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Natural Disasters

Hurricane Katrina Was Real, Are Our Politicians?

Many individual disaster plans recommend that you include several days of emergency provisions to accommodate the notion that "help" may take several days to reach you. We clearly see this scenario playing itself out in the once proud city of New Orleans. Despite FEMA's best efforts, it has been a full 4 days to initiate rescue efforts on any meaningful scale, and over a full week since we all knew a category 5 hurricane was located in the Gulf of Mexico.

Haley Barbour, Governor of Mississippi, had it exactly right - urging and begging for evacuations last weekend. Meanwhile many of our politicians were enjoying their "vacations". Hey, wake up. It doesn't take a genius to know a Cat 5 Hurricane means trouble. How would we respond to one of the top three identified disaster scenarios?

So I was troubled to note, that after President Bush's recent cabinet "working meeting", that Michael Chertoff, Director of Homeland Security, started his news briefing off by congratulating his fellow "workers" for a job well done. My heart went out to Anderson Cooper (CNN), who unleashed a well deserved diatribe on U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, when this blonde bombshell prefaced her remarks in the same style.

Even Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, came out with a political correct stance on CNN's "Larry King". This lack of empathy has been framed by a constant barrage of news coverage, graphically depicting... reality.

May we also ask, that our President, ask for prayers... for our politicians, whom face a road yet unexplored by humanity.

Shortly after the disaster, Bush said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.''

01/23/2006

  •  New Docs Show Gov't Forewarned on Katrina

    By LARA JAKES JORDAN

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Homeland Security Department was warned a day before Hurricane Katrina hit that the storm's surge could breach levees and leave New Orleans flooded for weeks or months, documents released Monday show.

One of our Honorable Senators has revealed an interesting weakness in politicians, the notion that politicians focus on managing problems, rather than solving them. It is clear that many understood the precarious position New Orleans faced for decades. That clarity failed to manifest itself into a solution for a $10 Billion problem that required resolution. One Presidential Historian has suggested that Katrina is the catalyst that has opened the eyes of the public as to the true nature of our Government's ability to respond to Natural Disasters.

I can only hope that politicians learn from our incredulous behavior. Any reasonable person knows that a Natural Disaster of the magnitude of Katrina would deal a 5-10 year recovery window. Yet, more than a handful of politicians tried to assure us that they were hard at work on the problem. Risk Management, I presume.

Having experienced the real clear and present danger, not a mushroom cloud, perhaps we can urge our leaders to modify the fuzzy math meters a bit. When the polls suggest that the public is unhappy with the performance on a particular issue, and the issue involves life & limb, and $10 Billion, perhaps a switch from risk management to problem solving is required.

A good start would be to admit that the scope of an event like Katrina cannot be repaired in a few meetings, or a few months, or with a few billion dollars.

South-Asian Tsunami - Mother Nature has dealt a severe blow to the holiday cheer. It has taken more than a week to begin to understand the magnitude of this tragic disaster. We are sorry to hear continued diatribes about U.S. aid efforts as exemplified by Bianca Jaggar. Her comment that our government should blindly donate much, much, more to the relief effort, because Muslims hate us, is outrageous.

For some to question our government's generosity, is to deny that over 10 million illegal immigrants live here, that millions of jobs have been effectively donated overseas and that the U.S. continues to far out surpass any other nation in terms of money spent in aid to others.

If there is to be a silver lining, in the aftermath of a disaster of biblical proportions, it is that the tremendous outreach effort already underway, will help all the world's faiths to gain tolerance and respect for each other.

01/23/2006

Over a year later, one thing is clear. Congratulations are due to all those who worked to fund the recovery effort. Although much of the affected areas remain devastated, it is clear that donations far exceed any ability to use the funds, either effectively, or ineffectively.

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Last modified: November 16, 2006
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