07 September 2005

The REAL Crisis...

What is the true and very real crux of the situation we find our nation facing in the entire Gulf Coast?

A clear line of WHO IS IN CHARGE?

Remember after 9/11 when everyone was stranded? Streams of people walking out of the city on foot closing all the bridges? The initial mass confusion and lack of real communication.

The reality is.....how many times do we have to go through these dress rehearsals? The fact that DHS was established and FEMA put under it's control would say to me that the buck stops there.

Could local officials have handled this differently? No doubt. But you are talking about a working class, relatively poor region of the country. Mississippi is the poorest in the nation and Louisiana is number 3. Their resources as a result are limited yet the effects of regional shutdown are national in their reach.

I know that our Mayor Luken here in Cincinnati handled our riots of a few years ago terrilbly. The city was not prepared and did not know how to react. It was a mess.......just outside their 'expertise' as 'politicians. Our city was paralyzed as a result. They are NOT experts and were not elected to be experts in this arena.

The reality is that Mayors and Governors across our nation are ill prepared for disaster response. They are dealing with the day to day of keeping their city or state functioning......especially in these last 5 difficult years. Here in Ohio both the State and our City are in dire straits financially.......resource is at an all time low.

Again, isn't this why we have DHS and FEMA.....for EMERGENCY response? To take control by EXPERTS who understand how to deal with these huge catastophes. After 9/11 we were promised this at ground zero by our commander in chief. He said this would never happen again......in regard to the rampant confusion in local and national communication in emergency response.

The reality of the situation is that, yes, much 'could' possibly have been done at the local level. But the reality is, our safety net, the FED, did not function as it should AFTER the fact......and I believe that is due to gross ineptitude.

Remember, it is NOT just NOLA that is in trouble here or Nagin. New Orleans is surrounded by parishes underwater with their own overwhelmed Mayors. What about Biloxi, they did not receive the food, water, and medical attention necessary.......people were dying there
are well. And it was not underwater.

Also, in talking to friends throughout the region......there was really no where to go unless you had shelter with friends. Baton Rouge is far North of New Orleans and it was also hit hard...... with NO electricity, NO phone, and NO water, etc. The evacuation shelters there were full to the brim.

In my view......in the best of circumstance, something like this would have played itself out like it has to a degree.......it is the after response to remedy that situation which is most critical. And that is what miserably and pitifully failed.

Something we were promised would never happen again.


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