Not to be confused with the Great Tsunami of 2004 or the Great Influenza Outbreak of 1914 or even the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.
This friends is the big time. Hurricane Katrina slammed into the gulf coast on Monday and basically created a third world country in New Orleans. Easily one of the strongest, deadliest, and costliest hurricanes ever to hit the US, what amazes me most has been the preparation and response to this disaster.
Government officials have known for years that a Cat 5 Hurricane hitting New Orleans would be catastrophic and have supposedly planned for the worst. But what happened? Most people got out and a few stayed behind and found themselves in a desperate situation for food, running water, and even a place to take a dump. People flocked to shelters at the Superdome and the convention center after being told that these were places the government would coordinate evacuations. Then what? There was no one there with no food or water or shelter. Disgraceful is what I call it.
If they have known for years that the city was vulnerable then why not have an action plan for the Superdome? Even FEMA admits that their idea of what might happen included levee breeches and massive flooding. Maybe they had a slick plan and it just fell apart due to some circumstances beyond their control, and these things do happen. There will be a lot of finger pointing when all is said and done, but I am sure The Big Easy will have a better plan after it is all done.
What about the Feds? I could go on for days about how our president and the federal agencies have seemed aloof about the whole thing. Sure el presidente released oil from the strategic reserves so the poor people in Atlanta don’t have to pay $5 for a gallon of gas. Where is the Army? We are able to send strike teams on 24 hr notice to Iraq and Afghanistan, but we can’t have the same teams on the ground restoring order and preventing looting. People are shooting at doctors and sick patients evacuating a hospital for crying out loud.
Heads will roll when all of this comes out and if they don’t, this will be a bigger travesty than any controversy around the Iraq war or 9/11.
Some people reading this will probably be shocked since this isn’t the normal fodder for the site, but I had to vent. Why? I live in Southern California where we have disasters all the time. They always warn us should “The Big One” hit we should be prepared to be on our own for up to three days. Looking at New Orleans, it looks like I need to up my earthquake supplies to at least 5 days.
My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones.
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