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FEMA negligence

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Riversong View Post
    State and local officials certainly could have done more and better, but the whole purpose of FEMA is to pick up where states and localities become overwhelmed....
    ....While it does require an acknowledgement from local and state authorities that they are overwhelmed, the National Response Plan is executed from the top down
    From what I've learned regarding the corruption and incompetence of the NO politicians, I'd interpret this quote as your belief that FEMA should've been in charge of every structure fire, medical emergency and criminal investigation in the city prior to Katrina. I believe Nagin is overwhelmed when he has to decide between taking a **** and unzipping his pants first.

    For crying out loud, man...Nagin and Blanco were publicly arguing in the 2 days prior to landfall who had the authority to order a mandatory evacuation!! With nearly a hundred thousand people evacuating, he wanted people from outside of NO to drive Greyhounds INTO the city to help evacuate instead of recruiting residents (who were already there and preparing to leave) to drive school buses full of evaucees out of the city. What an idiot!! "We need to get everyone out of the city....to do that, I propose bringing in a thousand Greyhounds and a few thousand more people. To accomplish this, we must reduce the evacuation capacity of the highway system by half (inbound lanes must remain open for inbound traffic). Oh yeah...by doing this, we will be adding to the number of people who must ultimately be evacuated...." Frickin' brilliant, Mr. "Willy Wonka" Nagin.

    Then, the day after, when the Red Cross was there and wanted to enter the city to provide relief and supplies, Nagin wouldn't let them in!

    Did FEMA do the best job they could've done? I don't think so. However, I suspect it is likely that, maybe, FEMA quickly became overwhelmed because they are set up to assist, provide resources and manpower, and coordinate multi-agency efforts in disasters. In NO, the local agencies had no integrated command structure or political leadership. Instead of "executing the NRP from the top down", FEMA had to build the operation from the ground up.

    I wonder....did Nagin or Blanco request the Coast Guard initiate rescue operations that were hailed by the media? I don't think there is a snowball's chance in hell that they did. They were too busy trying to project thier incompetance on anyone else but themselves.

    As most participants on this thread have opined, FEMA is not free from blame. However, the heads of the local agencies and the local political leaders are primarily responsible for most of the problems.

    Why don't any of the journalists harrass Nagin or Blanco with questions like "Do you acknowledge that you made mistakes in the lead up to the Iraq War....oops...I mean, in the days immediately before and after Katrina made landfall??"


    • #32
      Being in one of the hardest hit areas, I have a bit more insight than any journalist. I was there before, during and after the storm. The "Mandatory evacuation was announced at 9 am on the 28th. That just wasn't enough time. There were assets that could have been mobilized, such as the school buses that were later lost after the levees broke, but the "lack of drivers" was cited for that screw up. I'm certain there would have been plenty of volunteers to drive if the call had been put out. Louisiana, unlike Mississippi was under a federal emergency declaration for 72 hours prior to the storm's landfall. Even such assets as AMTRACK could have been utilized, and supposedly were offered to the New Orleans government, but were turned down. As were the offers of many school buses from all over the state.

      No such offers were available in Mississippi. The brunt of Katrina missed New Orleans, and that's fact. Mississippi, as well as St. Bernard and Placquemines Parishes took the full category 5 effects of this storm. New Orleans received category 3 effects. Also, fact.

      The inability to deal with a disaster of this magnitude can't be blamed on any one system. It was a failure of all systems that we had. We have shifted so much of our response initiative to "terrorism", that we've forgotten the lessons of HUGO, CAMILLE and the California earthquakes. Centralized Command doesn't exist, and excessive red tape choked off the immediate responses from our neighbors. I saw this first hand... Supplies, medical personnel, food and water turned away by FEMA because THEY didn't coordinate it...

      Once the Federal response was placed under the present Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Cochran and General Honore, a local fellow with the determination of a Bulldog, things took off and started rolling. FEMA Director Brown was a failure in every meaning of the word.

      I know all too well what that storm did, I live here. I serve here. I still live with the damage, the losses and the very vivid memories of what life was like during those horrific days afterwards. I don't need a documentary to tell me about them. The images are permanently burned into my psyche.

      Instead of hashing through the blame game, as Blanco and Nagin still are, all levels of government need to ensure that an adequate response plan is in place and workable. We already have seen first hand what doesn't...
      Chief Engineer,
      East Hancock FD
      Bay ST. Louis, MS
      I.A.C.O.J. Disaster Survival Specialist
      "OF all the things I lost in Katrina, I miss my mind the most"
      FEMA - The other "F" word


      • #33
        Still no one has given a valid point as to why this is FEMAs problem and not that of the local government..........
        Assistant Chief/EMT-B


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