[FoRK] Re: Katrina - National Guard??

Luis Villa luis.villa
Wed Aug 31 05:56:44 PDT 2005


On 8/31/05, Corinna <schultz at harlingen.isd.tenet.edu> wrote:
> Maybe it's me, since I don't watch TV, and I've been tied up in meetings the
> last couple of days, and I messed something, but the coverage I heard on NPR
> seems to indicate that there are volunteers, Red Cross people, and "rescue
> workers" on the scene.  No mention of the National Guard.  Is there no
> National Guard left in Luisiana?  Will Bush get fallout for this?

Appears to be quite a bit of guard left on scene; supposedly 60% of
the state's guard is still in state.

> Once people realized that the hurricane was Cat 5, all sorts of people
> should have been on standby, ready to rush in as soon as the storm passed.
> It seems as though only the city-level people (mayor, emergency personnel,
> etc) were prepared.  I thought they had emergency plans for the case of the
> levess breaking. People shouldn't have to be trapped in the superdome.

All hurricane contingency plans (at least in Florida) have this
pleasant lie in them that everyone can either be evacuated or they can
land in a shelter of guaranteed safety that will be required to keep
them in place for no more than 48-72 hours. There are no other
options, really- what kind of plan can you make for 'tens of thousands
of people trapped with no escape route'? Have a fleet of thousands of
helicopters just sitting there all year round in case the big one
hits?

If a  cat 4-5 ever hits key west, everyone knows to expect a death
toll in the tens of thousands, because the entire population will be
stuck in one big traffic jam on US 1 right up until the surge rolls
over them. What kind of planning can you make for that? Widen the
highway to 16 lanes just in case? Have a couple cruise ships standing
by through hurricane season? There is just no way to plan for that
kind of thing- if people are stupid enough to live in a place where
they can't be rescued from, then they are stupid enough to live in a
place they can't be rescued from, end of story.

Luis



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