “judiciary news” at www.uscourts.gov, details lessons from four weather emergencies that shut down federal courthouses.
Only a few courts in 2005 had plans to continue operations in the event of a large-scale emergency. Today, all federal courts have such plans. Similarly, court staffs are far more equipped to continue functions via teleworking in extreme weather and other emergencies. Technology also has helped courts stay in contact with court staff and their families, and enabled the public to access electronic case files, during emergencies.
The video features federal judges and court staffs discussing lessons learned from four emergencies: Hurricane Katrina in 2005; a 2008 flood in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; a 2008 blizzard in the Northwest; and Super Storm Sandy in 2012 which had a devastating impact on parts of New York.