Yet another chapter in my WTF book
On my way home from work tonight, I was listening to a very interesting story on NPR. They were interviewing a man from the Times-Picayune who was describing how the city of New Orleans created this study on a fictional hurricane named Pam. Pam was a Category 5 hurricane and hit the city dead on. There were representatives from all the city agencies - emergency management, utilities, schools, police...you get the idea. They imagined every single senario - flooding, riots, fires, levies failing (sounding familiar yet?) and worked on what the responses would be. Sounds great, right? Sounds like they were planning ahead and preparing themselves for the worst. Great study, huh? Know when they did it? This year. WTF?!? THIS year? Ummm...maybe I'm missing something. Hasn't the city pretty much always been in the same location? All this time and they never figured this shit out?
So, I come home and turn on CNN for a little update and to watch Paula Zahn. Of course, not much had change. The president showed his daddy and the guy he took over from who will go raise private donations. Great. Then we cut to the interview with Michael Brown, director of FEMA.
"The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday those New Orleans residents who chose not to heed warnings to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina bear some responsibility for their fates.
Michael Brown also agreed with other public officials that the death toll in the city could reach into the thousands.
"Unfortunately, that's going to be attributable a lot to people who did not heed the advance warnings," Brown told CNN.
"I don't make judgments about why people chose not to leave but, you know, there was a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans," he said.
"And to find people still there is just heart-wrenching to me because, you know, the mayor did everything he could to get them out of there.
"So, we've got to figure out some way to convince people that whenever warnings go out it's for their own good," Brown said. "Now, I don't want to second guess why they did that. My job now is to get relief to them.""
Nice, bud. Let's blame the people who are suffering. Let's kick them while they are down. Your timing is beautiful. No shit some people decided to be stubborn and stick it out. But many of these people were very poor or very sick with no where to go. Well, they could have gone to the Dome or the Convention Center. Now here is where I had a melt down. Get this, he tells Paula that until today, they didn't know there were THOUSANDS of people at the Convention Center. WTF?!? Really, Michael? That is funny, because I KNEW THAT ON TUESDAY. From watching TV. That's great. The director of FEMA doesn't even know what is going on and where help is needed. (you should have heard Paula, it was priceless)
Tonight they reported that they finally evacuated one of the hospitals that had critical patients needing help. Too bad they had to turn back and return the patients to the hospital when the PLANNED EVACUATION LOCATION was closed with no one there to take the patients.
Is this the blind leading the helpless or what? WTF are we paying these FEMA guys for? Isn't this their damn job? To help us when there is a disaster?
This scares me more than I can even say.
Posted by Heather at 7:07 PM