Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Louisiana Office of Homeland Security 'craps out'

According to this on Right Wing News the Lousianna state office of emergency services specifically barred the Red Cross before the flooding began from taking critically needed supplies to the Superdome and Convention Center in the Crescent City because they "wanted people to evacuate," not hunker down for the duration (my words).

Since this supposedly was broadcast live on Fox News there should be sufficient independent confirmation of the information.

Could it be as simple as a state bureaucrat making a critical and fatal mistake in judgement?


car said...
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Rat said...

And yet they continue to build on the San Andreas fault knowing full well there's going to be a massive quake that's going to kill a million people because they're all too dumb to move.

49erDweet said...

I suppose if you are not there - on or near the San Andreas fault line - it seems easy enough to criticize, rat, but in truth not too many people actually "build" on the specific line - which in many places is partially visible at the surface.

You may consider those that live nearby 'dumb', but I do not. Just as I don't believe the Boxing Day Tsunami victims in your part of the world were 'dumb', though at first some ran foolishly toward the receding waters at the shoreline just prior to the arrival of that terrible water surge.

And as for "knowing" and "killing a million people", at the end of the day I would take some issue with you on the accuracy of that supposed knowledge. The numbers from past earthquakes just don't support you.

I much prefer living near earthquakes (my first was in 1933, my last just a few days ago) to tornados and hurricanes, just as you might be more comfortable with cyclones or bushfires.

Each of these natural disasters are somewhat foreseeable. But as free men (and women) we choose where we wish to live. Some wisely, others not.

Regardless, it is important for us to accept responsbility for our choices, I believe, and to takes steps to provide our own substantial safety net for family and loved ones. So to return to the thread of this blog, it is clear about 80% of the citizens of NOLA did a good job of evacuating. About 10% did a weak job, and the rest failed badly. How much of a role poverty played in those last 20% is something we will probably determine over the next several months.

Based on the 80% figure, I would have to give the citizenry of NOLA a B Minus for emergency evacuation.

Stephen (aka Q) said...

I understand that welfare recipients were among those who didn't evacuate. Welfare payments arrive at the beginning of the month. On August 29, when the hurricane hit, those folks would have had empty wallets and empty cupboards.

I also understand that 50,000 residents of New Orleans didn't own a car.

49erDweet said...

Q is absolutely 'spot on' with his comments re: the significance of the date of the tragedy versus the date public assistance checks are issued, and the absolutely inevitable tragedy that coincidental timing should have foreshown to the alert emergency response administrator relative to the plight of thousands. Because this did not happen, they became victims of local and state governmental ineptitude.

A couple of additional items are affecting my grading factors today; the report on FOX and MSNBC that as late as last Thursday NOLA's mayor scoffed at using the several hundred locally available school buses, which though flooded up to their mid-wheels, about 20" at the time, were still usable and available, and instead demanded every greyhound (tour) bus in America be diverted to evacuate NOLA's poor and needy. True, the fuel range of a tour bus is usually over 200 miles, while school buses are limited to about 100. But they wouldn't have had to go even that far to reach Baton Rouge, and safety.

The second thing, under urging from Q and tm, I rethought the weight I originally awarded for NOLA's pre-disaster planning failure to adequately consider their poor. It was plain irresponsible and shameless. Governance requires responsibility. When I was employed by the state and failed to fulfill my obligation to serve the public adequately, I took my shots, accepted the blame, and made it right.

As hard as they've worked since the levy breaks, the NOLA mayor and city staff have not accepted responsibility for their abject pre-planning failure. Because of this lack they are worse than second rate. They are a municipal embarrassment! F it is.

Stephen (aka Q) said...

I appreciate the amount of thought you've put into this, 49er. I'm sure you've exposed people to data they weren't given elsewhere.

Rat said...

I concur wholeheartedly with q.

It's refreshing to see a blogger who does the hard yards researching their material before making judgments like this.

Well done.