CNN report on last year's hurricane disaster drill in N.O.

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Kurt Wayne

Interesting how this is at the very end of the article:

But one of the drill participants, Col. Michael L. Brown, then-deputy director of the Louisiana emergency preparedness department, told the Baton Rouge Advocate newspaper that, in a worst-case scenario, there would be only so much government agencies could do.

"Residents need to know they'll be on their own for several days in a situation like this," Brown, who is not related to the FEMA director, told the paper.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/02/hur...rill/index.html
 
Dec 26, 2004
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Of course. This is why when you go to any FEMA or other disaster prepardness website, you'll see info about home disaster prepardness kits plastered everywhere.

There's a reason why all of us are suppose to keep such a kit, filled with the essentials such as canned foods, water, medications, flashlights, etc that can sustain us for several days. It's because it takes several days to get the resources in place that can deal with a major disaster. This is nothing new. They have been advising people to do this for years. Imagine just how much easier such simple, readily available and cheap supplies could make our lives in a time of need. I wonder how many people along the Gulf Coast had such a kit? I would bet the number would be shockingly low.

Of course we live in society in which you have to bend someone's arm just to get them to change the batteries in their darn smoke detectors from time to time. That is, if you can even convince them to buy a smoke detector in the first place!

There's lots of things the government can do for us. And there's lots of things they can change to become better at doing what they do. But ultimately, we as individuals are the biggest factor in our own survival. As such, we need to change our attitudes toward prepardness instead of floating around in a state of oblivion and being totally dependent on outside help. We are our own first line of defense.

-George
 
Jan 29, 2004
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www.myspace.com
A rule of a major disaster in a big city like NO, LA, or SF is that you need to be prepared to be on your own for at least 72 hours. It takes time to get a full compliment of National Guard or Army troops into a disaster zone, and it starts at the local and state level.
 
That's certainly very good advice for residents in the path of any hurricane. By most accounts people did make basic preparations, except for the hundred thousand or more whose houses were flooded up to the eaves, whose home and car were smashed to bits and wrapped around a tree half a mile inland, or for various reasons unable to do or ignorant of the basic preparations. Your candles, batteries, canned goods, bottled water and bathtub don't do much good when you're waist deep in putrid floodwater or they're scattered in the rubble.

Now if the EM agencies had made the basic preparations they should have, based on their own tabletop drill....
 
Mar 6, 2005
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www.stormskies.com
Despite the fact that the N.O. disaster was, quite literally, waiting to happen, and the fact that studies and projected disaster plans were imagined and drilled for by FEMA, NWS etc. etc., and the fact that everybody was warned and most knew by Friday that there was a potentially very serious situation looming for the Gulf Coast....

Secy Chertoff just held a press conference where he displayed to the public-at-large that he and his officials clearly don't read the internet and don't pay much attention to past studies and projections of what WOULD eventually happen in New Orleans.

He said that this hurricane happened suddenly and nobody knew where it was going to go and that it did not allow for adequate warning. (Reality: the NWS had it figured out almost to the pinpoint by the FRIDAY before it hit - that's more than 48 hours out and is truly spectacular in hindsight. The NWS after this event deserve medals after their extraordinary insight, forewarning, and the attention they tried to give to this impending disaster.)

He also said that nobody ever envisioned the true disaster that a storm like this could cause. (Reality: see the top of this article or seek out one of the many articles that are out there on projections on the ground-zero N.O. would be after the levees broke - i.e. the National Geographic article, the FEMA article, etc. etc.)

Pretty scary stuff. People are being rescued still now - but it does't even bear thinking about what it must be like for them. The time for finger-pointing WILL come, though.

