Thursday, September 01, 2005

Frustration

I shouldn't have watched it. I know that now. We had a nice dinner with our regular Wednesday night group then came home to watch a little TV. Wednesday night... no West Wing for now but there's always a Law and Order right? Not last night. Instead there was a Hurricane special. It hit me like a freight train and I wept. It's all so surreal and at the same time all that went through my mind was ... THAT COULD HAVE BEEN US!!!!!!

The powers that be in New Orleans and Louisiana puzzle me. For the last, what, forty years? Since Camille at least, they have known this calamity was certainly a possibility. So. WHY didn't they plan for the "what ifs?" I just don't get it. Just - SURPRISE! - you're trashed... now what are you going to do? Why aren't vehicles full of food and drinking water arriving? They didn't have a staging area out of harms way days before the storm hit just waiting to come in and supply basic needs? It's four days later and the pictures I see largely depict crowds of people just standing around. The reward for weathering the disaster sheltered in the Superdome is to be bussed to the Astrodome in Houston. If they can get those folks out, why can't they get food and water in? What am I missing here?

Scenes of police officers stealing piles of shoes from Wal-Mart blow my mind. Looting blows my mind.... I understand taking diapers, first aid supplies or food and water but stripping the shelves of electronics, drugstores of their narcotics or you're neighbor's of their keepsakes and valuables... nope, I just don't get that. There are reports of shots being fired and fires being set. Exactly what good will that do?

We are quite familiar with hurricane restoration and not merely because we live in Florida and have prepared for many a storm. You see, my husband is a utility contractor who has taken hundreds of employees all over the Southeast for several years restoring power after hurricanes, ice storms, tornadoes and the like. For EVERY predicted storm he is contacted IN ADVANCE to have his crews at the ready, staged at the customer's predetermined location then dispatched after the storm as soon as it is established just where they will go. At each location there is catering, housing and fuel provided which is also contracted WELL IN ADVANCE to be available where the crews will be staying. When a storm approaches, every aspect of the restoration has been pre-planned and all involved are poised to act immediately. Why couldn't this have been done in New Orleans to have ready a few basics for what were certainly going to be SOME victims? Maybe it is and I am not watching the right reports but it sure looks like a big mess to me.

::sigh:: I'm angry and frustrated and I'm not even directly involved!

PS: Saw "W's" statement. He read it... obviously hadn't proof-read it. He'd had three days to rehearse. Guess he doesn't use his time wisely. This hurricane sure did get him out of that nasty Cindy Sheehan business didn't it?

3 Comments:

At 7:59 PM, Blogger sttropezbutler said...

Yes....I'm sure Loose Lips Rove is delighted that Katrina let loose.

I too am with you. What is up with the lack of forethought and planning. Really amazing.

New Orleans was the busiest port in the US and DHS hadn't developed any plans?

I was thinking today...after hearing the shirts in DC say that we have thousands on the way. Yeah, thousands on the way who are going to take the available water and food and then what will there be for the people who've been in hell for the last 4 days.

Great post GFF...

STB

 
At 11:35 PM, Blogger annie said...

sigh
it's all too much,
isn't it?

 
At 10:58 PM, Blogger CrackerLilo said...

Among all the other things Katrina has made me extremely appreciative of, Florida hurricane planning is at the top of the list.

Also, I'm not gonna tell my Alabama cousins any more Alabama jokes for a while, 'cause they were prepared.

 

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