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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber Diane E's Avatar
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    Default Bureaucracy Hindering Efforts

    LOCAL: BUREAUCRACY HINDERING EFFORTS TO BRING AID TO KATRINA VICTIMS
    Delaware County Daily Times
    5 September 2005
    SOURCE: http://www.delcotimes.com/site/news....id=18171&rfi=8

    NEW ORLEANS -- In addition to the dead and homeless, Hurricane Katrina left behind an emergency response bureaucracy that has made it difficult for some outsiders to assist in the rescue effort, even when they have a lot to offer.

    Nicole Johnson Baker, a national diabetes advocate and Miss America 1999, had rounded up a couple million dollars worth of donated cash, insulin, syringes, test strips and other diabetes supplies prior to boarding a plane to Baton Rouge Friday morning. Her goal was to track down the proper health officials and get the supplies to flood victims in Louisiana and Mississippi.
    "I have a refrigerator full of supplies in Louisiana now, but it doesnít have a home," Baker said aboard the plane.

    Her trip to Louisiana was less than encouraging. None of the officials on the scene could provide Baker with the information she needed to distribute the goods.

    "I got closer to an answer, but I didnít get an answer," Baker said on the flight back, more than 12 hours later. "Thatís the harsh reality of it."

    (Baker finally got her break over the weekend, a diabetes blog reported Sunday. She was able to confirm a housing location for supplies and establish a network to administer care to diabetes patients in hurricane shelters).

    Jim Washington, president of Radnor-based Rajant Corp., ran into a wall when he tried to navigate the bureaucracy of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Washington was trying to donate more than $400,000 worth of specialized equipment that emergency responders could use to set up a wireless communications network.

    Instead, he got bounced from one FEMA official to another, the last of which told him the agency was concerned about the equipmentís "cyber security." But Rajantís networks are secure enough for its primary customer: the U.S. military.

    "Donít tell me about security," said a frustrated Washington during the plane ride back to Philadelphia International Airport.

    U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon, R-7, of Thornbury, was able to find someone who saw the value of Rajantís equipment in a disaster situation, but he had to go straight to the top. Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, the three-star general who is commanding Joint Task Force Katrina, said heíd take the equipment and put it to good use, according to Weldon.

    Weldon had no problem unloading the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) manufactured by Advanced Ceramics Research, based in Arizona. Every official he talked to seemed impressed by the capabilities of the remote-controlled aircraft, which include cameras that can detect body heat through buildings. A separate set of UAVs manufactured by Chester-based Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation will be used by military teams in the flooded areas, Weldon said.

    As vice-chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, part of Weldonís mission Friday was to assess the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, which has been widely criticized as insufficient.

    "Part of our problem in America is that many of the bureaucrats that run our agencies like Homeland Security and FEMA have never had actual experience in the middle of a disaster, and itís an entirely different perspective," Weldon said. "One is sitting at a desk doing interviews, pushing pencils and telling people what to do. The other is out there with people screaming at you that youíre not doing enough."

    Neither Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff nor FEMA Director Michael Brown had any real experience responding to natural disasters before being appointed to their respective agencies.

    "Thatís the problem," Weldon said.

    Chertoff was a federal judge and Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Departmentís Criminal Division; Brown was a private attorney from Oklahoma.

    After spending an entire day in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Weldon seemed as frustrated as Mayor Ray Nagin has been with FEMAís overall sluggishness.

    Asked by a reporter Friday whether he ever thought he would have to take a leadership role during a natural disaster of Katrinaís scale, Nagin responded, "I couldnít have imagined this in my wildest dreams."

    The consensus in New Orleans is that FEMA should have.
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)


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    Default need some advice

    my crew has been waiting for the last week to go down south with no responce in sight, but then we decided if the only way we could help was to work for fema then we would try for that .well guess what it took fema 1 day to say come down and help,be part of are 2 man assessment team. that makes no sence at all people need help and they want us to pass out papers..... any way back to the reason i started this if anyone has been there could let me know what supplies to bring it would be a great help ..

