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the Talking Can
09-02-2005, 01:12 AM
wasington post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/01/AR2005090102428.html?sub=AR)


Planning, Response Are Faulted

By Josh White and Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, September 2, 2005; Page A01

"Tens of thousands of people remain stranded on the streets of New Orleans in desperate conditions because officials failed to plan for a serious levee breach and the federal response to Hurricane Katrina was slow, according to disaster experts and Louisiana government officials.

Though experts had long predicted that the city -- which sits mostly below sea level and is surrounded by water -- would face unprecedented devastation after an immense hurricane, they said problems were worsened by a late evacuation order and insufficient emergency shelter for as many as 100,000 people.


Terry Ebbert, head of New Orleans's emergency operations, said the response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was inadequate and that Louisiana officials have been overwhelmed.

"This is a national disgrace. FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control," Ebbert told the Associated Press as he watched refugees evacuate the Superdome yesterday. "We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans. We have got a mayor who has been pushing and asking, but we're not getting supplies."

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin sent out a frustrated plea for help yesterday as thousands of people remained marooned at the city's Convention Center in the heat and filth, with as many as seven corpses nearby.

"This is a desperate SOS. Right now we are out of resources at the Convention Center and don't anticipate enough buses. Currently the Convention Center is unsanitary and unsafe and we are running out of supplies for 15,000 to 25,000 people," Nagin said in a statement read by CNN.

Frustration rose yesterday as federal, state and local officials responded to what many have described as an unimaginable disaster. Hampered by the lack of power, communications and passable roads, exhausted officials became increasingly worried about saving lives and getting help for those still stranded.

Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr., (R-La.), said he spent the past 48 hours urging the Bush administration to send help. "I started making calls and trying to impress upon the White House and others that something needed to be done," he said. "The state resources were being overwhelmed, and we needed direct federal assistance, command and control, and security -- all three of which are lacking."

In Mississippi, refugees and survivors also complained about the agonizingly slow pace of aid. Food and fuel were extremely limited in many of the hardest hit counties, and power and telephone communications were distant prospects for thousands of people. Isolated reports of shooting and lawlessness compounded the woes of weary survivors.....etc...cont..."

Phobia
09-02-2005, 02:23 AM
Yeah - that's ridiculous. The FIRST thing that is done on any full scale operation is establish a command center. That's first and foremost. Most of the relief workers don't know from whom to take their orders - which is my likely ignorant impression.

However, the Bush administration HAS sent help. This is the job of FEMA. FEMA is there in force. They're simply dropping the ball. The token scapegoat will be sacrificed tomorrow and the relief situation will improve down there.

jAZ
09-02-2005, 02:33 AM
Yeah - that's ridiculous. The FIRST thing that is done on any full scale operation is establish a command center. That's first and foremost. Most of the relief workers don't know from whom to take their orders - which is my likely ignorant impression.

However, the Bush administration HAS sent help. This is the job of FEMA. FEMA is there in force. They're simply dropping the ball. The token scapegoat will be sacrificed tomorrow and the relief situation will improve down there.
It's beginning to sound to me like it is more than just problem with FEMA dropping the ball. It's a matter of a failure to put the proper people in a position of leadership and give them the funding to prepare in advance for this almost certain outcome.

This is a nearly identical carbon copy of the failure to plan, fund and execute the immediate post-invasion aftermath in Iraq.

Only this time, those (seemingly avoidable) failures (like I said on the other thread, I'm just now catching up on this story) are happening right here in our own country. Where have we heard this before?

siberian khatru
09-02-2005, 07:06 AM
http://corner.nationalreview.com/

THE CONTINUING CRISIS [Jonah Goldberg]

As I think about what the finger-pointers are likely to say in the aftermath of all this it's hard not to credit some of their complaints. For years, Democrats complained that we needed to spend more on "first-responders." I took this for what it often was: an attempt to pad municipal budgets with pork. But, one must concede it wasn't entirely that either. And while it's likely this disaster would have presented many if not most of the challenges we're seeing this week, even if all that money had been spent as the Democrats wanted, it remains hard to dispute that it would have been better spent than much of the garbage in recent budgets.

