Planning, Response Are Faulted

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.


Anonymous said...

Hurray for the mayor of NO. It is past time to blast people that stay on their duffs awaiting photo opts and pats on the back while thousands of Americans die. I believe we will eventually find that more people died due to inaction than the storm itself. THAT is unforgivable in this country.

Many of us reached screaming stage by Tuesday and are amazed that no major action really too place till today. They said it takes 1-2 days to mobilize. Fine, you also said that you declared the area a disaster area on Saturday, that mean troops should have pulled in by Monday at the latest. Even given that you may have not mobilized early, then we should have been looking at Wed at the latest.

Plus, a helicopter group on TX could have delivered pallets of food and water to dry bridges and intersections since Tuesday. So far, they have not thought of that one.

Then they knew of fire dangers and no water on Monday, yet have not had the western helicopter forest fire drop equipment called to stand by to the day, while we are getting fires now and they say they do not know what to do.

They say they didn't know what to do about power in the Convention Center and Superdome, but a few commercial generators, with a day each of a couple electricians to rewire the line to the interiors of the buildings, a little fuel and they could have powered these critical buildings.

The military uses portable water tanks all the time. Why couldn't they bring these in?

They say the roads were impassible. Who needs roads? All this and more is often delivered in military and civilian operations.

I could go on and on. Why no one thought of these kind of suggestions and ignored them when people offered them is beyond me.

OC-ed said...

This situation is a disgrace. WTF are our tax dollars paying for? It clearly is NOT comprehensive, thoughtful planning and action when and where is is needed most.
And I mean no disrespect to those who have worked very hard to try to prevent and handle this disaster. It simply was not enough and that is something those in charge should have seen and acted upon a long time ago. This is a disgrace.

There are several things that can (IMHO) be done now to help not only tomorrow, but in the future. Here are my thoughts:

1. Immediately find and secure dry land to build shelter on. I know that this is a bayou area and I may be off the mark on this, but hear me out. Dry land out of harms way. There are more storms possible in the immediate future. These sites, or villages should be close to New Orleans and in size and number to provide housing for all displaced residents who have no where else to go.

2. Immediately request packaged home kits from every manufacturer in the US. Small 1000 sq ft home kits. offer the companies tax credits for the cost of the kits. Ship them immediately.Ask for volunteers from the work crews around the country who build these packaged homes. Supervisers, formen and skilled journeymen and laborers.

3. Immediately design and initiate self sustainable infrastructure for the parcels in item 1. Water, generators, communications - cell phone COW (Cell on wheels at each site), waste and sewage. The villages can go back on the grid when it is restored.

4. Offer displaced survivors who are able the chance to work in support of the construction of the housing villages. The able bodied will contribute not only in village construction as laborers, but once that is done, in management of the villages them selves and cleanup of the city of new Orleans. This gives the people not only something to do that is needed to be done, but HOPE. A WPA style effort.

5. Plan and begin all support activities for health and welfare at the village sites NOW. Food - all grocery chains send staples now, refrigerated trailers for food. Water trailers. Waste Management - yes you the ones with that name - run that part.

Just an idea to start something NOW that will help do the following:

a) keep the people close to their city or bring em back sooner rather than later.

b) give the people something to do, idle hands ...

c) give the people hope

d) cut the cost of recovery by using the available labor force. Commercial and Union contributions can be made at the organizational and supervisory or skilled levels where their expertise and experience can do the most good.

e) Visible, immediate action that is forward looking and proactive rather than re-active.