KR
 
Dec 9, 2003
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Regardless of whether you think the federal response was sufficient or not (see other thread), you pretty must have to admit that there is not only a horrible disconnect between elected and selected officials (FEMA and DHS heads, and so forth), but the idea that this was a "surprise" is incredible. What do they want, a 1-week warning that a hurricane that hasn't even really formed yet and is going to defy most numerical models and head for New Orleans?! As I'm know we all know, forecasting hurricanes (just as with local convective storms) is VERY difficult beyond 48 hours. As many have mentioned, the NHC pretty much NAILED the forecast 60-72 hours ahead of time, which is remarkable given the average error in those forecast time periods. Emergency organzations not only trained for this type of event (or so they say), but they knew they weren't going to have a lot of time to execute their plan. This part applies to ALL levels of emergency response (local, state, and fed). I'm not sure how the local media handled the situation, but I can only imagine that they handled it just as well as the NHC and NWS handled it in terms of warning of the imminent catastrophe. They knew they'd have to put their plan into action in less than 60 hours, for no other reason than the inherent nature of the event.
 

Anonymous

Now if the EM agencies had made the basic preparations they should have, based on their own tabletop drill....
Too bad their funding requests needed to implement some of these recommendations were slashed by the Bush administration...not to mention having a good chunk of their National Guard units (several thousand) sent overseas
 
One thing that they should do differently in the future is to simply watch their television sets. How in the world could the director of FEMA not know about the humanitarian issues in New Orleans, when the networks were all broadcasting live from the scene?
 
Feb 26, 2004
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One thing that they should do differently in the future is to simply watch their television sets. How in the world could the director of FEMA not know about the humanitarian issues in New Orleans, when the networks were all broadcasting live from the scene?
According to the pictures on Doug K's page (last row)FEMA was represented and had some sort of knowledge.Now maybe this person didn't relay the info(if he could)
 
Apr 21, 2005
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Now if the EM agencies had made the basic preparations they should have, based on their own tabletop drill....
Too bad their funding requests needed to implement some of these recommendations were slashed by the Bush administration...not to mention having a good chunk of their National Guard units (several thousand) sent overseas
Well just so you know, a 14 billion dollar plan was killed in 1998 when Clinton was President.

It wouldve fixed all the problems

Fox News reported this along with the Army Corp of engineres
 

Anonymous

Now if the EM agencies had made the basic preparations they should have, based on their own tabletop drill....
Too bad their funding requests needed to implement some of these recommendations were slashed by the Bush administration...not to mention having a good chunk of their National Guard units (several thousand) sent overseas
Well just so you know, a 14 billion dollar plan was killed in 1998 when Clinton was President.

It wouldve fixed all the problems

Fox News reported this along with the Army Corp of engineres
I was wondering how long it would take to blame Clinton. I don't know what Clinton's budget proposal was that year (he might have proposed it and guess who was controlling Congress?) I do know that Bush has consistently proposed only about 1/3 of the requested totals made by local officials there, with Congress supplying somewhat more than Bush proposed in his budgets.

The good thing about budgets is that it let's people see where the priorities are. Bush has been on the job for 5 years now, so isn't it about time to stop passing the buck?
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
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"so isn't it about time to stop passing the buck?"

I agree! The levee issue is PRIMARILY an impact on New Orleans... So why should my tax dollars be going there? Sure I can pay a part, but that should be handled by the people impacted the most.
 
Apr 21, 2005
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Chicago, IL
Now if the EM agencies had made the basic preparations they should have, based on their own tabletop drill....
Too bad their funding requests needed to implement some of these recommendations were slashed by the Bush administration...not to mention having a good chunk of their National Guard units (several thousand) sent overseas
Well just so you know, a 14 billion dollar plan was killed in 1998 when Clinton was President.

It wouldve fixed all the problems

Fox News reported this along with the Army Corp of engineres
I was wondering how long it would take to blame Clinton. I don't know what Clinton's budget proposal was that year (he might have proposed it and guess who was controlling Congress?) I do know that Bush has consistently proposed only about 1/3 of the requested totals made by local officials there, with Congress supplying somewhat more than Bush proposed in his budgets.

