It’s been a little over a week and a half since Hurricane Katrina struck. Normally, I try to stay away from Politics and issues like that in here (since this is a computer-related blog), but this is one time that I’m digressing. I’ve been watching the news on and off since the Saturday before it hit, and I’m disturbed by a few things.
After the first 48 hours (probably after the first 12 hours, in reality), it was apparent that the entire Government dropped the ball on this. In fact, the ‘ball’ was dropped before Monday morning. Everyone from the local Government in New Orleans, up through the President screwed up. There should have been buses in New Orleans on Saturday and Sunday getting the people who couldn’t leave on their own out. The evacuation should have become mandatory on Saturday morning, and the buses should have been moving people. The voluntary evacuation should have been stressed on Friday morning (warning people that unless Katrina changed paths by Friday afternoon, it was going to become mandatory). From my understanding, the last bus left New Orleans sometime on Saturday.
After the hurricane hit, within 24 hours, New Orleans should have been SWAMPED with Emergency personnel. The National Guard (from more than just Louisiana) along with Active-duty soldiers should have been at the Convention Center and the Superdome immediately. Law & Order should not have been allowed to be lost.
I realize, this is all hindsight, and I hope that everyone from the individual up through all of the chains of Government will learn from this tragedy. But, only time will tell. And, hopefully it’s a LONG time before we are shown.
The thing that disturbs me the most about this is, within 3 days, people were saying that the lack of support and aid was a racial or a social-economic issue. My question is this…. The Mayor of New Orleans is African-American. I’m not sure what Nationality the Governor is. From the understanding I’ve gotten (by watching the news and reading blogs online), FEMA couldn’t come in until the local and State government asked them to. The local and State government said we can handle this (at first) This isn’t just in New Orleans. I’ve heard stories about a private church organization bringing aid to either Alabama or Mississippi, and being told to “Turn around, we’ve got it under control here.” by the local Aid organizations. So, if this is racially motivated, how? Politically motivated, Yes. Racial, NO.
It wouldn’t have mattered if everyone that stayed behind were African-American, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, or Martian. The point is, EVERYONE dropped the ball. Even the individual people who refused (and are still refusing) to leave their homes. As I mentioned above, the only things that matter NOW are that the ball is being picked up and carried, AND that hopefully everyone from the individual all the way up through the Government learns from this and doesn’t repeat the same mistakes.
Originally, I wasn’t going to accept comments on this post. The reason is, I’m just expressing my opinion as an intelligent human being. And, in the past, I’ve noticed that anything that is in any way politically charged will turn into a flame war. Call this venting, from someone who is mildly affected (occupationally) from the hurricane. Everyone has the right to their opinion, but since I don’t want to end up deleting this post and all of it’s replies because it becomes a flame war, I figured by not allowing comments, I’d be putting a stop to it in the beginning. But, I realize that I shouldn’t keep it one-sided. If you want to create a blog with your opinions about the Hurricane (or even about what I’ve said here) feel free to click the Blogger link at the top of the page. In fact, I encourage you to. If you want to post a comment to this, as long as it’s not considered a flame, I don’t have a problem. The only request I have is that you put some thought into it, and back up your information (if possible).
I also highly recommend viewing http://mgno.com/ A blog from some people still in New Orleans (at least they were until this week).
More importantly, I strongly encourage you to visit these sites. http://www.redcross.org and http://www.salvationarmyusa.com They definitely can use your support for the people that are directly affected by Katrina.