Why Now?
Saturday, September 03, 2005
In the Ninth Ward of New Orleans is the Chalmette Battlefield where Andy Jackson fought the Battle of New Orleans shortly after the official end of the War of 1812 and started on the road to the White House. It also houses a National Cemetery that is the finally resting place of my great grandfather, Alfred Mullens, who died from tuberculosis in New Orleans.

He had to travel to the Philippines and China to be infected with TB and malaria. Unfortunately, many of the people along the Gulf Coast risk these and other diseases as a result of this disaster.

Karen at Dark Bilious Vapors discovers that the media used government helicopters for some of its coverage and the flight crews are really PO'ed that they flew across the country to help people, and ended up flying CNN.

Len captures a new high [or low] of photoshopping. It's too true.

Andante of Collective Sigh achieves the same effect with captions.

The People's Republic of Seabrook has a great collection of quotes from "our leaders".

When you look at the pictures of the National Guard notice how new all of the equipment seems. The Feds may only have 40% of the Guard in the affected states, but they took all of the equipment. The generators and water purification equipment is in the Middle East, while the state has had to buy new trucks.

The head of the Mississippi Army National Guard has just said that one of the problems is that units from other states responding to the disaster have to bring enough gas for the trip and operations with them. Apparently disaster planning doesn't include having a ready supply of fuel for operations.

I don't guess anybody thought to have a few solar power units available to charge radio and car batteries, nor does the concept of collecting rainwater to use for drinking water, nor dumping several truckloads of water and MREs in the SuperDome prior to the storm.

The drill is to stage all of this stuff outside the affected area to bring in when the storm leaves. Look at the map. Where are the North-South roads that aren't going to be washed out?

Update: As fires rage out of control in New Orleans CNN reports that FEMA's firefighting gear stockpile wasn't sent to New Orleans because no one asked for it.

Apparently you have to ask for specific equipment on the proper form to get it from FEMA.

Update 2: Even today Chertoff is in denial about being warned about what would happen in New Orleans and how much time he had to respond before the hurricane hit.


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