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Thread: FEMA negligence

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    Forum Member Riversong's Avatar
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    Default FEMA negligence

    If you're interested in what really went down in New Orleans, you might want to watch Greg Palast's 1/2 hour investigative story:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...q=The+Big+Easy

    He's a provocative but dogged investigative journalist who's uncovered a few pertinent but little known facts:

    FEMA had outsourced the evacuation planning for New Orleans, to the tune of a half million dollars, to a small outfit, Innovative Emergency Management, with no apparent disaster planning experience but which had made large contributions to the Republican Party. There is no evidence that they ever produced a functional evacuation plan, and FEMA refused to adopt the very thorough pre-planning performed by the Center for the Study of Hurricanes at LSU. In fact, the professor who heads the LSU Hurricane Center was warned by someone in state government (who later went to work for IEM) not to pubicly criticize the IEM plan or his job might be in jeopardy.

    Even more damning is that, according to Dr. Ivor Van Heerdon, the deputy director of the LSU Hurricane Center who was at the state emergency operations center, FEMA knew that the levees had breeched, had flown over and taken video footage, had informed the White House - but the state emergency operations center found out about it the next day on CNN. No one at the state level was informed and they had stopped the evacuation because Katrina had passed by the city.
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    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riversong View Post
    FEMA had outsourced the evacuation planning for New Orleans,
    Why would FEMA involve itself in evacuation planning for New Orleans in the first place? That's New Orlean's primary responsibility and only secondarily Louisiana's. What has FEMA got to do with it? Sounds like someone thumping a political agenda more than any actual "investigative reporting" to me...

    Instead of trying to find someone to blame for the mistakes of the Katrina fiasco, when are people going to focus their attention to taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again next time?
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Forum Member Frmboybuck's Avatar
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    This was NOT Femas responsibility. Anyone ever heard of the chain of command?? It applies here also. FEMA was not responsible for the evacuation untill it was turned over to them. They were not asked to help untill AFTER the hurricane went through. Just another example of people not taking responsibility for their own actions. They were told to leave and chose to stay. Where there is a will, there is a way. I dont feel sorry for them

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    Forum Member Riversong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    Why would FEMA involve itself in evacuation planning for New Orleans in the first place?
    Because it was identified by FEMA planners as one of the three major disasters likely to require federal intervention.

    Instead of trying to find someone to blame for the mistakes of the Katrina fiasco, when are people going to focus their attention to taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again next time?
    Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. If we don't identify where responsibility failed, there is no way to fix it.
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    Forum Member Riversong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frmboybuck View Post
    This was NOT Femas responsibility. They were not asked to help untill AFTER the hurricane went through.
    So what you're saying is that FEMA's failure to inform the New Orleans emergency operations center that the levees had been breeched was OK because they hadn't yet been invited to participate?

    They were told to leave and chose to stay. Where there is a will, there is a way. I dont feel sorry for them
    Some chose to stay, as happens in every hurricane. But most of those who remained in New Orleans did so because they did not own cars and no one sent busses to evacuate them, or because they were too old and frail, many of them in nursing homes and hospitals, and even those in jail were not evacuated.
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    Forum Member Frmboybuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riversong View Post
    So what you're saying is that FEMA's failure to inform the New Orleans emergency operations center that the levees had been breeched was OK because they hadn't yet been invited to participate?
    Yea....Pretty much. NO emergency had its procedures intact and they knew the levees had been breached and chose to do nothing about it. IF FEMA had taken action they would be crying that FEMA "came in ad took over"

    Quote Originally Posted by Riversong View Post
    Some chose to stay, as happens in every hurricane. But most of those who remained in New Orleans did so because they did not own cars and no one sent busses to evacuate them, or because they were too old and frail, many of them in nursing homes and hospitals, and even those in jail were not evacuated.
    So why is this FEMAs problem and not the local authorities?? Once again another case of pointing the finger and not taking responsibility for their screw up.

