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September 01, 2005


9/11 was a terrible event. It rocked our nation. The outpouring of support and the unification of our country was amazing.

What the hell happened to us?

How can FEMA think that by missing New Orleans by a few miles to the East that there still wouldn't be problems? There's a big ass lake to the north, and where the winds would have been off the ocean if Katrina had hit on one side, those same exact winds would be off of said big ass lake (tm) if it had hit on the east side.

Whether or not they had expected it, I'm amazed that someone didn't put it out there as a 'what if'. Seriously, someone put me on staff and I'll look at your scenarios and point out all the stupid obvious shit that you apparently continue to miss. I saw the picture, and the map and saw that it would be a problem, I also mentioned to a couple of people "Hey, the people down there don't bury their dead, they entomb (enterr?) them. That's going to be a problem." And it wasn't until day two of the 'crisis' that anyone mentioned that either. I also made a small comment to some friends over lunch Monday that most of the folk in New Orleans weren't in a situation where they could afford to get out of the city. A couple of others have mentioned that as well in their blogs or articles, and I'll link them later.

Heard on CNN

"You can hear behind me the helicopters coming in bringing high level officials..." how about the ones bringing in food and water, medical and rescue supplies, national guard and peace officials? Oh, yes, well, no one can answer that.

What do you mean you don't know where these supplies are? "It was a fast storm with very little warning..." Huh?!? People had a week to mobilize and get the hell out of dodge - the governor was making calls for people to plan on leaving as soon as it started crossing Florida. If people had that much time to leave, wasn't there that much time to put plans in place, mobilze the inactive guard units, withdraw them to a relatively safe place and begin moving stockpiles? The general in charge openly admitted that they had failed to plan for the worst case scenario. What?!? Um, shouldn't you be planning on the worst case and hoping for the best instead of planning for the best and hoping to avoid the worst? What kind of military training are we giving these guys nowadays. Here are some quotes I'd like to pass on to these guys:

  • "The best laid plans never survive the first encounter with the enemy, so plan for the worst."
  • "There is always one more thing to do, so start doing them early."

The director of FEMA said on TV last night that they had proposed this situation two years ago, practiced it last year and were putting it into action this year...well, if this is an example of a 'successful' disaster exercise, people, we're screwed. It really is a fend for yourself situation and there isn't any need for FEMA or any of the other organizations that are in place that are supposed to help. Damn it, their lack of preparation and execution is pitiful and it's depressing to think that this is the best that we can do. If your hope in the our country isn't let Jack Schaffer. Race and Class. We, the media are ignoring the fac thta alomst all of the vicitims in LA are Black and Poor. Amen My brother. Many didn't or COULDN'T follow the evac orders. Where do they go, how do they go? What

--What role do race and class play in the Gulf Crisis?

The good news is that the Congress and Senate are coming off of their vacation early to deal with the issue. *Whew* I need to find the quotes of the speaker of the house, I didn't think I could agree with this guy, but I just might in this case. He said something to the effect that it doesn't really make much sense to rebuild the city.

My take: A city that is on average seven feet below sea level, cities that are constantly destroyed by Hurricanes, cities that are on major fault lines and that shake to the ground on any frequent, don't freaking build shit there anymore. There are plenty of places in the US still untouched by natural disaster that are safe and available. That might be a good idea for the relocation planning people. let's spend some cash on settling people there instead of putting them back in houses that are going to flood again in within the next decade (the storms ARE getting worse, you know) and do something useful.

Anyone know the middle east stations for the LA, AL or MP nationl guard? It would sure be nice if they were back home guarding the nation, eh? Especially now that we need some help and some of our locations need some guarding.

things that I need to follow up on:
- How are the Tsunami struck areas faring X months later?
- How long did it take for help to get to the people to the point that living conditions were somewhat back to normal?
- How much of the relief money that we sent was used directly, and what organizations were best suited to use that money?

We need to see the people in LA being treated with compassion and respect. Most of the people in the area that are 'in control' don't necessarily have all (any?) of the answers, but compassion and respect will definitely go a long way to maintaining the peace. Also, figuring out a way to effectively communicate what is known to a large group of refugees might help. Restablishing enough electricity to use the monitors in the super dome (inside and out) might be a good start. Too, leaflet drops with schedules, maps and information would be useful. It's not like a little more litter would be a big deal at this point.

Posted by Chuck Charbeneau at September 1, 2005 10:03 AM