2005 September 11 Sunday
A Litany Of Mistakes In Hurricane Katrina Disaster Handling

The New York Times has a long excellent article reviewing many different things that went wrong in disaster response for Hurricane Katrina. It includes pathetic quotes from politicians at different levels of government who are busy playing a game of hot potato so that they do not get the blame. The Louisiana National Guard was as dumb with its vehicles as the New Orleans government with their 255 flooded buses.

The Louisiana National Guard, already stretched by the deployment of more than 3,000 troops to Iraq, was hampered when its New Orleans barracks flooded. It lost 20 vehicles that could have carried soldiers through the watery streets and had to abandon much of its most advanced communications equipment, guard officials said.

The article also relays how the local governments around the state wouldn't send buses to evacuate New Orleans because the bus drivers were afraid of criminals. Couldn't the state government have offered the bus drivers the ability to pick up only old folks and children? Or brought the people out of the city and let the bus drivers pick up the people after the people had been brought out to a safer location by a smaller number of vehicles?

Putting FEMA between volunteers and the disaster areas was a huge mistake.

The heart-rending pictures broadcast from the Gulf Coast drew offers of every possible kind of help. But FEMA found itself accused repeatedly of putting bureaucratic niceties ahead of getting aid to those who desperately needed it.

Hundreds of firefighters, who responded to a nationwide call for help in the disaster, were held by the federal agency in Atlanta for days of training on community relations and sexual harassment before being sent on to the devastated area. The delay, some volunteers complained, meant lives were being lost in New Orleans.

"On the news every night you hear, 'How come everybody forgot us?' " said Joseph Manning, a firefighter from Washington, Pa., told The Dallas Morning News. "We didn't forget. We're stuck in Atlanta drinking beer."

William D. Vines, a former mayor of Fort Smith, Ark., helped deliver food and water to areas hit by the hurricane. But he said FEMA halted two trailer trucks carrying thousands of bottles of water to Camp Beauregard, near Alexandria, La., a staging area for the distribution of supplies.

"FEMA would not let the trucks unload," Mr. Vines said in an interview. "The drivers were stuck for several days on the side of the road about 10 miles from Camp Beauregard. FEMA said we had to have a 'tasker number.' What in the world is a tasker number? I have no idea. It's just paperwork, and it's ridiculous."

Senator Blanche Lincoln, Democrat of Arkansas, who interceded on behalf of Mr. Vines, said, "All our Congressional offices have had difficulty contacting FEMA. Governors' offices have had difficulty contacting FEMA." When the state of Arkansas repeatedly offered to send buses and planes to evacuate people displaced by flooding, she said, "they were told they could not go. I don't really know why."

There is a lot to be said for not requiring or even allowing top-down control of volunteers who want to help in disaster responses. Let people in the field spontaneously agree with each other on how to form up teams. Let them cooperate in whatever ways they decide make the most sense given the situations they see arising in front of them. FEMA should not have the power to make firemen go through training before entering a disaster area. Firemen know what to do. Let them do it.

Even if someone competent was running FEMA I still do not think it should have power over volunteers. Informal society should not go under government control in a disaster.

Update: But it bears repeating that the big mistakes were made by elected politicians from Louisiana before the hurricane hit.

In Katrina's wake, Louisiana politicians and other critics have complained about paltry funding for the Army Corps in general and Louisiana projects in particular. But over the five years of President Bush's administration, Louisiana has received far more money for Corps civil works projects than any other state, about $1.9 billion; California was a distant second with less than $1.4 billion, even though its population is more than seven times as large.

Much of that Louisiana money was spent to try to keep low-lying New Orleans dry. But hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to unrelated water projects demanded by the state's congressional delegation and approved by the Corps, often after economic analyses that turned out to be inaccurate. Despite a series of independent investigations criticizing Army Corps construction projects as wasteful pork-barrel spending, Louisiana's representatives have kept bringing home the bacon.

