Citizen Soldiers

The Golden State enlists its most reliable emergency responders ever

At precisely 1:09 p.m. on Feb. 26, all but four of the 2,670 traffic lights in Miami--Dade County, Fla., went dark. A blackout, sparked by a fire, crept up the state, affecting 4 million people. Traffic choked the roadways. The nuclear reactors at the Turkey Point power plant shut down. As air-conditioning faded on an 84°F (29°C) day, thousands wandered into the streets.

Coincidentally, on the very same day in California, the other state that understands what it is like to routinely plunge into near and total catastrophe, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was announcing a quiet revolution. Stunned by what he had...

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