Wednesday, September 07, 2005

 

Some fascinating home truths--City of New Orleans

I've been watching the blame game with interest. It seems to me that the liberals are eager to scream at the President and FEMA, and yet, when someone asks "but what about the mayor/governor?" they instantly decry "well, there's plenty of blame to go around. Let's move on." They don't want to hear it, and they especially don't want the public to hear it. (As a side note here, God bless Elisabeth Hasselbeck for trying to hold her own against the liberal crows on The View. Keep your chin up, Elisabeth...)

I kept thinking of Mayor Rudy Giuliani running into the terrorist attack on 9-11. Toward the buildings that were literally collapsing even as he arrived. He was so close to the Towers that he described what happened to the people who hit the pavement beside him, calling it a "pink mist." Contrast this with Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans, bravely and courageously leading his city from Baton Rouge. He ran and hid. If he'd been a man, and not a coward, he'd have been in the middle of New Orleans, dragging people to safety, instead of yelling at the Federal Government from the safety (and dryness) of Baton Rouge. Of course, Nagin's a Democrat, and Giuliani's a Republican, so that may explain things.

So I went and looked up the City of New Orleans' official plans for Emergency Preparedness, and I found some interesting tidbits. I'll post a few here, but I really would encourage everyone to click the link above and read the entire document for themselves.

Let's begin with this choice morsel: The City of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Those evacuated will be directed to temporary sheltering and feeding facilities as needed. When specific routes of progress are required, evacuees will be directed to those routes. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed.

"Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life saving assistance." Let's just digest that one for a moment, shall we? Mayor Nagin should have and could have lined up buses and seen to it that the poverty stricken citizens of his city reached safety. It isn't as if Katrina snuck up on him, is it? According to the paragraph above, he should have done everything in his power to see to it that those who couldn't even afford bus fare were nonetheless bused to safety. And haven't we seen dozens of cases of ill people, diabetics, people with heart conditions, the aged? Haven't we seen them literally dying in their wheelchairs because nobody evacuated them? Aren't those people the exact same ones who might "require specific life saving assistance" mentioned in the above paragraph?

As for Katrina sneaking up on Mayor Nagin (D., New Orleans), the website has this to say: Slow developing weather conditions (primarily hurricane) will create increased readiness culminating in an evacuation order 24 hours (12 daylight hours) prior to predicted landfall.

Now, let's move on a bit to whether or not the wonderful, brave Nagin (D., New Orleans or maybe by now D., Baton Rouge) could have expected hundreds of thousands of people to become stranded. If we check the official website, we find that--gasp!--he not only could have expected it, but it was predicted: Certain hazards, such as a hurricane, provide some lead time for coordinating an evacuation. However, this can not be considered a certainty. Plus, the sheer size of an evacuation in response to an approaching hurricane creates the need for the use of community-wide warning resources, which cannot be limited to our City's geographical boundaries. Evacuation of major portions of our population, either in response to localized or citywide disasters, can only be accomplished if the citizens and visitors are kept informed of approaching threats on a timely schedule, and if they are notified of the need to evacuate in a timely and organized manner. If an evacuation order is issued without the mechanisms needed to disseminate the information to the affected persons, then we face the possibility of having large numbers of people either stranded and left to the mercy of a storm, or left in an area impacted by toxic materials.

And isn't that the very thing we're watching today on our televisions?

Mayor Nagin (D., New Orleans), you were the first line of defense, and you blew it. Big time. But your career is no doubt safe, because you will have managed to convince the poverty stricken and dying that you did not abandon them in their time of need (hey, running away to Baton Rouge was part of the official plan, wasn't it? Only, I've read the official plan, and I can't find any mention of anyone in the city government of New Orleans hightailing it to Baton Rouge...). You've managed to convince them that you were helping, that it was the President who should have saved them, not you. You're innocent. No blood on your hands, nope, no sirree...

Um, hey, Nagin, what's that dripping from your fingers? It looks awfully red to me. Maybe they have a doctor in Baton Rouge who can clear that up for you.

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