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    clarksonchief we have had the same problem. I posted in another thread about the same problem we are facing. I am an engineer on a joint emergency team in South Carolina. Our county has put us on stand-by to go, but the feds keep telling us that we are not needed. We were going to send on the 1st rotation of our people, 16-20 haz mat techs and fire fighters. I can't understand why you keep hearing the people on the ground saying that they need help, but FEMA keeps saying that they don't need anyone else right now. This is all a big Cluster $#@$ if you ask me when comes to FEMA!

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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Asked by a reporter Friday whether he ever thought he would have to take a leadership role during a natural disaster of Katrinaís scale, Nagin responded, "I couldnít have imagined this in my wildest dreams."
    Bull$hit. Another lie that further shows the mayor's total incompetence which he thinks he can blame completely on the federal goverment and save himself at the expense of 10,00 dead people.

    The consensus in New Orleans is that FEMA should have.
    The people claiming this are the same ones that decided not to evacuate with a catagory 5 hurricane bearing down on them and being told they would be killed by a 24 foot wall of water? I don't think these people are intelligent enough to have a clue how disaster management should work. They are seeing the liberal loud mouths blaming bush and the federal goverment and are blinded by their own local leader near criminal stupidity in handling this.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    MembersZone Subscriber Diane E's Avatar
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    The people claiming this are the same ones that decided not to evacuate with a catagory 5 hurricane bearing down on them and being told they would be killed by a 24 foot wall of water?
    Did it ever occur to you that some of the residents had been told to evacuate before (at least twice last year) and nothing happened? So, if you're already living poorly and are told to evacuate twice (and I'm sure it cost them money to leave those two times) and nothing happened, you're going to have a hard time believing it this time. Not to mention that it went from a 3 to a 5 rather quickly. And also, some of the people may not have even known a hurricane was coming: those without a TV/radio/phone -- and there were people living in N.O. who just didn't have the means.

    Look at all the people that don't evacuate from wild fires because "it won't get their house".
    "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for my having been there."
    -- Jim Henson (1936 - 1990)

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    No Photographing the Dead

    NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 6 (Reuters) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Tuesday that it did not want news photographers to take pictures of the dead as they were recovered in New Orleans.

    FEMA rejected requests from journalists to accompany rescue boats.

    An agency spokeswoman said that "the recovery of the victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect."

    Does anyone think this is FEMA and the Feds trying to hide the reality of the situation down there? What if there were no films of the D-day invasion, or the Holocost,The Civil or Vietnam war or whatever...the hisorical fims and photos that record our history come from people who take pictures of some very unpleasant things from time to time. Is this an effort to preserve some dignity for the dead...or is this an attempt by what is begining to look like inept buerucrats trying to whitewash their failings?
    FTM-PTB

  7. #7
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeC
    Did it ever occur to you that some of the residents had been told to evacuate before (at least twice last year) and nothing happened? So, if you're already living poorly and are told to evacuate twice (and I'm sure it cost them money to leave those two times) and nothing happened, you're going to have a hard time believing it this time. Not to mention that it went from a 3 to a 5 rather quickly. And also, some of the people may not have even known a hurricane was coming: those without a TV/radio/phone -- and there were people living in N.O. who just didn't have the means.

    Look at all the people that don't evacuate from wild fires because "it won't get their house".
    Ok, so there were complacent morons. That's not much better.

    I'm well aware there were people simply incapable of getting to the shelter. However that is a small minority. Were there a few hermits that had no clue this was coming, probably but again, totally small minority. Neither are the ones I'm talking about here. The rest have legs and feet, they could have walked there. Many of them ended up doing that afterwards anyway. Those are the ones I'm acusing of being morons.

    But, like I said in another post, it all goes back to the mayor. Part of emergency planning is knowing that there are stupid people regardles of how grim the outlook is. It's just a fact of life that in a disaster, there are going to be stupid people who refuse to do is logical. We have to plan for those stupid people regardless. Saying "all stupid people die" is not an option and the mayor blew that too.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    MembersZone Subscriber EFD840's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    No Photographing the Dead

    NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 6 (Reuters) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency said on Tuesday that it did not want news photographers to take pictures of the dead as they were recovered in New Orleans.