The good thing about budgets is that it let's people see where the priorities are. Bush has been on the job for 5 years now, so isn't it about time to stop passing the buck?
what year did Clinton balance the budget? 1998. hmmmmmm

do you really think the 60 million that was cut would really go far in a 14 billion dollar project?
 

Anonymous

"so isn't it about time to stop passing the buck?"

I agree! The levee issue is PRIMARILY an impact on New Orleans... So why should my tax dollars be going there? Sure I can pay a part, but that should be handled by the people impacted the most.
Interesting...I have the feeling that many people (especially those in New Orleans) are asking about why their tax dollars are going into Iraq instead.

Wonder if New Orleans and southern Louisiana will have any future interest in refining gasoline and pumping it through their pipelines to people in other states if those people don't think its a national problem (they could charge a surtax on other state consumers to help finance the project, but for some reason, the Feds won't let them exercise 'States rights' in that way....something called interestate commerce).
 

rdale

EF5
Mar 1, 2004
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I'm not familiar enough with the setup, but I didn't think all the refineries and pipelines were protected by the levee system. I thought that was the "city" itself?
 
Apr 21, 2005
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Chicago, IL
"so isn't it about time to stop passing the buck?"

I agree! The levee issue is PRIMARILY an impact on New Orleans... So why should my tax dollars be going there? Sure I can pay a part, but that should be handled by the people impacted the most.
Interesting...I have the feeling that many people (especially those in New Orleans) are asking about why their tax dollars are going into Iraq instead.

Wonder if New Orleans and southern Louisiana will have any future interest in refining gasoline and pumping it through their pipelines to people in other states if those people don't think its a national problem (they could charge a surtax on other state consumers to help finance the project, but for some reason, the Feds won't let them exercise 'States rights' in that way....something called interestate commerce).
Louisiana could do that but other states could stop using their ports and not go there to visit among other things that would break the economy of the state.
 

Anonymous

[Well just so you know, a 14 billion dollar plan was killed in 1998 when Clinton was President.

It wouldve fixed all the problems

Fox News reported this along with the Army Corp of engineres
Doesn't seem to jive with the following:

http://www.hq.usace.army.mil/cepa/releases...1997/budget.htm

.
President Clinton's FY 98 Civil Works
Budget proposes $3.8 Billion Program
Washington, DC (Feb. 6) -- President Clinton's budget transmitted to Congress today includes a $3.8 billion U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program and begins a change in budgeting for water resources projects. The program will require appropriations in the amount of $3.69 billion, the remainder will be financed from non-Federal contributions and trust fund receipts.

H. Martin Lancaster, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works said he was "especially pleased with the Administration's support of a steady funding level for the Civil Works program through FY 2002 which allows the Corps to continue its historical role as a problem solver for the Nation. This includes future investments in new infrastructure and environmental restoration projects at a total Federal cost of $365,250,000 in FY 1998 and new investments of approximately $200 million annually thereafter. This budget also reflects the Administration's commitment to balance the budget."

Consistent with the government-wide initiative to provide full funding for Federal investments in fixed assets, this budget proposes a transition from annual incremental funding of all project construction requirements to full funding of those requirements.

"We believe that full funding will improve our ability and that of local project sponsors to manage and complete projects and will reiterate the Federal government's commitment to these important projects. We will have funds available on a predictable schedule, either up-front or through advance appropriations in the years leading to project completion," Lt. Gen. Joe N. Ballard, Chief of Engineers, said. "This means that the benefits of our work are provided to the taxpayer more efficiently.



You have to read between the lines when watching FOX. Saying it was killed during the Clinton years doesn't necessarily mean it was Clinton who killed it. If Clinton proposed funding to the satisfaction of the Corps of Engineers (although I'm not sure yet whether it was to the satisfaction of local officials in New Orleans) and it was killed by Congress, then try not to blame Clinton (OK?)
 
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