You can bet that the Louisiana Congressional delegation does not want the public to take a hard look at how they allocated their pork barrel spending in Louisiana.

Update: To put that $1.9 billion a year chunk of money Louisiana got each year for Army Corps of Engineers spending in perspective: Al Naomi, senior project manager for the New Orleans District of the Army Corps of Engineers says that the category 5 levee protection system for New Orleans would have cost $2.5 billion. The elected officials of Louisiana steered that $1.9 billion away from projects rated more urgent and important by the Corps. They have done this for decades running.

Update II: On MSNBC Joe Scarborough interviewed a city official from Jefferson Parish south of New Orleans who told him FEMA people seized his fuel that his government had purchased in advance to run Parish electric generators. He sent his own sheriffs to escort his fuel into his hands. FEMA people also replaced his aerial for communications on a tower of his government and replaced it with their own. I didn't realize we are ruled by an imperial government. But FEMA apparently thinks we are.

Scarborough also interviewed Julia Reed of Vogue magazine and a New Orleans resident who described how Amtrak offered to carry out a large number of people before the hurricane hit and the city government just ignored the offer.

Also, the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, has spent almost a week now in Texas visiting his family. He's not real big on the work ethic when he's most needed. Nagin said everyone has made mistakes. Asked if he has made mistakes he claimed his mistake was that he didn't yell more loudly. So then was ignoring the Amtrak offer not a mistake? Or leaving the 255 school buses to get flooded rather than evacuate people not a mistake? How about not putting more food and fuel for electric generators in the Superdome? Was that not a mistake? How about not putting police on overtime the weekend before Katrina hit in order to round up criminals and otherwise get ready for the hurricane? Was that not a mistake?

An incredible amount of incompetence has been on display.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 September 11 01:23 AM  Human Nature

John S Bolton said at September 11, 2005 1:58 AM:

All of this was done to conceal the extent of the debacle induced by the black RICO, the NO city government? The racial patronage society, the antimerit society of today, is a putrefying miasma of incompetence and malice. The red cross was blocked from entering the city, because the black mayor wanted freedom for aggression in the shelters, but couldn't encourage too many to go there, or the malicious game would have ended sooner. Foreign tourists had to be fired towards, while they tried to cross the bridge out of the city, because this would have set off a general escape from the hellhole shelters that malice was holding such large numbers in. Do all our officials subsist in depraved complicity in these outrages; or why will they not speak? Officials gain power from a crisis situation; from this it can be seen that they have incentive to intensify a disaster that is underway for other reasons. Honest officials, speak now; tell us of the racial considerations which drove these decisions to cover up for the gross failures of the antimerit regime. Tell us of the malice which you came up against, trying to aid the more deserving of the disaster victims.

Bob Badour said at September 11, 2005 6:36 AM:


A very wise man once told me: "Never attribute to malice what one can easily explain as incompetence."

What it was and is is a crying shame. Big government is the cause of untold human suffering. Not out of malice but out of indifference and stupidity. The civil service is a perversity of irrational reinforcers.

Marvin said at September 11, 2005 10:41 AM:

We always knew the federal government was oversized, stuffed with permanent unelected bureaucrats who don't give a damn. Now we know that state and local governments can be even worse. It was the local Louisiana state bureaucrat who kept the Red Cross from bringing relief supplies into New Orleans, hoping to make things so bad in the city that people would be forced to leave. The only problem was that incompetent New Orleans officials were keeping people from leaving.

Really, only the Coast Guard and the military (when the governess finally allowed it) showed appreciable competence. Once the National Guard was reinforced with outside troops and active duty personnel they perked up considerably. Being under incompetent local officials must have been incredibly demoralizing to the National Guard troops who were there from the beginning.

Dan said at September 11, 2005 12:48 PM:

This whole event showed that stupidity comes in all colots at federal state and local ;evels. John Bo;tpn I really wish you would stop using meaningless stupid phrases like "Black RICO". They add nothing to the discussion . Race is not the only thing in the world the head of FEMA did not get his job because of affirmative action. There are plenty of heros and villans of all colors.

