Friday, September 02, 2005

Thoughts On New Orleans

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Does anyone at the Huffington Post or other sites know how pre-disaster planning works? They are quick to inject politics, when politics has no place. New Orleans has long known that the city was especially susceptible to disaster as the mayor himself said just prior to Katrina making landfall:

"We are facing a storm that most of us have feared," Nagin said. "I don't want to create panic, but I do want the citizens to understand that this is very serious, and it is of the highest nature."

By that statment alone, he revealed that they knew that it had the potential to be a huge disaster. What exactly was done to prevent what we are now seeing? You can see by the picture in the link above that even when an evacuation was ordered, they still didn't open up the opposite side of the highway so that cars good egress more quickly.

I know emergency response work and the planning by the city of New Orleans was horrible, as was the response of state officials. It is not the role of the federal government to plan for local disasters. New Orleans police are driving by stranded families with children and offering no assistance. Why?

Let's compare 9/11 and this catastrophe. 9/11 was unthinkable, two 110 story towers laying in ruins in the heart of one of the planets largest cities. The opportunities for widespread panic and looting were there and none occurred. More importantly, 9/11 was wholly unexpected and was dealt with not by the federal government, but by NYC and the surrounding states.

In New Orleans, they were aware that the potential for disaster was great. What type of planning did they do? It seems that they did none. They were derelict in their duties for not doing anymore to speed recovery or at least stave off the worst of the flooding as California has done with their tough, proactive earthquake building codes.

Mayor Nagin is screaming that Washington has been slow to react, sorry Mr. Mayor, it was your inaction that has contributed greatly to this disaster. You and the other elected representatives of Louisiana.

As for the psychos screaming that this was the earths revenge or that if we had signed Kyoto this wouldn't have happened, you are ridiculous in the extreme and should be left out of the discussion.

Update: More on this topic here.

Update 2: So that's where Fidel Chavez is going to get the food to send to the US.

Update 3: Charles Johnson has more here and here.

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