And that's the point: The choice isn't between a lean, fiscally responsible, Republican budget and a porcine Democratic budget which included money for first responders. The Republican Congress has proven to be just about as disgusting in its spending as a Democratic Congress might have been. Sure, perhaps Democrats would have spent a bit more, but Republicans are supposed to be against bloated government and the stealing of tax dollars for personal projects and missions. So whatever pennies we've hypothetically saved with Republicans, their hypocrisy and betrayal of principle more than compensates.

So the question is, would the money have been better spent if the Republicans hadn't gotten their way? And, though it sickens me to say so, that is at best an open question. I have the utmost faith in the kleptocratic and dysfunctional governments of New Orleans and Louisiana to waste and steal money. But, we were supposed to be preparing --at the national level -- for a major terrorist attack for the last four years. I just don't see much evidence of that preparation. Congress re-assembled lickity-split to deal with Terri Schiavo -- a decision that didn't and does not bother me the way it bothers some. But however you define the issues involved in that case, in terms of real human suffering they are very hard to stack-up against what's happened in New Orleans. Congress should have convened yesterday and rescinded the highway bill. It should have broken-open the farm bill like a piņata and reallocated the monies therein.

For supporters of the war, this spectacle is going to be particularly hard to accomodate because it is in the interests of the political classes to keep their pork and it is in the interests of the antiwar left to frame this as a choice between Baghdad and New Orleans. That should not be the choice. The choice should be between the highway bill, ag subsidies and the like. The Don Young Highway should at least be renamed to the "Go Suck Eggs New Orleans Highway."

patteeu
09-02-2005, 07:14 AM
It's beginning to sound to me like it is more than just problem with FEMA dropping the ball. It's a matter of a failure to put the proper people in a position of leadership and give them the funding to prepare in advance for this almost certain outcome.

This is a nearly identical carbon copy of the failure to plan, fund and execute the immediate post-invasion aftermath in Iraq.

Only this time, those (seemingly avoidable) failures (like I said on the other thread, I'm just now catching up on this story) are happening right here in our own country. Where have we heard this before?


:rolleyes:

the Talking Can
09-02-2005, 07:16 AM
Yeah - that's ridiculous. The FIRST thing that is done on any full scale operation is establish a command center. That's first and foremost. Most of the relief workers don't know from whom to take their orders - which is my likely ignorant impression.

However, the Bush administration HAS sent help. This is the job of FEMA. FEMA is there in force. They're simply dropping the ball. The token scapegoat will be sacrificed tomorrow and the relief situation will improve down there.

FEMA is dropping the ball.

This is what most upset and confused me yesterday...I heard about it in an interview but couldn't find it in print until now:

from CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/09/02/katrina.response/index.html)

"New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin took the extraordinary step Thursday of sending a message through the media -- which he termed a "desperate SOS" -- advising the crowd at the convention center to march over the Crescent City Connection bridge to the west bank of the Mississippi River to find relief in neighboring Jefferson Parish.

"The convention center is unsanitary and unsafe, and we are running out of supplies for the 15- to 20,000 people," he said.

Yet, Brown told CNN's "Paula Zahn Now" Thursday evening that federal officials only found out about the unfolding humanitarian crisis at the convention center earlier in the day -- despite the fact that city officials had been telling people for days to take shelter there.

"We just learned about that today..."


Brown is the head of FEMA. How in the hell did FEMA not know about 1000's of people at the convention center? It was on the news non-stop. All they had to do was turn on ****ing CNN or Fox or MSNBC!

Or log on to one of the "internets," you moron.



And then this, from the same article:

"But there was perhaps no clearer illustration of the disconnect between how emergency officials view the situation at a distance, and how it is viewed by those actually living it on the ground, than Brown's comments to CNN's Wolf Blitzer Thursday evening about the evacuation of hospitals in the city.