FriendlyFire said at September 11, 2005 5:56 PM:

Bolton your ignornace is simply amazing
(hmmm Randell didnt post a link to the full story in which he qouted in hes blogg)

"there were approximately 500 of us left in the hotels in the French Quarter. We were a mix of foreign tourists, conference attendees like ourselves, and locals who had checked into hotels for safety and shelter from Katrina"

"many locals saw our determined and optimistic group and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings and quickly our numbers doubled and then doubled again."

Meanwhile more and more of these stories are comming out, Incompetence from the President down are now awash on our airwaves and internet. Yet you seem intent on only "seeing" what you want to see.

Randall Parker said at September 11, 2005 6:25 PM:


Which post of mine excerpts a story that I do not provide a link to? This post has 3 excerpts. The first two excerpts both come from the same NY Times story. The second is from a Washington Post. Story. So I've provided links for both.

I'd like to correct a mistake if you can tell me exactly where my mistake is.

John S Bolton said at September 11, 2005 6:34 PM:

What is being ignored is the method to all this madness; random failures don't come up lemons dozens of times in a row . Each higher level had to amplify the failures on the lower level , because of considerations of racial politics. This is not ordinary incompetence; this is not Klopstockia, it is America. Don't be willfully ignorant of that. You just have to compare the performance in one jurisdiction, with another where objective factors were worse, but where the racial politics didn't get in the way. Blanco would not jerk back on the leash of Nagin; Bush would not control the sexual patronage seeker in Baton Rouge. None of them especially wanted to stand in the way of the black man's freedom for aggression; they were willing to sacrifice many thousands for an indulgence of that. Malice can't be ruled out as yet; in fact it is the most likely explanation, in that incompetence hitting so consistently at each turn, is way too improbable. The NO city government is as much a RICO as can be, and it is black, so why not call it what it is, and thus facilitate its replacement with something functional?

Stephen said at September 11, 2005 8:43 PM:

Many of the punditry (and posters) are pointing to government failure (whether through malice or incompetence), so it sets me to wondering:

If you were ruler for a day, what rules would you impose to sustainably improve the quality of government?

Note that the word 'sustainably' is there to exclude the kneejerk response of 'remove/impeach X'. I'm looking for long term solutions.

Speak-up, its easy to point out the problem, but what's the solution?

Marvin said at September 12, 2005 2:28 AM:

Meanwhile, in the real world, workers continue to clean up the mess, insurance adjusters assess the damages and prepare payouts, construction workers around the world prepare to descend on the gulf region en masse. Life goes on. Playing the blame game long after the game has passed is for suckers. If you want to improve things, start acting like it. Stop whining like babies and start behaving constructively.

Bulldog said at September 12, 2005 4:38 AM:

I guess the response is pretty much in the eyes of the beholder.

Jack Kelly supplies the information about hurricane response time that the MSM is too biased and lazy to provide. For example, he quotes Florida National Guardsman Jason van Steenwyk, mobilized six times for hurricane relief, who states: "The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne." Indeed, Kelly makes a good case that the response to Katrina represents "the most monumental and successful disaster relief operation in world history." If true, then the MSM's coverage must rank among the most monumental and (thus far) successful frauds in the history of journalism.

Hmmm. The media is a fraud. Big surprise.

John S Bolton said at September 12, 2005 2:41 PM:

Here's a solution: get rid of affirmative action, and municipal governments won't just be crushed in their reponse capacity to an event of high stress.

gcochran said at September 12, 2005 3:48 PM:

Identifying and blaming those responsible for errors is a essential part of progress. We should do more of it. LOTS more.

Some people may enjoy a world in which the pinheads run the circus: I don't.

Hugh Angell said at September 12, 2005 4:19 PM:

I was horrified at RP's comment that bus drivers were afraid to drive into New Orleans to
pick up people. This had to be AFTER the flooding and the collapse of law and order I hope.

