Govt. Response to Katrina



  • New poll. Probably obvious how I voted.



  • I’m with you on this, people should be dying due to dehydration, just a said day…maybe it can’t be helped but with every hour that people are still just there and the TV networks were able to get there and help didn’t makes you wonder what is wrong with FEMA.



  • I think considering how poorly prepared that we were, the government is doing the best that they can.

    Honestly, who could predict that food-bearing helicopters would be shot at as if they were flying over Bagdad?



  • I am searching for the report now but one of my friends that lives down there said the papers for the past few months have been talking about money that was supposed to be for levee repair has been going to HLS instead…not sure if this is like a local biased rag or a national report but I am poking around this morning before work.

    I am not saying we should have been down there the very second after it happened as you are right, no one can prepare for something like this and then respond. But it seems like going on 5 days later that enough help should be on it’s way and operations should be running, people should be getting out in droves and we shouldn’t see the mass chaos on tv still. If we are this disorganized even with knowing it was going to hit days in advance you have to wonder what is going on in the managment of FEMA for emergency prepardness.



  • My wife made a good point about this last night - the real disaster is the flooding of NO. Had this not happened, there wouldn’t be this disaster at all. This didn’t occur until 2 days after the hurricane struck. This delay makes the response seem 2 days slower than it actually is.

    I think everything that can be done is being done, but its no doubt extremely difficult in that the destruction is so widespread.

    As far as the levee repair money being reduced, diverted etc. I really can’t call anyone being negligent here (as some pundits in the media seem to be doing). With our budget deficits, money is tight and hard decisions have to be made everyday. Its not clear that if the money had been present a difference would have been made. Or that this was the wrong decision given that the budget deficits themselves pose a certain threat to society - hindsight is always 20/20. What is important is to help the people in need at this time as soon as possible. This is a huge disaster and fingerpointing will not help the victims.



  • @221B:

    This is a huge disaster and fingerpointing will not help the victims.

    But you want to find out wether anyone can be held responsible, and if yes - who? I would like to see it. It appeals to a sense of justice to punish the ones who caused it as much as the ones who suffered from it (especially if they have profited from the decisions that made this catastrohe possible).
    Call it fingerpointing, i call it justice.



  • Falk:

    Well, yes if someone was criminally negligent (which I strongly doubt) then this should be investigated and justice should be served. If someone simply had other priorities, or budget limitations, the the appropriateness of that will have to be debated in the court of public opinion - and IMO should only be debated once emotions have been cooled, all the facts are known, and we can all look at this subjectively.

    But my point is that all of this can and should wait in lieu of assisting the victims. Lets not make a bad situation worse by spending energy in useless fighting rather than in assisting those in need.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    We’re loosing the war in New Orleans and should retreat. They obviously don’t want us there, insurgents are firing on our helicopters….

    Oh wait, this is domestic, well, maybe they just have some bad apples that need to be shot/captured so that we can help the majority of people that want federal help?



  • @221B:

    But my point is that all of this can and should wait in lieu of assisting the victims. Lets not make a bad situation worse by spending energy in useless fighting rather than in assisting those in need.

    I absolutely agree that helping has priority. But the investigation must come - afterwards. Only an investigation can show wether someone was criminally negligent, not the other way 'round as you worded it (although i doubt that you meant it that way).



  • Falk

    But the investigation must come - afterwards. Only an investigation can show wether someone was criminally negligent, not the other way 'round as you worded it (although i doubt that you meant it that way).

    Agreed. Once past the rescue and recovery of New Orleans, an investigation should be started.



  • @Jennifer:

    We’re loosing the war in New Orleans and should retreat. They obviously don’t want us there, insurgents are firing on our helicopters….

    Oh wait, this is domestic, well, maybe they just have some bad apples that need to be shot/captured so that we can help the majority of people that want federal help?

    I can’t believe you just compared Iraq to New Orleans….



  • A little late, but maybe we could set this up for next time…

    Many people keep some bottled water on hand at home, have some they keep handy to drink or can go to the store and buy some pronto.

    OUTSIDE THE AREA OF DEVASTAION>>>
    Why not have trucks at local stores collect bottles of water and leave for the disaster area when full. Local malls/shopping centers, church lots or other alternative sites could be used as well.

    Blankets and clothing could be gathered the same way. Granted the clothing would need to be sorted by size…a little more effort.


    SORRY NO DIRECT SOURCE, unless you count the US Constitution.
    Gov. Blanco(LA), had to ask for federal help before The Feds(read as “W”) could send trops or aid of any kind.

    She didn’t do it until she told she needed to ask for this asssistance, by W
    from what I heard.

