Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans: did the disaster plans include operating under fire?

We'll be figuring out what went wrong for years. The analysis will move faster if honest senate hearings take place, but I figure the Bushies will block those. Still, it will happen.

My gut sense is that a large number of people, starting with George Bush, should lose their jobs. However, there is a mitigating wild card:
Fifth Day of Disaster Begins With Fire

Chris Lawrence of CNN reported on the fire from a rooftop on a police station, where he said officers were 'barricaded' because of people 'shooting at the station'.

'It's very hard to tell [what's happening],' he said. 'The Fire Department can't get near the building without a police escort.'
My employer sent very important and appreciated truck loads of supplies to some of our hospital customers. Those trucks required poice escorts.

Dud disaster scenarious anticipate urban warfare? Does that helps explain, in part, why FEMA has failed so catastrophically. Beyond, of course, having their budgets stripped for Iraq and "Homeland Security".

Update 9/2: I think another factor that was not considered was how many of those who remained required medical attention. The victims of 9/11 were largely vigorous, healthy, middle and upper class men and women. The victims of Katrina are often disabled, sick and elderly -- and there are many infants and children. The combination of a population with a high proportion of vulnerable persons and an urban warfare environment together may have produced a disastrous effect outside of what planners were considering. Even in the nations struck by the Indonesian tsunami would not, by virtue of less advanced medicine and a younger demographic profile, have had such a high proportion of sick and elderly persons (also, they didn't display our talent for urban warfare). I wonder if the Kobe earthquake would have been a better lesson. I recall that Japan's response to that disaster was considered to be mediocre and inadequate.

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