Of course I read that one hotel had chartered buses to evacuate its guests only to have
the someone... the feds, the state or who was not clear, commandeer them when they arrived.

Clearly the chaos in New Orleans was atypical or perhaps typical only of New Orleans and
Louisiana. I don't believe Florida or North Carolina, two other states with frequent
hurricane strikes sink into anarchy every hurricane season.

As to the idea of allowing 'volunteer agencies into a disaster zone. That depends on the
level of the disaster. Clearly allowing every church group with a van or bus into a New
Orleans that was fast becoming a Congo on the Mississippi would have created a bigger
tragedy. Obviously providing hurricane relief for Cape Hatteras or Florida resorts is a
different thing entirely than venturing into urban slums where even the New Orleans
police feared to tread.

If blame has to be assigned the lion's portion of it must go the inhabitants of New Orleans
who, by their own behavior, made rescue and or evacuation a terribly difficult and dangerous task. It wasn't like these people were on the verge of starvation. In fact a
few days on short rations would have improved the health of many of them. The idea that
any of these people had no drinking water begs belief or reveals them to be total idiots.
The Red Cross, FEMA and every other emergency agency all advise people to store water in
the event of any emergency situation developing. Empty plastic soda and other drink
containers can and should have been filled in advance of the storm by anyone planning on
sticking it out. That's just common sense.

Being cut off from stores and or civilization for a few days, especially when the threat is
known to one and all, should not be a life threatening event. In fact some people do it for
recreation and call it 'camping'! I now have a generator, siphon, a dozen quart bottles of
propane, a proprane heater and cook stove and a multiband radio for just such emergencies. I even still have my duct tape and plastic sheeting the government advised us to obtain
after the anthrax scare of 2001. Of course, in order to be effective, I would probably
suffocate but at the time it was all the defense we had and for limiting one's exposure to
a chemical toxin it MIGHT be effective if you have the time.

I remember those 'end of the world' "B" movies from the sixties. One's like "Panic in the
Year Zero" and the like. Well if 'nuclear combat toe to toe with the Ruskies' isn't too
likely anymore, if it ever was, events like Katrina, the Loma Prieta earthquake and 9/11
have shown that right here in the US we can find ourselves on our own with the police
and emergency services unable to respond. That being the case it is prudent to make your
own emergency plans. After the fiasco with the flu vaccine last year would anyone want to
depend on the government dispensing anti virals like Tamiflu in the event of a severe
outbreak of avian flu? Care to have to report to a Super Dome or Convention Center to wait
in line to get Cipro after your town was sprayed by weaponized anthrax? You think things
got ugly in New Orleans we haven't seen the half of what could happen in our urban areas
should things really get dangerous.

Marvin said at September 12, 2005 5:05 PM:

Bush has the responsibility for the entire free world, all the United States, all of its possessions and dependencies. Blanco and Nagin had responsibility for only their own little corrupt pieces of turf. Federal response is not guaranteed for between 72 and 96 hours in an emergency. Locals need to get a hard on to help themselves during that interval.

The military performed well, but Governess Blanco admitted on tape that she waited too long to request them. For reasons of her own she waited too long to request the military! Dear, me, caught on tape admitting such a thing, when her apologists are all over the media blaming everybody else but her and Senator Landrieu's brother, the Lt. Governess.
The local citizens with IQ's below 80 (see Steve Sailer) certainly did not help the situation. NOLA has long been a culture of crime from top to bottom. That did not help either. What an incompetent state, an incompetent city.

Other than the military, the feds (FEMA) were mediocre as always, if slightly better than past hurricanes according to some qualified observers. Being part of Homeland Security seems to have made little difference, as most intelligent people predicted. Enlarging the size of federal bureaucracies is almost never a good way to improve performance. Bush went along with the democrats on that issue, to get along. One of his major faults.

