QUOTE(Julian @ Oct 5 2005, 10:46 AM)
-planned? They over-planned
They certainly over-reacted
, probably to avoid creating perceptions that would further antagonise the media and the public - I agree with every syllable of your first answer - but I think you're being excessively charitable when you say they overplanned
Planning implies some kind of forward thinking. In this context, planning
for the response to any hurricane damage would have taken place before
the storm hit, not in weeks afterwards, and not just to make FEMA look productive. That isn't a product of planning
, that's a product of failing to do so.
Thanks for focussing on one word...very productive there.
FEMA tried to plan ahead at the time this contract was issued. It was for six months. However, now it looks like (1 month later) that they only needed a 1 or 2 month contract. I'd call that overplanning. They planned for a six month time frame and only needed it for one.
I think that contracting cruise ships definitely was "thinking outside the box", which is lost in this analysis.
Again, the burden of planning is on local officials. FEMA is simply a money clearing house. It is the state and local officials burden to take the federal money and develop a plan.
Your example about "privatization" was ludicrous when you first brought it up and is completely a red herring here.
I found a very interesting article which was from late 2004, explaining how difficult evacuating New Orleans would be: What if Hurricane Ivan Had Not Missed New Orleans
Regional and national rescue resources would have to respond as rapidly as possible and would require augmentation by local private vessels (assuming some survived). And, even with this help, federal and state governments have estimated that it would take 10 days to rescue all those stranded within the city. No shelters within the city would be free of risk from rising water. Because of this threat, the American Red Cross will not open shelters in New Orleans during hurricanes greater than category 2; staffing them would put employees and volunteers at risk. For Ivan, only the Superdome was made available as a refuge of last resort for the medically challenged and the homeless.
In this hypothetical storm scenario, it is estimated that it would take nine weeks to pump the water out of the city, and only then could assessments begin to determine what buildings were habitable or salvageable. Sewer, water, and the extensive forced drainage pumping systems would be damaged. National authorities would be scrambling to build tent cities to house the hundreds of thousands of refugees unable to return to their homes and without other relocation options. In the aftermath of such a disaster, New Orleans would be dramatically different, and likely extremely diminished, from what it is today. Unlike the posthurricane development surges that have occurred in coastal beach communities, the cost of rebuilding the city of New Orleans’ dramatically damaged infrastructure would reduce the likelihood of a similar economic recovery. And, the unique culture of this American original that contributed jazz and so much more to the American culture would be lost.
That article is prescient. It accounts for all the problems that we have seen here. However, nobody seems to have taken it seriously, including those who would be directly affected by just such an eventuality.
The thing we need to keep in mind is that FEMA is involved in the immediate management of the aftermath of a disaster as they find it.
They don't have time for shoulda woulda coulda's. They need to fix the problems as they come up and dole out money to those that require it.
That is where they screwed up: they figured they needed these beds (on Carnival) for six months. They were wrong on that estimate and paid extra for it.