    FEMA rejected requests from journalists to accompany rescue boats.

    An agency spokeswoman said that "the recovery of the victims is being treated with dignity and the utmost respect."

    Does anyone think this is FEMA and the Feds trying to hide the reality of the situation down there? What if there were no films of the D-day invasion, or the Holocost,The Civil or Vietnam war or whatever...the hisorical fims and photos that record our history come from people who take pictures of some very unpleasant things from time to time. Is this an effort to preserve some dignity for the dead...or is this an attempt by what is begining to look like inept buerucrats trying to whitewash their failings?
    FTM-PTB
    FFFRED, I actually tend to agree with keeping the journalists at arm's reach.

    I am certain ample footage and images of this nature already exists. To date, the American media has been very, very responsible (never though I would say that ) in filtering what it airs but the same can't be said for international outlets. I won't identify them, but unfiltered video isn't hard to find right now and as time goes by in the recovery phase they're likely to get more common.

    Still, your point about the need for a historical record is very valid. Hopefully they (FEMA, etc) will establish an official section to document the operation because there will be immense value in studying where the victims were found, etc. that will likely save lives in future disasters. Maybe military combat cameramen (or whatever they're called today) or a very selective media pool would be a good choice.

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    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    I'm well aware there were people simply incapable of getting to the shelter. However that is a small minority. Were there a few hermits that had no clue this was coming, probably but again, totally small minority. Neither are the ones I'm talking about here. The rest have legs and feet, they could have walked there. Many of them ended up doing that afterwards anyway. Those are the ones I'm acusing of being morons.

    But, like I said in another post, it all goes back to the mayor. Part of emergency planning is knowing that there are stupid people regardles of how grim the outlook is. It's just a fact of life that in a disaster, there are going to be stupid people who refuse to do is logical. We have to plan for those stupid people regardless. Saying "all stupid people die" is not an option and the mayor blew that too.
    A disaster plan would have identified anyone who needed assistance to evacuate.
    A disaster plan would have included plans for the penal institutions that did not include just letting the criminals out.
    A disaster plan that was practiced would have identified short comings and would have been corrected.
    A disaster plan that called to wait for a federal response wasn't a disaster plan; it was a disaster.
    CR
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED
    No Photographing the Dead

    Does anyone think this is FEMA and the Feds trying to hide the reality of the situation down there? What if there were no films of the D-day invasion, or the Holocost,The Civil or Vietnam war or whatever...the hisorical fims and photos that record our history come from people who take pictures of some very unpleasant things from time to time. Is this an effort to preserve some dignity for the dead...or is this an attempt by what is begining to look like inept buerucrats trying to whitewash their failings?
    FTM-PTB
    Nonsense. Did you lead the press paparazzi down to ground zero for closeups of the recovery of 9-11 remains???

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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason
    A disaster plan would have identified anyone who needed assistance to evacuate.
    A disaster plan would have included plans for the penal institutions that did not include just letting the criminals out.
    A disaster plan that was practiced would have identified short comings and would have been corrected.
    A disaster plan that called to wait for a federal response wasn't a disaster plan; it was a disaster.
    CR
    Exactly. I think my other essay.. i mean post summed that up pretty well too.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Nonsense. Did you lead the press paparazzi down to ground zero for closeups of the recovery of 9-11 remains???
    First the situations are somewhat different..and Yes there was access and photos taken throughout the many months after 9-11. There are plenty of photographs out there to document this. Go to the Police or Fire or the NY Hisorical Society Museum and you will see many photos taken from that day and many days afterwords...the same could be said for DailyNews and NY Times photogs. As long as safety precautions are taken and the proper forms filled out there should be no reason a selected number of journalists couldn't be allowed in.