Engineer-Poet said at September 12, 2005 5:10 PM:

Okay, Hugh.  Now after you've filled your containers, you find that your house is in an area likely to be flooded so you evacuate to the Superdome.  You can carry maybe a gallon plus the stuff you need for your kids and elderly mother.  How long is that going to last?

You come back to a house that's been flooded.  Nothing inside is salvageable, let alone sanitary.  The city water is off.  What's there to drink?

Anyone who prevented water from being brought to the city, or ignored or vetoed ideas to put water on vehicles going in to bring people out, ought to be given the equivalent of a public flogging.

Hugh Angell said at September 12, 2005 6:02 PM:

First of all, I would never have gone into that Super Dome. I remember watching as those
folks went in there and wondering what will happen when the power goes off, when the
water pressure stops? What was the mayor thinking? Putting 25,000 members of the underclass, and remember, 1 out of 4 ( probably higher in New Orleans) black men in the
US is a either awaiting trial, an ex con on parole or under some under form of supervised
release, so you are talking about a substantial number of dangerous criminals in there
with you. No thanks!!!

If I couldn't evacuate, though with the National Hurricane Center advising that Katrina
was coming my way with 175 mph winds I'd sure have tried to find a way, I'd look for
shelter. A class A office tower, one of the big downtown hotels. The newest high school
in the city. Stout buildings with steel and reinforced concrete frames. If nothing else
get in a parking garage above street level. You're an engineer? What's that
cube/square rule about wind velocity and drag? Double the wind, cube the drag so a storm
with 200 mph gusts is not even close to the same animal of a 100mph storm as far as the
ability of structures to withstand them.

I agree with you sheltering in place if you have small children is not a rational option.
That is why those who were particularly vulnerable should have been evacuated whether they
wanted to or not. Remember 175 mph winds and gusts of 200 the day before landfall. What
was the mayor thinking?

As to water at the Super Dome. Weighs what? 7.5 lbs/gallon. A person could carry more than
one but you are right. Those responsible for putting 25,000 people into a 'shelter' have a
responsibility to see to it that those who arrive have the minimal supplies necessary to
sustain life. The problem was the Mayor, who must have not paid any attention to the
National Hurricane Center advisories, somehow thought, I guess, that everyone would be able
to leave the next day or would be dead if Katrina did a bulls eye at CAT 5 Strength right
over New Orleans so there would be no need, either way to provide for them.

I might add that somewhere in New Orleans there was likely a bottled water or beverage
distributorship. I bet they are even in the phone book. If not the police could certainly
track someone down who could let them into their warehouse. Then, would it not have been
possible to drive a few trucks down to the Super Dome and at least have a day or two of
water and drinks on hand. If not how about filling up a few fire truck tanker trucks
from the hydrants and pulling them into the Super Dome? Might be handy if there was fire
and no water pressure. Who knows some fool might have set one. They did everything else
but in there. I'm no genius but I'm reasonable sure that you or I, had we the authority of
the Mayor and Police Chief at our disposable could have found a way to put some food and
water into the Super Dome even if we only had 24 hours to do it in.

FriendlyFire said at September 12, 2005 8:01 PM:

My mistake

Bolten and other kept quoting from this.
This is he full orginal txt

"Originally Posted by I'll let the paramedics take over the story...
On Day 2, there were approximately 500 of us left in the hotels in the French Quarter. We were a mix of foreign tourists, conference attendees like ourselves, and locals who had checked into hotels for safety and shelter from Katrina. Some of us had cell phone contact with family and friends outside of New Orleans. We were repeatedly told that all sorts of resources including the National Guard and scores of buses were pouring in to the City. The buses and the other resources must have been invisible because none of us had seen them.

