I read in Newsweek that Rumsfeld was very reluctant to step on the toes of the governor. He didn't want the military to do police-type work.
Oh that’s right, our military is only suited to provide police-type work in foreign countries. How can they be asked to provide the same service by those who actually pay their salaries.
And if you leave it up to the local police than you risk the exact situation that we witnessed: officers who may have been killed in the storm and those who just simply quit and walked off. So who handles armed thugs and looters at this point? I would agree that National Guard troops should be used, maybe for securing the area, but they have no where near the equipment to handle emergency evacuation.
I'm not sure how to respond to the assertion that the military should be assisting in evacuation plans. To my knowledge, the evacuation plans for most places in the US are sketchy at best. How can the military follow a plan that doesn't exist?
Did you read my link to FEMA that detailed the fictitious Hurricane Pam? The only real difference is they planned for New Orleans to be under ten feet of water. Since FEMA is under the DHS are you also saying that the DHS shouldn’t use the military?
I see evac plans as two tier: preemptive and emergency. Actually the preemptive evacuation plans, for those who heeded the mayors warnings went very well, it’s one of the bright spots in this mess. Regardless of the situation, terrorist attack vs natural disaster there will always be those that for what ever reason can’t get out of town ahead of time, they’re going to need emergency assistance.
I just heard that there are/were more helicopters on the Gulf Coast than all of Iraq. Do you really expect local forces or the National Guard to duplicate this equipment? My point is one of economic efficiency: we have already purchased the crew and gear to handle the services needed in these times. I would think maximizing tax payers dollars would appeal to conservatives.
Should we invest the time and resources on evacuation plans for every major US city? For every small city? For every town? Certainly if such plans are devised, they are going to be done on a local level (where the expertise would be) and I'm not sure that such a plan would (or should) rely on outside resources. The military has resources for search and rescue, but not really for mass evacuation.
To answer your first question, we already have, and these plans include coordination and communications on all levels of government and utilizing local expertise. I agree with CJ’s
comments in his “blame” thread that got closed. We’ve spend hundreds of billions of dollars on the DHS (including the massive management bonuses and extravagant parties they’ve grown accustomed) and where’s the beef? They should be planning for all types of major disasters, with very specific targets, and down to the nitty gritty details. Else you and I have been picking up a large tab for excessive bonuses and parties.
In a more general case, how prepared should FEMA or DHS be for other hurricanes? For Hurricane Ophelia, which hit a few days ago in the Carolinas, should the government have pre-emptively declared a disaster area? declared martial law?
Katrina snuck up on no one. Most of us probably watched this storm cross Florida into the gulf and picked up steam as it headed to the coast. And I’m sure a good deal of us watched Ophelia linger off the Florida coast before heading to the Carolinas and barely reaching Cat 1 status before it struck. If those disaster planners in FEMA/DHS can’t tier their response efforts off of predicted damage and estimated scenarios than once again you and I have been taken for an expensive ride.
QUOTE(Just Leave Me Alone!)
The problems occurred when the government stopped others from handling the food, water, shelter, and medical assistance. By trying to handle those things as well, the government lost focus on the things that only government can provide effectively.
I couldn’t agree more that the volunteer organizations provide those base necessities better than the military. But the government was trying to suspend Red Cross and Salvation Army workers from immediate
assistance because the day of and the day after the hurricane hit it was reminiscent of a wild west town. They were concerned for the safety of volunteer workers and there should be plans to handle this situation.
In was just simply inexcusable for our government to fail in getting those at the Superdome and Convention Centers MRE’s and water. They have used the Superdome before with previous hurricanes and you can’t evac people to an area and not expect to provide them with the basics and that includes contingency planning to do so.
And until someone can provide an explicit example of how a private organazation could have handled this situation better, from start to finish, than I'll stand by my claims that this is the perfect example of a need for a strong central goverment.