"I've just learned today that we ... are in the process of completing the evacuations of the hospitals, that those are going very well," he said.

Shortly after he made those comments, Dr. Michael Bellew, a resident at Charity Hospital, where more than 200 patients were still waiting to be evacuated, described desperate conditions. The hospital had no power, no water, food was running out and nurses were bagging patients by hand because ventilators didn't work.

Earlier in the day, the evacuation from Charity had to be suspended for a time after a sniper opened fire on rescuers.

At another local hospital, Memorial Medical Center, a small fleet of helicopters was brought in to evacuate patients and staff after hospital officials were told "by officials on the ground to take the matter into our own hands," said Trevor Fetter, president of Tenet HealthCare Corp., the hospital's owner."

patteeu
09-02-2005, 07:25 AM
..
Earlier in the day, the evacuation from Charity had to be suspended for a time after a sniper opened fire on rescuers.

This is most interesting to me. A few dumbf*cks shooting at rescue workers and spoiling things for the rest of the distressed. I would think that with our experiences in Iraq we would know how to take care of this situation. Perhaps assigning a few Apache gunships to the relief effort is in order. When we start going Israeli on thugs in one of our own cities, that's going to make for quite a news story. I have to wonder though, whether the usual suspects will complain about excessive force and lack of due process.

It's painful to think of all the innocent people stranded in lawless, flooded neighborhoods and the hospital patients that won't survive long enough to be rescued.

memyselfI
09-02-2005, 07:30 AM
FEMA is dropping the ball.

This is what most upset and confused me yesterday...I heard about it in an interview but couldn't find it in print until now:

from CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/09/02/katrina.response/index.html)

"New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin took the extraordinary step Thursday of sending a message through the media -- which he termed a "desperate SOS" -- advising the crowd at the convention center to march over the Crescent City Connection bridge to the west bank of the Mississippi River to find relief in neighboring Jefferson Parish.

"The convention center is unsanitary and unsafe, and we are running out of supplies for the 15- to 20,000 people," he said.

Yet, Brown told CNN's "Paula Zahn Now" Thursday evening that federal officials only found out about the unfolding humanitarian crisis at the convention center earlier in the day -- despite the fact that city officials had been telling people for days to take shelter there.

"We just learned about that today..."


Brown is the head of FEMA. How in the hell did FEMA not know about 1000's of people at the convention center? It was on the news non-stop. All they had to do was turn on ****ing CNN or Fox or MSNBC!



Shhh, you might hurt Brown and Chertoff's feelings if you mention that neither man incharge of disaster relief had any prior experience in disaster relief.

Pointing out that it's bad leadership to appoint someone unqualified for a job might be seen as politicizing a tragedy. :rolleyes: :shake: :cuss:

Brown is clearly in over his head and he will take the fall after this is all over. He's spending so much time doing the PR circuit that I can't imagine how he's being the director of anything. But after he resigns or is fired, the President will need to be asked if putting someone in such a vital position without previous experience is really the best leadership he could provide.

StcChief
09-02-2005, 08:23 AM
Where is the State of Louisana??? They live in this disaster waiting to happen area for years.

Think they could stock pile something for immediate assistence they are local and close to their problem

htismaqe
09-02-2005, 08:26 AM
:hmmm:

The governor of Mississippi has said that the Federal government's response was MORE than adequate, I believe the word used was "impressive".

Uatu
09-02-2005, 08:26 AM
Where is the State of Louisana??? They live in this disaster waiting to happen area for years.

Think they could stock pile something for immediate assistence they are local and close to their problem

No joke. In the rush to blame the white house everyone is bypassing state and municipal authorities who bear the vast majority of the responsibility for unpreparedness.

KCTitus
09-02-2005, 08:35 AM
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/09/02/D8CC53POL.html

Bush takes the heat...I guess we should start impeachment proceedings now.