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    Forum Member Riversong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frmboybuck View Post
    IF FEMA had taken action they would be crying that FEMA "came in ad took over"
    FEMA and, more importantly, the military DID come in and take over, but not until they had wrested control from the State and City, not until late, and they did more to obstruct assistance than to coordinate it.

    So why is this FEMAs problem and not the local authorities??
    I didn't say it was. But you blamed the victims for getting stuck in New Orleans.

    The responsibility for evacuation rested first with the City and second with the State. And 85% of the population of New Orleans was successfully evacuated. That was a phenomenal feat. Then there was a major breakdown of command, control, and communications - and FEMA holds a large part of the blame for that.

    Part of the problem was that, since its assumption within DHS, the focus of FEMA had shifted to terrorism and away from natural disasters, and much of its funding had been stripped by Bush's budgets.

    FEMA used to be a cabinet-level department, reporting directly to the President. Bush demoted it considerably in his single-minded focus on terrorism (which was nothing more than the latest excuse to engage in aggressive military action, much as the threat of "communism" used to be).
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    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riversong View Post
    Because it was identified by FEMA planners as one of the three major disasters likely to require federal intervention.
    That's all well and good as a theoretical exercise but it doesn't change the fact that planning an evacuation strategy for New Orleans was never FEMA's responsibility in the first place. Whatever screw ups FEMA may have made with regards to Katrina the flawed NO evacuation plan is not one of them...
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Forum Member Frmboybuck's Avatar
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    Now I understand what im dealing with here.....A looney liberal that cant be satisfied with anything. Let me ask you a question. What are your thoughts on the Saadam hanging?

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    Forum Member Riversong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    planning an evacuation strategy for New Orleans was never FEMA's responsibility
    Disaster Evacuation and Displacement Policy:
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS22235.pdf

    "Federal law contains provisions related to the evacuation of civilians and planning requirements within the United States, under specified circumstances. General authority is also given to federal agencies for emergency preparedness activities that include evacuation planning."

    "The role of FEMA includes evacuating disaster victims." 6 U.S.C. 317

    "Secretary of Transportation must establish incident response plans for facilities and vessels that include evacuation procedures." 46 U.S.C. 70104(b)

    "Emergency evacuation studies are a required DOT activity under the deployment of the transportation model known as the Transportation Analysis Simulation System." H.R. 3 (109th Congress) Sec. 5512(b) (4)
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    Forum Member Riversong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frmboybuck View Post
    Now I understand what im dealing with here.....A looney liberal that cant be satisfied with anything. Let me ask you a question. What are your thoughts on the Saadam hanging?
    WebTeam : User Conduct Reminder

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    Consider this your final notice.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riversong View Post
    WebTeam : User Conduct Reminder

    We will remind users that personal attacks, calling other users out, etc. for the opinions, right or wrong, is completely unacceptable at Firehouse.com

    Consider this your final notice.
    If you can't take a political debate ...

    Anyways, ... this was pulled from the first two paragraphs of your gov't report. How do you answer this? I read it as the state had authority, and the federal gov't only does when their are special circumstances.

    "Using the authority set out in state laws and local ordinances, state and local officials may suggest or require the evacuation of residents from homes and communities before certain catastrophes occur.1 Threats of pending natural disasters such as hurricanes or floods, warnings of the movement of airborne hazardous material due to transportation accidents, or the recognition of unstable conditions at nuclear power plants may provide officials a short window of opportunity to save thousands of lives.
    To a limited extent, federal statutes authorize agency heads to use federal resources to assist in the evacuation of civilians."

    "In general, federal policy defers to the states to enact laws pertinent to evacuation, and local officials generally work with state officials to enforce those laws"

    "Federal law contains provisions related to the evacuation of civilians and planning requirements within the United States, under specified circumstances."

