America’s finest hour is not best represented by the shenanigans going on in New Orleans. This was perhaps the greatest natural disaster that has become the most unnatural display of what America is really about. Yet the scenes being played over and over again not only on American television but around the world indicate to all the ugly America that exists within our country. Here are a few of the cause and effect of the situation:
1. Failure of the National Hurricane Center
Hurricane Katrina was not the typical predictable hurricane from the beginning of its birth, to when it crossed Florida and finally hit the Gulf of Mexico coast. However, the NHC continuously provided inaccurate predictions as to its strength and its direction. Emergency Management relies so heavy on its predictions in moving resources and so many citizens listen to their south saying advice. So it was no doubt that people were kept unaware that the hurricane may develop into this monster storm. The NRC as of 3 days before was predicting that the storm would hit the Panhandle as a 1 or 2. Katrina once again surprised them as it continuously decided to head southwestwardly instead of turning quickly north as it headed across the state of Florida. By the time the NRC started predicting the hit to New Orleans, and as a category 5, it was all but too late for local and state officials to take it seriously enough to have properly evacuated the city.
They gave bad advice and the consequences is that New Orleans ran out of time.
2. New Orleans Mayor : Incompetent. Knowing full well that his population was in danger rather than making the public and school buses available for evacuation he elected to send home the drivers and stand them down on Saturday. Thousands could have been saved had they started the evacuation on Saturday. Now he goes on the defensive and finger points saying it wasn’t my fault. He had no disaster plan in effect, never thought of it, never executed anything. Remember this city is 12 feet below sea level. Here in Coral Springs we are 12 feet above sea level and everyone here has a plan of action.
3. New Orleans Police Department: What kind of police officer leaves his post in a time of crisis? 25% of the New Orleans police department went AWOL in the time of need. This left the keeping the peace to overstressed tired fellow officers who they simply abandoned. No police officer that I know here in Florida would ever do this. So what does this say about the training that these officers received, or what about their preparedness. The abandoning of their post is most seen by policeman in Iraq under suicide bombings but not here in America. The policeman that were cowards should be prosecuted and made an example of. We cannot allow anywhere in America any law enforcement officer to act in this manner. The New Orleans police chief should do the right thing here after all the dust has settled an resign. It is a disgrace and as head of the department he must take responsibility for the action of his men. He needs to do the honorable thing here and resign.
4. The Governor of the State of Louisiana : Who is this idiot anyway? Can you imagine a less competent governor doing absolutely nothing to save the population? Again, just like the mayor, no plan drawn up, no implementation of any common sense,. she took several hours to call in the national guard even though there was a strong indication of the disaster that was to follow. She should also resign.
5. FEMA: The big problem of the catastrophe of the New Orleans, is that the government’s policy is for 1 catastrophic even to happen at a time and not more. In the Case of New Orleans, a catastrophic event was the Hurricane,. The 2nd was the Levee bursting. These are 2 events closely related. We shook have a policy in effect that handles at least 2 events at the same time. This would be the case for instance if we had a hurricane hit Coral Springs, and the power plants would be blown up by terrorists. 2 catastrophic events happening. The mere fact that so many oil refineries are now out of action and our cost of gasoline is now sky rocketing upwards is an indication that New Orleans was and still is a strategic center for the United States. If that is the case than why did FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security not have enough resources and did not put enough money into its defense of any catastrophic incident? DHS has the right to take over a situation and organize any of the law enforcement agencies including the local and state police departments. Having said that where were they? After the first day and seeing al the turmoil, they should have moved in quickly to restore order. Instead you hear them talking about that they needed to wait for the governor. That is not the case as the Homeland Security Act of 2002 gave them the right to move in at any time. .
6 Congress: Even thought the Army Core of Engineers have been saying for more than 30 years that they need money to rebuild the levies surrounding New Orleans. because of possible failure under storm conditions, Congress elected to ignore their pleas. With all of the ‘Pork’ that went into the Homeland Security bill and other such pieces of legislation, you think that they would have 30 million or so made available to Louisiana? Especially since the country depends on the Oil Refineries which can be considered as we are seeing from the quick increase in gas prices, part of the economic security of the country. My concern is that there may be hundreds of other projects, like bridge repairs, cooling systems for nuclear waste sites, etc that the experts say they need funding, and the government continues to ignore. Now all you here in the government is responsible for the mess. Like the New Orleans mayor they are on the defensive and trying to point the blame on everyone else except themselves.
7. The Thugs of New Orleans: During any other disaster in the United States, at no time have you ever seen shooting, raping, and looting that is going on in New Orleans. Police are being shot at, fire trucks are being shot at, woman got raped in the superdome and convention center. The worst of New Orleans came out and showed us exactly how ugly America can become. Rather than as a population , the city would come together as in New York or Miami, what you have is the real dirt of America going at it. There is no telling how many other cities are like New Orleans but , we need to find out and make sure this type of stuff never happens again.
8. The Population’s lack of taking the warnings seriously. I am not talking about the poor that had no way of getting out of New Orleans, but those that despite their ability to evacuate, decided to ‘ride the storm out’. These people acted irresponsibly and can only blame their own actions for their current suffering. Even now thousands of residents are refusing to leave. There is no reason for their resistance. When the authorities tell you to leave, and you don’t, then you should not be entitled to any government aid. This should be the law in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and anywhere else in the United States.
9.Infrastructure: How is it that Hospitals, police and fire departments, do not have emergency generators? What kind of infrastructure does New Orleans really have when it comes to emergency management?
But in the end there will be many people pointing fingers at each other, and no one will have a clear understanding as to what really happened here. The responsibility of the Local and State governments as the true first responders, and the ability for our Federal government to have the proper resources more quickly available with all be issues to go over. But for local and state politicians to quickly try to shift the blame and responsibility for their lack of action to the Feds, is disgusting.