Hurricane Katrina: preparedness failure

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In essence, the failure of preparations for, and response after, the anticipated landfall of Hurricane Katrina, was an absence of leadership and of communication, at all levels of government.

On 1 March 2005, the AP made public "confidential government video" which it had obtained "from briefings Aug. 25-31". In the tapes, then FEMA Director "[Michael] Brown also told colleagues one of his top concerns was whether evacuees who went to the New Orleans Superdome — which became a symbol of the failed Katrina response — would be safe and have adequate medical care." [1]

Elsewhere in "the Third World" ...

  • The motto of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency, "Managing Disasters with Preparedness", encapsulates the nature and work of this disaster management organisation which serves the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
  • The head of the Geneva-based UN body that focuses on disaster reduction praised Cuba's hurricane risk management as a model for other developing countries. [2].
  • FEMA used to know what was coming and study how to prepare, at least for the 5-day Hurricane Pam simulation exercises in July 2004, during which "more than one million residents evacuated", apparently conveyed by UFO.
  • The Bush regime does what it does, send in men with guns.
  • Sensible organizations pre-distribute 2-way and broadcast radios with power generators for communications amongst command 'n control (aka Emergency Operations Centers), and with the public. [3]

In much the same way as U.S. social-economic policy of socializing costs while privatizing profits has failed, so also the Federal Management policy of centralizing decision making in the remote inexperienced responsibility of political flacks is doomed to failure.

Chief witness to this unfortunate condition is Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the time, who failed to exercise, or to understand,[4] the responsibilities of his position, as specified in the National Response Plan.

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