A sensible explanation of response to Hurricane Katrina/ New Orleans

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by nancree, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. nancree

    nancree Guest

    Jack Kelly: No shame
    The federal response to Katrina was not as portrayed
    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    It is settled wisdom among journalists that the federal response to the
    devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was unconscionably slow.

    Jack Kelly is national security writer for the Post-Gazette and
    The Blade of Toledo, Ohio ([email protected], 412-263-1476).

    "Mr. Bush's performance last week will rank as one of the worst ever
    during a dire national emergency," wrote New York Times columnist Bob
    Herbert in a somewhat more strident expression of the conventional

    But the conventional wisdom is the opposite of the truth.

    Jason van Steenwyk is a Florida Army National Guardsman who has been
    mobilized six times for hurricane relief. He notes that:

    "The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but
    the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented.
    The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew,
    faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."

    For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in
    strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in
    1992. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard
    presence in the afflicted region in three.

    Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no
    idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies
    into an area the size of England in which power lines are down,
    telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are
    damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently
    have little interest in finding out.

    So they libel as a "national disgrace" the most monumental and
    successful disaster relief operation in world history.

    I write this column a week and a day after the main levee protecting
    New Orleans breached. In the course of that week:

    More than 32,000 people have been rescued, many plucked from rooftops
    by Coast Guard helicopters.

    The Army Corps of Engineers has all but repaired the breaches and begun
    pumping water out of New Orleans.

    Shelter, food and medical care have been provided to more than 180,000

    Journalists complain that it took a whole week to do this. A former Air
    Force logistics officer had some words of advice for us in the Fourth
    Estate on his blog, Moltenthought:

    "We do not yet have teleporter or replicator technology like you saw on
    'Star Trek' in college between hookah hits and waiting to pick up your
    worthless communications degree while the grown-ups actually engaged in
    the recovery effort were studying engineering.

    "The United States military can wipe out the Taliban and the Iraqi
    Republican Guard far more swiftly than they can bring 3 million Swanson
    dinners to an underwater city through an area the size of Great Britain
    which has no power, no working ports or airports, and a devastated and
    impassable road network.

    "You cannot speed recovery and relief efforts up by prepositioning
    assets (in the affected areas) since the assets are endangered by the
    very storm which destroyed the region.

    "No amount of yelling, crying and mustering of moral indignation will
    change any of the facts above."

    "You cannot just snap your fingers and make the military appear
    somewhere," van Steenwyk said.

    Guardsmen need to receive mobilization orders; report to their
    armories; draw equipment; receive orders and convoy to the disaster
    area. Guardsmen driving down from Pennsylvania or Navy ships sailing
    from Norfolk can't be on the scene immediately.

    Relief efforts must be planned. Other than prepositioning supplies near
    the area likely to be afflicted (which was done quite efficiently),
    this cannot be done until the hurricane has struck and a damage
    assessment can be made. There must be a route reconnaissance to
    determine if roads are open, and bridges along the way can bear the
    weight of heavily laden trucks.

    And federal troops and Guardsmen from other states cannot be sent to a
    disaster area until their presence has been requested by the governors
    of the afflicted states.

    Exhibit A on the bill of indictment of federal sluggishness is that it
    took four days before most people were evacuated from the Louisiana

    The levee broke Tuesday morning. Buses had to be rounded up and driven
    from Houston to New Orleans across debris-strewn roads. The first ones
    arrived Wednesday evening. That seems pretty fast to me.

    A better question -- which few journalists ask -- is why weren't the
    roughly 2,000 municipal and school buses in New Orleans utilized to
    take people out of the city before Katrina struck?

  2. vega

    vega Guest

    On 12 Sep 2005 16:36:08 -0700, "nancree" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Jack Kelly: No shame
    >The federal response to Katrina was not as portrayed
    >Sunday, September 11, 2005


    I have my own POV that would likley stir up all kinds of shit. But
    this is NOT the place for it.


    Or am I the one outta line here?