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    Forum Member DeputyMarshal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riversong View Post
    Disaster Evacuation and Displacement Policy:
    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS22235.pdf
    You're quoting this as if it's an authoritative document. It isn't. It's a privately written essay that makes little effort to hide a political agenda.

    FEMA's role in evacuation planning is limited to specific federal facitities and whatever role the states offer it by invitation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Riversong View Post
    The role of FEMA includes evacuating disaster victims." 6 U.S.C. 317
    That's after a disaster occurs and after the disaster has been federalized.

    In short, the lion's share of evacuation problems around Katrina and the associated levee failures were the result of failures of local planning -- not FEMA. We can't expect FEMA to come in and do everything for us. Disaster preparedness is first and foremost a local issue.
    "Nemo Plus Voluptatis Quam Nos Habant"

    The Code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules.

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    Forum Member Riversong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdsqdcr View Post
    If you can't take a political debate ...
    I can debate anyone, anytime on political issues, but I won't stoop to personal attacks, and they have no place in a professional forum like this.

    Anyways, ... this was pulled from the first two paragraphs of your gov't report. How do you answer this? I read it as the state had authority, and the federal gov't only does when their are special circumstances.
    Those "special circumstances" are when local and state resources are overwhelmed, as is expected in any large-scale natural disaster.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    You're quoting this as if it's an authoritative document. It isn't. It's a privately written essay that makes little effort to hide a political agenda.
    It was a report to Congress by the Congressional Research Service.

    From their website: "The Congressional Research Service is the public policy research arm of the United States Congress. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS works exclusively and directly for Members of Congress, their Committees and staff on a confidential, nonpartisan basis."

    FEMA's role in evacuation planning is limited to specific federal facitities and whatever role the states offer it by invitation. That's after a disaster occurs and after the disaster has been federalized.
    While it does require an acknowledgement from local and state authorities that they are overwhelmed, the National Response Plan is executed from the top down:

    August 30, 2005 Secretary Michael Chertoff invoked the National Response Plan the day after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on the morning of August 29, 2005. By so doing, the Secretary assumed the leadership role triggered by the law to bear primary responsibility to manage said crisis. The invocation occurred due to the inability of local and state government to handle the situation.

    In short, the lion's share of evacuation problems around Katrina and the associated levee failures were the result of failures of local planning -- not FEMA. We can't expect FEMA to come in and do everything for us. Disaster preparedness is first and foremost a local issue.
    Yes it is. But with the understanding that there is a limit to what a municipality or state can provide, and it is at that point that federal planning, preparation, pre-staging, response, and mitigation become primary.

    In addition, FEMA has responsibility for reviewing state and local disaster plans to make sure they are sufficient, and for assisting with coordination - both before and during a disaster - of all levels of governmental response.
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    Forum Member Frmboybuck's Avatar
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    I just call them as I see them man and obviously proved my point with your response.....FEMA was not responsible for what happened. The local government is. They just want to point the finger at someone else and not learn from anything. I am curious as to what their CURRENT(as in TODAY) protocals are for another Katrina type disaster.You didnt answer my question either. Whats your position on the Sadaam hanging?

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    You havent answered my question either. Please answer as I am curious how you address what I raised ...

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    Forum Member Frmboybuck's Avatar
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    Please excuse me gdsqdcr if I missed it and maybe it wasnt even directed at me. What was your question again.... Sorry its been a LONG weekend

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frmboybuck View Post
    Please excuse me gdsqdcr if I missed it and maybe it wasnt even directed at me. What was your question again.... Sorry its been a LONG weekend
    Frmboybuck, the question was not directed at you. It was directed at the intiator of the this thread. I am just enjoying his 'words'.

    Anthony

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    Forum Member Riversong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdsqdcr View Post
    It was directed at the intiator of the this thread. I am just enjoying his 'words'.
    You're apparently not enjoying them enough to actually read them, because I answered your question several times over.
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    Forum Member Frmboybuck's Avatar
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    How about my question???

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