    Local townships(Parrishes in LA), villages, towns, cities, counties, states and regions need to respond first.

    BUT, before that they need to have worked out a disaster preparednesss plan.

    OOOPS! Looks like the local governments failed.


    As for the Levy…
    I heard on the radio, but neither heard nor found no source, that…

    The US Army Corps of Engineers looked at the Levy and said it needs work
    but not in the areas that broke!!



  • I don’t think your average city planner sits around thinking how to take care of a Cat 4 hurricane. Granted maybe more will but that sort of falls at a Federal level thanks to FEMA and HLS…it’s kind of their job to take care of that stuff. And what can you do besides tell people to leave ( they did ) and figure out the biggest places to hold the most people ( they did )? To not put fault on this lesson in breakdown at the Fed is a sin.

    We knew the storm was coming…we knew it was turning bad even before it hit. No one knew it would do what it did and for that you can’t fault a soul. But for major truck rolls and helo action to not occur for more then 4 days was a total failure at the Fed level. And before you pounce on me I have not once said the name Bush, Dubya or president. This was a failure of multiple fed officials whose primary job is to manage issues jsut like this and they failed the people of Mississippi, the people of Louisiana and the people of Alabama.

    But the priority has to be right now for anyone and everyone involved to stay focused and finish the evac, finishing figuring out where to put people and continue working to restore city services to New Orleans and the other cities destroyed. There will be plenty of time for people to be thrown under the bus and fired…but to chalk up this failure to the local govt. is just not right at all.



  • those people were poor so nobody gave a fducj if the levees held…

    this has nothing to do race but more with economic status. If you’re poor you get pizzed on, which as I said before, is much worse than getting pizzed off …these are dis-enfranchised people who have no political voice and so nobody gave a fducj…

    all of our prayers should be with the people of NO, because the people always suffer the most…

    this is one of if not the major disaster(s) of our time



  • What really pisses me off is the fact that knowing this was a category 5 hurricane, they should of better acommodated the evacuation BEFORE hand.

    “But Stuka, they had a chance to leave….”

    Keep in mind this is the most poverished city in the entire US. They should have known that many people CANT leave without help. There should have been masses of flatbed trucks to load everyone, masses of supplies and planned sites to accept the people leaving. Did this happen? NO. They projected the path to go straight over New Orleans. They KNEW the levies were in question. They knew many couldn’t afford to leave.

    Question is… who is “they” anyway?

    As far as the response for the aftermath, well, I don’t care what political side a person is on… People sitting in a stadium… on rooftops… wading water… DYING… STARVING… SICK…

    … FOR 3 DAYS! Somebody needs to burn for this. Burn “they” right?

    As far as the looting goes, I would have been right next to them looting. It’s called survival. When a flood whipes out everything you own and you are stranded for 3 days and some time longer, you do whatever you can possibly do to survive. Find food. Find water. Yes,… even find a gun. Cuz it is evident that you may need it. These people were practically abandoned for 3 days. Let them get whatever they can to survive.



  • I honestly don’t know enough about the response time, etc., to say whether anyone was horribly negligent, or if this is just an example of typical bureaucratic incompetence, which no one notices till it’s too late. I suspect the second, though; disasters such as these are one-in-a-million, being totally prepared to handle every aspect is impossible. For an institution like the Government, it’s beyond a fantasy :-?.

    Oh, and Haxor; not what the thread’s about, so don’t want a side discussion here, but Jen has a point ;).



  • Being one in a million and taking 4 days for stuff to happen are unrelated. It’s not about what wasn’t done before hand, it was the fact that no one seemed to want to get moving toward helping until the president left his vacation early and went down there. Even the remaining people at the White House Friday afternoon were noticing how much more intraoffice traffic was generated from HLS and FEMA knowing the President would be down there…this was a breakdown and a failure of an organization whose single mission in this country is to plan, prepare and recover after disasters like this. Do you feel comfortable with FEMA and HLS now and trust them to organize the chaos after a terrorist blows up a football stadium on a Sunday? Or sets off a dirty nuke in Times Square? These situations are pretty extreme but have probably been planned and rehearsed a bit…but a freaking hurricane that we had plenty of advanced notice for and have had a few hit our coasts before caught us with our pants down and can just be chalked up to bureaucratic red tape, a shurg of the shoulders and a business as usual mentality is unacceptable. As Americans all of us should be outraged that there are not only still people trapped and dying down there 8 days after the storm but there is still chaos and confusion with the movement of the people out of temporary shelter areas.