We decided we had to save ourselves. So we pooled our money and came up with $25,000 to have ten buses come and take us out of the City. Those who did not have the requisite $45.00 for a ticket were subsidized by those who did have extra money. We waited for 48 hours for the buses, spending the last 12 hours standing outside, sharing the limited water, food, and clothes we had. We created a priority boarding area for the sick, elderly and new born babies. We waited late into the night for the "imminent" arrival of the buses. The buses never arrived. We later learned that the minute the arrived to the City limits, they were commandeered by the military.

By day 4 our hotels had run out of fuel and water. Sanitation was dangerously abysmal. As the desperation and despair increased, street crime as well as water levels began to rise. The hotels turned us out and locked their doors, telling us that the "officials" told us to report to the convention center to wait for more buses. As we entered the center of the City, we finally encountered the National Guard. The Guards told us we would not be allowed into the Superdome as the City's primary shelter had descended into a humanitarian and health hellhole. The guards further told us that the City's only other shelter, the Convention Center, was also descending into chaos and squalor and that the police were not allowing anyone else in. Quite naturally, we asked, "If we can't go to the only 2 shelters in the City, what was our alternative?" The guards told us that that was our problem, and no they did not have extra water to give to us. This would be the start of our numerous encounters with callous and hostile "law enforcement".

We walked to the police command center at Harrah's on Canal Street and were told the same thing, that we were on our own, and no they did not have water to give us. We now numbered several hundred. We held a mass meeting to decide a course of action. We agreed to camp outside the police command post. We would be plainly visible to the media and would constitute a highly visible embarrassment to the City officials. The police told us that we could not stay. Regardless, we began to settle in and set up camp. In short order, the police commander came across the street to address our group. He told us he had a solution: we should walk to the Pontchartrain Expressway and cross the greater New Orleans Bridge where the police had buses lined up to take us out of the City. The crowed cheered and began to move. We called everyone back and explained to the commander that there had been lots of misinformation and wrong information and was he sure that there were buses waiting for us. The commander turned to the crowd and stated emphatically, "I swear to you that the buses are there."

We organized ourselves and the 200 of us set off for the bridge with great excitement and hope. As we marched pasted the convention center, many locals saw our determined and optimistic group and asked where we were headed. We told them about the great news. Families immediately grabbed their few belongings and quickly our numbers doubled and then doubled again. Babies in strollers now joined us, people using crutches, elderly clasping walkers and others people in wheelchairs. We marched the 2-3 miles to the freeway and up the steep incline to the Bridge. It now began to pour down rain, but it did not dampen our enthusiasm.

As we approached the bridge, armed Gretna sheriffs formed a line across the foot of the bridge. Before we were close enough to speak, they began firing their weapons over our heads. This sent the crowd fleeing in various directions. As the crowd scattered and dissipated, a few of us inched forward and managed to engage some of the sheriffs in conversation. We told them of our conversation with the police commander and of the commander's assurances. The sheriffs informed us there were no buses waiting. The commander had lied to us to get us to move.

We questioned why we couldn't cross the bridge anyway, especially as there was little traffic on the 6-lane highway. They responded that the West Bank was not going to become New Orleans and there would be no Superdomes in their City. These were code words for if you are poor and black, you are not crossing the Mississippi River and you were not getting out of New Orleans.

Our small group retreated back down Highway 90 to seek shelter from the rain under an overpass. We debated our options and in the end decided to build an encampment in the middle of the Ponchartrain Expressway on the center divide, between the O'Keefe and Tchoupitoulas exits. We reasoned we would be visible to everyone, we would have some security being on an elevated freeway and we could wait and watch for the arrival of the yet to be seen buses.

All day long, we saw other families, individuals and groups make the same trip up the incline in an attempt to cross the bridge, only to be turned away. Some chased away with gunfire, others simply told no, others to be verbally berated and humiliated. Thousands of New Orleaners were prevented and prohibited from self-evacuating the City on foot. Meanwhile, the only two City shelters sank further into squalor and disrepair. The only way across the bridge was by vehicle. We saw workers stealing trucks, buses, moving vans, semi-trucks and any car that could be hotwired. All were packed with people trying to escape the misery New Orleans had become.