CHIEF4EVER
09-02-2005, 08:41 AM
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/09/02/D8CC53POL.html

Bush takes the heat...I guess we should start impeachment proceedings now.

ROFL

oldandslow
09-02-2005, 08:42 AM
No joke. In the rush to blame the white house everyone is bypassing state and municipal authorities who bear the vast majority of the responsibility for unpreparedness.

BS...

The feds are charged with providing for the general welfare in a disaster. There is not a single state in the union that could cope with this disaster and you are being intellectually dishonest if you believe otherwise.

Having said that, NO should have been zoned out of existence on the south and Mississippi river sides. Had they built the city to the north this would be a much easier pill to swallow.

That was the local issue. And we can blame the locals for not having the courage to do that.

jspchief
09-02-2005, 09:10 AM
:hmmm:

The governor of Mississippi has said that the Federal government's response was MORE than adequate, I believe the word used was "impressive".All indications are that Miss is receiving good support. But it's also clear that Miss doesn't have nearly the crisis that NO does. Name one spot in Mississippi where there is a group of thousands of people without food and water that haven't even been contacted be relief officials.

the Talking Can
09-02-2005, 09:30 AM
Bush just stood before reporters and said, of the recovery efforts, "The results are not acceptable."


Why does he hate America? He clearly doesn't know what he's talking about....stupid liberal. I'm very disappointed in this country right now.

from the AP (http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/3336465)

jAZ
09-02-2005, 10:01 AM
I'm very disappointed in this country right now.

ROFL

He's just showing his partisan nature! Stupid Democrat.

htismaqe
09-02-2005, 10:04 AM
Bush just stood before reporters and said, of the recovery efforts, "The results are not acceptable."


Why does he hate America? He clearly doesn't know what he's talking about....stupid liberal. I'm very disappointed in this country right now.

from the AP (http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/nation/3336465)

Absolutely fuggin brilliant.

I guess I should have expected as much posting what I did in this cesspool...

KCTitus
09-02-2005, 10:05 AM
Absolutely fuggin brilliant.

I guess I should have expected as much posting what I did in this cesspool...

You dont understand...the man can do nothing right. Heap the blame on the guy, when he takes the blame, it's on with the ridicule. It's a fun game.

jAZ
09-02-2005, 10:06 AM
neither man incharge of disaster relief had any prior experience in disaster relief.
Really?!?

Do you have a source on that?

If that's true, it's 100% a carbon copy of the administration's "actions" in dealing with the post-invasion Iraq. IIRC, those that were given the responsiblity for managing the post invasion in Iraq were young neo-cons who had nothing to qualify them for those roles but their idological loyalties.

htismaqe
09-02-2005, 10:08 AM
You dont understand...the man can do nothing right. Heap the blame on the guy, when he takes the blame, it's on with the ridicule. It's a fun game.

I honestly could give a **** less about Bush.

But the type of venom displayed at me by certain LIBERALS here certainly shows they're true colors.

ROYC75
09-02-2005, 10:20 AM
This is ugly..... seriously, that whole city should have done been evacuated as of yesterday.

This is sad.

oldandslow
09-02-2005, 10:54 AM
I honestly could give a **** less about Bush.

But the type of venom displayed at me by certain LIBERALS here certainly shows they're true colors.

'mage...

I think that coin flips both ways. There are CONSERVATIVES on this board who think Bush walks on water - whatever he does is a gift from God and that shows their true colors.

penchief
09-02-2005, 11:33 AM
:hmmm:

The governor of Mississippi has said that the Federal government's response was MORE than adequate, I believe the word used was "impressive".

The governor of Mississippi is a favorite son of Cheneyburton, somewhat like Saxby Chambliss in Georgia. They are loyal products of the Bush dynasty urged by the new conservatives to be point-men for their special brand of politics.

At least, that's the impression I get.

