Just In Case You Thought There Was Going To Be Competence
On All Things Considered
[audio link] Adam Davidson's story, Texas Towns Brace for Possible Direct Hit
, deals with preparations in Jefferson County, Texas, the probable location where Rita will come ashore.
After listening to what's being done, and what isn't, they talk to Carl Griffith, County Judge and a member of the Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management
The county made a decision five years ago that they didn't have the resources to deal with an evacuation on their own, so they contracted with a company to provide 200 buses and 700 ambulances if it became necessary to evacuate.
Faced with Rita, they called, the company responded, and then the state of Texas commandeered the buses and ambulances for Houston. Jefferson County ended up with a few buses and 15 extra ambulances.
A lot of people who wanted to leave or needed to leave are stuck, left behind by the state of Texas.
Hopefully there will be few injuries or deaths from Rita, but what good does it do for local governments to plan, and pay for their plans for years, when the state steps in and seizes their emergency assets when they are most needed? Where was the state and Federal help for Jefferson County?