Here's the deal for those who do not understand - the poor in New Orleans had no where to go, even if they did have a week prior to get out of Dodge. And if they tried, did you see those pictures of I-10? Traffic looked worse than I-5 in Seattle at 0800 on a Monday (which is hard to believe.) True, there are looters. True there are those who are getting items they and their families need to survive. (although a case can't be made for how a TV will help you survive.) The respose of "Well we need the manpower, so fill out these forms and then wait for a few weeks. Maybe we'll get back to you." is Stupid. How about, if you are available, go to ________ (website) where you can register to be sent through your department. If you are free and have the following backgrounds (FF, Medic, etc.) report to Atlanta Immediately with positive ID and a letter of recommendation from your department head.
A lot of departments are having problems with 2 things in where they can't (or won't) send people. FEMA won't authorize backfill pay, so Departments have to use overtime. Other departments are explaining their lack of response just like they do for wildfires - (If we aren't making money on the deal, screw 'em.)
The Feds would do best in admitting they are screwing up. How about having supplies (food, H2O, Medical supplies) set up just like the pods of Firefighting gear. And no "asking" for this stuff. Just send it to the area in need as soon as the storm blows over. If it goes unused, so be it.
The locals also need to do their bucking up. They need to admit they had no plans for this, and if they did they were woefully inadequate. The logistical heads should be out looking for jobs. How could they not think they would lose electricity? It's a Freaking Hurricane people!!! They all knew that city was prone to flood, and they put too much faith into a dike not meant to hold back that water!
The Cops that were looting and those who deserted should be prosecuted, and stripped of anything relating to their occupation, from uniforms to pensions.
For the snipers - fly a couple of apaches in there. They see gunfire, they shoot back. Those that survive get trials as domestic terrorists.
It's very frustrating sitting here when I know I could help. But the politics keep me at my desk.
This is the end of my rant, So flame away!!!