    Oh and next time you throw out a “want to say Jen’s right but not talk about it in this thread” you might want to side with her on something that won’t leave more people dead then the wonderful conflict in Iraq, as I can’t leave any smiley faces surrounding this point and am not sure how you could have either.



  • I was away on holydays in Croatia and hardly got any new, but when I heard “New Orleans” and “hurricane” I knew exactly what had happened, because I read about it in 2001.
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?articleID=00060286-CB58-1315-8B5883414B7F0000

    I would have voted criminal if not FEMA would have been blamed but the Bush administration. In early 2001 FEMA warned the Bush administration of three major threads and one those was the flooding of New Orleans by a huricane. The other two were a terrorist attack in New York and a earthquake iin California. The Bush adiminstration reacted by cutting the funds for flood control.
    http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,372455,00.html



  • @Jennifer:

    We’re loosing the war in New Orleans and should retreat. They obviously don’t want us there, insurgents are firing on our helicopters….

    I suppose this is a “point” that is needs to be addressed?

    I didn’t know New Orleans had WMD’s. I didn’t know that N.O. had a dictator. I didn’t know that we lied to get into N.O. so that we could change its regime.

    Dumb thing to say. Dumb comparison. Actually, quite sick and very ill-mannered thing to say at this time when so many Americans need help. You disgust me, Jen. Then again, I am not surprised. Damn… why couldn’t you have been living there…?



  • I would have voted criminal if not FEMA would have been blamed but the Bush administration. In early 2001 FEMA warned the Bush administration of three major threads and one those was the flooding of New Orleans by a huricane. The other two were a terrorist attack in New York and a earthquake iin California. The Bush adiminstration reacted by cutting the funds for flood control.
    http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/0,1518,372455,00.html

    I was looking for a US article about this but glad you found something…under president Clinton FEMA was alot different and had alot more control. I’m not saying that should Clinton been in office this tragedy would have been avoided, I’m just saying FEMA was on it’s own then. Now that it is under HLS it seems it didn’t get as much attention and focus and we shifted all attention to HLS. I hope after we get those states back in order we turn our attention to both programs and get our ducks in a row…hurricane season is not over yet kids.


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    A) We lost more American lives in New Orleans this month then in Iraq - so obviously we are loosing the war against the insurgents there. (Just pointing out how stupid the Iraq arguements are.)

    B) I believe, and I could be wrong here, but didn’t they do extensive studies on what would happen to the sinking New Orleans if it were ever hit with a volcano and or just strong winds causing spill overs from the lake over the artificial levvies? It’s not like they were ignorant of the dangers (that is the government) they should have been completely evacuated days before the hurricane hit and had 0 human casualties.



  • looting for necessities is acceptable, and the law enforcement there makes that distinction as well
    but looting for electronics, for example, is straight up stealing. desperate my ass, there is no reason to go out and “loot” a tv. but going to a food store and stealing some clean, bottled water and canned foods so u can live, is perfectly acceptable in the devastated areas.



  • im thinking that given the warning they had, the state should have attempted to evacuate people, or call out the national gaurd.



  • what amazes me is that The Tragically Hip had long ago predicted this . . .

    bourbon blues on the stree,
    loose and complete under skies all smokey blue-green
    i can’t forsake a dixie dead-shake so we danced the sidewalk clean
    my memory is muddy, what’s this river that i’m in? new orleans is sinking man and i don’t wanna swim

    colonel tom. what’s wrong? what’s going on? you can tie yourself up for a deal
    he said, “hey north you’re south shut you big mouth, you gotta do what you feel is real”
    ain’t got no picture postcards, ain’t got no souvenirs my baby, she don’t know me when I’m thinking bout those years

    pale as a light bulb
    hanging on a wire
    sucking up to someone just to stoke the fire
    picking out the highlights of the scenery
    saw a little cloud that looked a little like me

    i had my hands in the river my feet back up on the banks looked up to the lord above and said, “hey man thanks”
    sometimes i feel so good, i gotta scream she said gordie baby i know exactly what you mean she said, she said, i swear to god she said…

    my memory is muddy what’s this river that i’m in? new orleans is sinking mand and i don’t wanna swim . . .


  • 2018 2017 2016 '11 Moderator

    @Janus1:

    looting for necessities is acceptable, and the law enforcement there makes that distinction as well
    but looting for electronics, for example, is straight up stealing. desperate my a**, there is no reason to go out and “loot” a tv. but going to a food store and stealing some clean, bottled water and canned foods so u can live, is perfectly acceptable in the devastated areas.

    I totally agree. However, an honest person would take note of the cost of the items and return after order has been restored and reimburse the shop keeper.


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