The Mississippians that are still waiting on relief seem to be singing the same tune as New Orleanians, which is not the same tune as the Governor.

patteeu
09-02-2005, 11:34 AM
'mage...

I think that coin flips both ways. There are CONSERVATIVES on this board who think Bush walks on water - whatever he does is a gift from God and that shows their true colors.

I have a hard time thinking of any conservatives around here who compare to the liberals and their anti-Bush hatred. Almost every conservative is critical of Bush for some of his positions/policies. OTOH, there are plenty of liberals (for lack of a better word) who are able to find a way to fault Bush for nearly everything that doesn't live up to their utopian standard.

penchief
09-02-2005, 11:41 AM
You dont understand...the man can do nothing right. Heap the blame on the guy, when he takes the blame, it's on with the ridicule. It's a fun game.

The problem is that he waits until it's inevitible, unavoidable, and obvious. Right now, the best thing for him to do is deflect. Just like he had to be prodded into acting in the aftermath of the Tsunamis and just like it took him three days to get his shit together after 9/11, his leadership style seems to take it's cue from necessity and blatant opportunism.

Right now he's in damage control mode.

JMO.

KCTitus
09-02-2005, 11:44 AM
The problem is that he waits until it's inevitible, unavoidable, and obvious. Right now, the best thing for him to do is deflect. Just like he had to be prodded into acting in the aftermath of the Tsunamis and just like it took him three days to get his shit together after 9/11, his leadership style seems to take it's cue from necessity and blatant opportunism.

Right now he's in damage control mode.

JMO.

LOL...I think you're onto something. We need a President that is clarvoyant. Clearly, Bush is not and that's a huge problem.

penchief
09-02-2005, 12:01 PM
LOL...I think you're onto something. We need a President that is clarvoyant. Clearly, Bush is not and that's a huge problem.

Who's talking about clarvoyance? I'm talking about a president that responds appropriately and in a timely manner to a crisis. With all of the talk about how great he is for his leadership in the WOT he sure does take a while to get it right when the "crisis" hasn't been part of the agenda for years.

IMO, he and the rest of his loyal comrades are single-minded and clumsy. Focused only on what satisfies their political ends to the detriment of what is truly beneficial to our country as a whole. They're not ready for these situations because they aren't as concerned about them as they are their political agenda. If this is a "homeland security" response to a disaster then what the hell are we spending our money on?

KCTitus
09-02-2005, 12:51 PM
Who's talking about clarvoyance? I'm talking about a president that responds appropriately and in a timely manner to a crisis. With all of the talk about how great he is for his leadership in the WOT he sure does take a while to get it right when the "crisis" hasn't been part of the agenda for years.

IMO, he and the rest of his loyal comrades are single-minded and clumsy. Focused only on what satisfies their political ends to the detriment of what is truly beneficial to our country as a whole. They're not ready for these situations because they aren't as concerned about them as they are their political agenda. If this is a "homeland security" response to a disaster then what the hell are we spending our money on?

I guess you think that because that's how you operate. You said it took 3 days to react to 9/11...feh...they were cleaning that place up immediately. It took 4 business days for the NYSE to start trading again, it was a disaster.

You're probably one of those that bickered about the '7 minutes' after the towers were hit and he was in that classroom with the kids.

Try, just one time, to be honest about your feelings. It's ok to admit it, because we all know...admit that there is nothing Bush or any republican could do that would satisfy you because you're so focused on political points, anything he did right would hurt your 'agenda'.

Ugly Duck
09-02-2005, 01:42 PM
[Terry Ebbert, head of New Orleans's emergency operations, said the response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency was inadequate....."This is a national disgrace. FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control," I don't get it. Bush was just on TV a coupla minutes ago saying that he was "pleased with the response." One of these guyz is not telling the truth.

memyselfI
09-02-2005, 02:08 PM
Really?!?

Do you have a source on that?