    Considering the political situation in regards to this disaster I wouldn't think it is beyond the relm of possiblities that some are trying to limit the bad press that could come from the public seeing the photos from down there. Remember as stated by the FEMA director in his now public letter to his employees that they are to "convey a positive image of the governments repsonse..." This would fall nicely in line with those desires wouldn't they?

    Just something to think about.

    FTM-PTB

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    Angry

    From the NY Daily News today by Michael Goodwin



    Don't blame only feds

    Crime rate, inept pols leveled New Orleans before the storm



    Let's take a break from the joy of Bush bashing to reveal the dirty little secret of New Orleans: Its local government deserves an F for its planning and response to Katrina. And one other thing: The New Orleans police force would be a joke if it weren't a disgrace.
    Yes, I know it's impolitic to say such things while the suffering in the Big Easy is fresh and many cops risked their lives to save others. But now is the time to blow the whistle on the story line being repeated by rote across America: That the federal government ignored New Orleans because most of its residents are black and poor.

    That narrative has all the accuracy of a historic novel: it takes two undisputed facts - the feds were slow and New Orleans is largely black and poor - and weaves in pure fiction to make the desired link.

    The charge of racism-inspired foot-dragging isn't just nonsense. It's pernicious nonsense, as in destructive and malicious. You know that's a fact because loony Howard Dean, the Democratic Party boss, is now peddling it. He's joined by Jesse Jackson, who said the squalor in New Orleans "looks like the hull of a slave ship." Oh, please.

    If even a smidgen of the racism charges are true, President Bush should be shot. But before we give him his blindfold, let's look at New Orleans before Katrina.

    Start with crime. That looters ran unchecked after the hurricane isn't surprising when you consider that criminals have had the run of the city for years.

    It is a perennial contender for Murder Capital. The 264 homicides last year were a drop of only 11 from 2003 - and the first decline in five years.

    New Orleans, with fewer than 500,000 people, had almost half the murders of New York, which had 570 homicides last year in a city of more than 8 million. Put another way, if New York had New Orleans' murder rate, we would have more than 4,200 murders a year.

    That the New Orleans police are hardly the Finest was proven by a shocking report yesterday: Nearly a third of New Orleans cops - some 500 of the 1,600 - are now unaccounted for. The department says some quit, but it doesn't know where most of them are.

    The top cop, Eddie Compass, has responded by offering all officers paid vacations to Las Vegas and Atlanta. Yes, that's right - he is pulling all cops off the street, even while bodies lie in the open. Never in New York.

    Then there's Mayor Ray Nagin, a Democrat, who has blamed everybody but himself. Maybe he has forgotten his plans for dealing with Katrina.

    Last July, his office prepared DVDs warning that, if the city ever had to be evacuated, residents were on their own. According toa July 24 article in The Times-Picayune (spotted by the Web's Drudge Report), "Mayor Ray Nagin, local Red Cross Executive Director Kay Wilkins and City Council President Oliver Thomas drive home the word that the city does not have the resources to move out of harm's way an estimated 134,000 people without transportation."

    "You're responsible for your safety, and you should be responsible for the person next to you," one official said of the message.

    And how's this for preparation? Cops were told not to work on the day Katrina hit, one officer told The New York Times, but "to come in the next day, to save money on their budget."

    By all means, let's investigate what went wrong in New Orleans. Let's start in City Hall.

    Originally published on September 7, 2005

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    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Exactly. I think my other essay.. i mean post summed that up pretty well too.
    Did I quote you by accident or did I just agree with you...again?
    Spooky, huh? LOL
    CR
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    Talking Lets see

    I agree lets start at city hall. If i know that my city is below sea level and my dikes can with stand a class 3 hurricane, but any day there may be a class 4 come through I might want to build a bigger better dike........I don't know maybe thats to much common cents .......o did i spell that wrong must be this city hall computer it doesn't work either!!!!!!!

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    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    And you know, even if they wanted to leave the levees too small, they still didn't have a plan in place and they made no effort make a half-way decent one up the saturday before it hit.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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