Our little encampment began to blossom. Someone stole a water delivery truck and brought it up to us. Let's hear it for looting! A mile or so down the freeway, an army truck lost a couple of pallets of C-rations on a tight turn. We ferried the food back to our camp in shopping carts. Now secure with the two necessities, food and water.... [we offered them] to passing families and individuals. Many decided to stay and join us. Our encampment grew to 80 or 90 people.

From a woman with a battery powered radio we learned that the media was talking about us. Up in full view on the freeway, every relief and news organizations saw us on their way into the City. Officials were being asked what they were going to do about all those families living up on the freeway? The officials responded they were going to take care of us. Some of us got a sinking feeling. "Taking care of us" had an ominous tone to it.

Unfortunately, our sinking feeling (along with the sinking City) was correct. Just as dusk set in, a Gretna Sheriff showed up, jumped out of his patrol vehicle, aimed his gun at our faces, screaming, "Get off the ****ing freeway". A helicopter arrived and used the wind from its blades to blow away our flimsy structures. As we retreated, the sheriff loaded up his truck with our food and water.

Once again, at gunpoint, we were forced off the freeway. All the law enforcement agencies appeared threatened when we congregated or congealed into groups of 20 or more. In every congregation of "victims" they saw "mob" or "riot". We felt safety in numbers. Our "we must stay together" was impossible because the agencies would force us into small atomized groups.

In the pandemonium of having our camp raided and destroyed, we scattered once again. Reduced to a small group of 8 people, in the dark, we sought refuge in an abandoned school bus, under the freeway on Cilo Street. We were hiding from possible criminal elements but equally and definitely, we were hiding from the police and sheriffs with their martial law, curfew and shoot-to-kill policies. "

Bulldog said at September 13, 2005 12:58 PM:

Now it looks like the blame is centering on someone named Landreneau, the Louisiana state head of homeland security. Very interesting assessment at the above link.

Friendly fire's posting is a good illustration of the total clusterfuck lack of coordination between the local NOLA area law enforcement agencies. Total FUBAR. State police and state National Guard are supposed to provide early coordination when things fall apart within the state like that. Lack of leadership on the state level makes everything fall apart. Follow the link and see what you think. A lot of people sniping from a great distance who've never been involved in first response, don't seem to understand how a response to a disaster should logically unfold. Most of these idiots go by names like Pelosi, Reid, Hagel, Kennedy, etc. Bill Frist, the surgeon, was on the scene practicing medicine, as were many physicians from all over the country, voluntarily.

Some of the best responses to the disaster were bottom up, spontaneous actions by ordinary citizens who felt they had to do something. That's called self-selection, and some of these self-selectors also happened to be better qualified to deal with emergencies than many bureaucrats who are getting paid to do it. Ever been on the scene of an accident when it happened, and watched how certain people jump into the fray to insert order into the situation? Most of these people don't get any kind of reimbursement for their trouble.

smile meadow said at September 16, 2005 10:30 AM:

Why is it taking so much for us to learn from these disasters that the leadership must be democratic from the ground up? The natives on that island in the indian ocean knew how to save themselves from the tsunami with out any help and did a better job of it than any governmental or aid body, and we need to learn from them.

The nature of a disaster is that the conditions can not be foreseen and planed for ahead. The training for the response needs to consist of training the responders that their command must be only the SOVEREIGN folk before them. They need to take their orders from those people who need the help and do as they are asked because the AID they can give is in the regaining of power by the affected individual over their situation in which he finds himself. This is the only real important way to help a traumatized person and will also at the same time do the most to call out the best in all folks to do their part. Note how the warring groups in the tsunami aftermath choose to call a truce all on their own.

nathan the great said at October 2, 2005 12:47 PM:

i believe that the state government is to blame for the catostrophy in New Orleans. The governor of Louisiana and mayor of New Olreans are so greedy they dont even care about their citizens

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