If that's true, it's 100% a carbon copy of the administration's "actions" in dealing with the post-invasion Iraq. IIRC, those that were given the responsiblity for managing the post invasion in Iraq were young neo-cons who had nothing to qualify them for those roles but their idological loyalties.

http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/12528233.htm


Federal government wasn't ready for Katrina, disaster experts say

By Seth Borenstein


WASHINGTON - The federal government so far has bungled the job of quickly helping the multitudes of hungry, thirsty and desperate victims of Hurricane Katrina, former top federal, state and local disaster chiefs said Wednesday.


The experts, including a former Bush administration disaster response manager, told Knight Ridder that the government wasn't prepared, scrimped on storm spending and shifted its attention from dealing with natural disasters to fighting the global war on terrorism.


The disaster preparedness agency at the center of the relief effort is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which was enveloped by the new Department of Homeland Security with a new mission aimed at responding to the attacks of al-Qaida.


"What you're seeing is revealing weaknesses in the state, local and federal levels," said Eric Tolbert, who until February was FEMA's disaster response chief. "All three levels have been weakened. They've been weakened by diversion into terrorism."


In interviews on Wednesday, several men and women who've led relief efforts for dozens of killer hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes over the years chastised current disaster leaders for forgetting the simple Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared.


Bush administration officials said they're proud of their efforts. Their first efforts emphasized rooftop rescues over providing food and water for already safe victims.


"We are extremely pleased with the response of every element of the federal government (and) all of our federal partners have made to this terrible tragedy," Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said during a news conference Wednesday in Washington.


The agency has more than 1,700 truckloads of water, meals, tents, generators and other supplies ready to go in, Chertoff said. Federal health officials have started setting up at least 40 medical shelters. The Coast Guard reports rescuing more than 1,200 people.


But residents, especially in Biloxi, Miss., said they aren't seeing the promised help, and Knight Ridder reporters along the Gulf Coast said they saw little visible federal relief efforts, other than search-and-rescue teams. Some help started arriving Wednesday by the truckloads, but not everywhere.


"We're not getting any help yet," said Biloxi Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Boney. "We need water. We need ice. I've been told it's coming, but we've got people in shelters who haven't had a drink since the storm."


The slow response to Katrina and poor federal leadership is a replay of 1992's mishandling of Hurricane Andrew, said former FEMA chief of staff Jane Bullock, a 22-year veteran of the agency.


Bullock blamed inexperienced federal leadership. She noted that Chertoff and FEMA Director Michael Brown had no disaster experience before they were appointed to their jobs.


The slowness is all too familiar to Kate Hale. As Miami's disaster chief during Hurricane Andrew, Hale asked: "Where the hell's the cavalry?"


"I'm looking at people who are begging for ice and water and (a) presence," Hale said Wednesday. "I'm seeing the same sort of thing that horrified us after Hurricane Andrew. ... I realize they've got a huge job. Nobody understands better than I do what they're trying to respond to, but ..."


Budget cuts haven't made disaster preparedness any easier.


Last year, FEMA spent $250,000 to conduct an eight-day hurricane drill for a mock killer storm hitting New Orleans. Some 250 emergency officials attended. Many of the scenarios now playing out, including a helicopter evacuation of the Superdome, were discussed in that drill for a fictional storm named Pam.


This year, the group was to design a plan to fix such unresolved problems as evacuating sick and injured people from the Superdome and housing tens of thousands of stranded citizens.


Funding for that planning was cut, said Tolbert, the former FEMA disaster response director.


"A lot of good was done, but it just wasn't finished," said Tolbert, who was the disaster chief for the state of North Carolina. "I don't know if it would have saved more lives. It would have made the response faster. You might say it would have saved lives."


FEMA wasn't alone in cutting hurricane spending in New Orleans and the surrounding area.


Federal flood control spending for southeastern Louisiana has been chopped from $69 million in 2001 to $36.5 million in 2005, according to budget documents. Federal hurricane protection for the Lake Pontchartrain vicinity in the Army Corps of Engineers' budget dropped from $14.25 million in 2002 to $5.7 million this year. Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu requested $27 million this year.


