Sunday, October 02, 2005

From a Reader in Louisiana 
Another note from a reader:

I fled Southwestern LA during the onslaught of Rita. When I got back 3 days later, FEMA was EVERYWHERE! We still have no electricity (running a generator though), but free food, water, and ice are available from FEMA whenever needed, as much as your car can carry.

I have no personal knowledge of the quality of their assistance during Katrina, but for Rita they are simply excellent. I cannot imagine any way that they could do a better job. I am as proud of the National Guard's work down here as I am of the fine work they are doing in Iraq.

But...but... How can this BE??? I thought Michael Brown and FEMA were incompetent!?!?!? How could Michael Brown go from being "a disaster in his own right," as NY Times Editorial page editor snarks, to being all over things like white on rice?

Unless the screaming hyenas were wrong about FEMA during Katrina, and FEMA is really capable of accomplishing its mission as soon as the roads are passable. Jus' sayin.

Splash, out


FEMA was not the problem during Katrina. It was the bumbling Governor and her idiot Mayor sidekick.

Blanco couldn't make up her mind and Nagin just couldn't do anything. Nagin made the Hyatt his command center. What kind of idiot would depend on the facilities inside a hotel to run his command center. Facilities of which he has no control. Jeez.

BTW-for local updates go to www.thedeadpelican.com (not my website). That will give you some insight on what's happening in La. I live just outside of Baton Rouge and things are a mess 150K more people for the last month and it really sucks.
I live in the Lake Charles area...hit pretty hard by Rita. The financial institution I work for has 6 branch locations down...4 for the count.

Any comparison between the LA response to Rita vs. Katrina is pretty much a waste of time.

The very fact that Katrina happened is what made the difference. The NG in the L.C. area were repositioned from South East LA. They were moved less than 300 miles. Any FEMA resources were similary repositioned. Logistically it's a no brainer.

Yes, FEMA was here quick...but they were already full deployed in the State. Yes, the NG was here quick...but they were already deployed. Yes, the thousands of wonderful powerline workers were very fast on the spot...but they were already here. Most barely breaking stride as they repositioned.

But in the end I listened to FEMA tell me over the radio that it was still every citizen's responsiblity to be 100% self sufficient for 72 to 96 hours.

Yes...by D+2 they were handing out resources...but they get very limited credit for that...as they were already fully deployed.

The very fact that Katrina happened, and all of this country and state's leadership got their collective black eye (I will not defend Blanco and Nagin...but I do not for an instant believe they are wholey responsible either)...led to a better response from National, State, and Local agencies in the face of Rita.

I am sorry to say this...but things have been great in comparison...only because of the debacles across the board caused by Katrina.

Our local law enforcement were on site in N.O. They took notes, had AARs, and integrated those lessons learned just in time to prove those lessons. Our city and parish leadership did likewise. Their planning and response was validated...and they never hesitated to inform the public why they responded like they did...Katrina.


P.S. I will say this in response to all of the national criticism of my state leadership in regard to all that was Katrina: 1.3 million Louisianians evactuated the Southeast portion of the state efficiently and in a timely maner without having to be begged. Less than 200k residents of this nations poorest, most crime ridden city failed to leave after being told to. Not because they didn't have the means or resouces were not available...but because "they" chose not to. The same 200k that responded to a city wide poll about evacuation plans...and stated that regardless of the size or destructive capability of a storm...that they would not evacuate and that they would shelter in place. Well...they did. They have a very good size share of that blame and responsiblity that is being sent every where from the state and local leadership, FEMA, the Army, and the President.
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