Both the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper and a local business magazine reported that the effects of the budget cuts at the Army Corps of Engineers were severe.


In 2004, the Corps essentially stopped major work on the now-breached levee system that had protected New Orleans from flooding. It was the first such stoppage in 37 years, the Times-Picayune reported.


"It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay," Jefferson Parish emergency management chief Walter Maestri told the newspaper. "Nobody locally is happy that the levees can't be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us."


The Army Corps' New Orleans office, facing a $71 million cut, also eliminated funds to pay for a study on how to protect the Crescent City from a Category 5 storm, New Orleans City Business reported in June.


Being prepared for a disaster is basic emergency management, disaster experts say.


For example, in the 1990s, in planning for a New Orleans nightmare scenario, the federal government figured it would pre-deploy nearby ships with pumps to remove water from the below-sea-level city and have hospital ships nearby, said James Lee Witt, who was FEMA director under President Clinton.


Federal officials said a hospital ship would leave from Baltimore on Friday.


"These things need to be planned and prepared for; it just doesn't look like it was," said Witt, a former Arkansas disaster chief who won bipartisan praise on Capitol Hill during his tenure.


FEMA said some of its response teams were prepared.


The agency had 18 search-and-rescue teams and 39 disaster medical teams positioned outside storm areas and moved them in when the hurricane died down.


Nonetheless, victims of this week's hurricane should have gotten more, said John Copenhaver, a former southeastern regional FEMA director.


"I would have difficulty explaining why there has not been a visible presence of ice, water, tarps - the kind of stuff that typically get delivered to hurricane areas," Copenhaver said.


A FEMA spokesman, James McIntyre, blamed the devastation in the region for slowing down relief efforts.


Roads were washed out and relief trucks were stopped by state police trying to keep people out of hazardous areas, he said.


That explanation didn't satisfy Joe Myers, Florida's former emergency management chief.


"I would think that yesterday they could have flown in," said Myers. "Everyone was flying in. Put it this way, FOX and CNN are there. If they can get there ..."




FEMA moved quickly with its search-and-rescue teams, which took precedence over delivering water and ice, McIntyre said.


"We're trying to save lives," McIntyre said. "The rescue teams are FEMA people. The medical assistance are FEMA people. Right now, getting people off roofs and keeping people from drowning are a priority."


Further complicating the relief effort in Louisiana is scandal within the state agency. Recently, three top officials of Louisiana's emergency management office were indicted in an investigation into the misuse of hurricane funds from last year's Ivan.


None of this matters to residents of the Gulf Coast.


"We're lost," said Steve Loper of Pascagoula, Miss. "We have no direction, no leadership. People are in bad trouble."

penchief
09-02-2005, 04:46 PM
I guess you think that because that's how you operate. You said it took 3 days to react to 9/11...feh...they were cleaning that place up immediately. It took 4 business days for the NYSE to start trading again, it was a disaster.

You're probably one of those that bickered about the '7 minutes' after the towers were hit and he was in that classroom with the kids.

Try, just one time, to be honest about your feelings. It's ok to admit it, because we all know...admit that there is nothing Bush or any republican could do that would satisfy you because you're so focused on political points, anything he did right would hurt your 'agenda'.

I'm just saying that Bush is not good at responding to these situations. He failed to do so after the tsunamis. He had to be told. After 9/11, he spent two or three days flying around the country hiding out in silos when he should have flown his ass right straight back to DC and took control of the situation. The nation staggered while the president hid. Hell, instead of taking homeland security seriously he invaded Iraq!

In this particular instance, the federal government should have stepped in and taken over instead of taking minimal steps and wasting time on photo ops. You can be damned sure that Clinton would have taken the bull by the horns.

That Bush sure looks like a pensive kinda' guy when he gazes out the window of that plane.