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New Orlean's "Hurricane Plan". Scan it for about 10 minutes and you'll see it's a damning document insofar as city management there is concerned. Judging from recent comments by a few of the folks named as responsible in that plan they didn't know it existed - there's no other explanation for the absurdity of some recent statements and "demands".
Ray Nagin, in a radio interview, said: "I need reinforcements. I need troops, man. I need 500 buses, man. Now get off your asses and fix this. Let's do something and let's fix the biggest goddam crisis in the history of this country."That wasn't in the plan. Actually, the buses were in the plan. They were here. This was in the plan too:
He castigated the government's failure to help those stranded in the city by Hurricane Katrina, echoing a mounting wave of criticism of the slow federal response to a long-predicted catastrophe.
"This is a national disaster," he said. "Get every doggone Greyhound bus line in the country and get it here to New Orleans."
Conduct of an actual evacuation will be the responsibility of the Mayor of New Orleans in coordination with the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and the OEP Shelter Coordinator.This is in the plan too:
The SOP, in unison with other elements of the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, is designed for use in all hazard situations, including citywide evacuations in response to hurricane situations and addresses three elements of emergency response: warning, evacuation, and sheltering.
V. TASKSSpeaking of the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, let's get a comment.
* Initiate the evacuation.
* Retain overall control of all evacuation procedures via EOC operations.
* Authorize return to evacuated areas.
B. Office of Emergency Preparedness
* Activate EOC and notify all support agencies to this plan.
* Coordinate with State OEP on elements of evacuation.
* Assist in directing the transportation of evacuees to staging areas.
* Assist ESF-8, Health and Medical, in the evacuation of persons with special needs, nursing home, and hospital patients in accordance with established procedures.
* Coordinate the release of all public information through ESF-14, Public Information.
* Use EAS, television, cable and other public broadcast means as needed and in accordance with established procedure.
* Request additional law enforcement/traffic control (State Police, La. National Guard) from State OEP.
Terry Ebbert, head of the city's emergency operations, warned that the slow evacuation at the Superdome had become an ``incredibly explosive situation,'' and he bitterly complained that FEMA was not offering enough help.
``This is a national emergency. This is a national disgrace,'' he said. ``FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control. We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims, but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans.''
It's a military truism that no plan ever survives contact with the enemy, and in disasters, no plan survives contact with the disaster, either.That's true, and forgivable. But what's less so is the complete denial of any responsibility by local officials - who, perhaps in real fear of their fate at the hands of their constituents, are in fact accusing others of failure. (Other's who aren't really mentioned in the plan...)
More on that plan from Glenn, who's being very generous:
That, unfortunately, is how disaster planning usually works. One of my friends was in charge of disaster planning for his county -- as a college summer intern -- and I remember him saying that the goal was basically to have a document you could point to if asked, not to generate anything that would actually be used.They may be true - inland. But in coastal communities the price for ignoring the plan is potentially high. Catastrophically so. I've been involved in that - I'm speaking from experience. As noted before, this year's National Hurricane Conference was held in New Orleans (it often is) and drew folks from all along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts (and around the world) who gather every year to discuss and plan ways of avoiding exactly what just happened there. Google it and you won't find much in the way of news coverage. But you will find some interesting photos here. Here's one:
"Wrapping up, teachers and students were listening closely as Mark describes how much water could fill New Orleans if a major hurricane were to hit the city."
Comments and trackbacks are not working, this is not by choice. We're are working on it. Hope to have it resolved soon
Failing to plan is one serious problem. Failing to implement the plan is another!Posted by Martin at September 9, 2005 07:31 PM
Hi Editor & staff
After Tsunami tragedy I shared with your president G.W. Bush & his administration my invention/solution the "UNIBLOCK" which would allow to protect human's life & New Orlean's levees from flooding. mudslide or erosion, but your president & his administration ignored completely public safety improvement, my effort & this priceless solution. WHY if he doesn't have any solution at all & New Orlean's tragedy is the best prove of it. Now you see the final result of deliberately public safety negligence by your president & his administration.
Who really is responsible for this tragedy & crime?
I hope you agree with me "PREVENTION" is always cheaper & less painfull than its ignorance, tragedy or disaster. Your president save a few $$$ on my invention/solution, now Americans & Katrina's victims have to pay $billion$! Threfore, I have just simple question - do Americans deserve the national safety & security improvemet after Katrina's disaster?
YES or NO & WHY?
If you really care about public safety improvement then this priceless solution the "UNIBLOCK" is still available for its implementation by your president & his administration. Now up to you & your staff.
Walter Bujalski, Canadian Inventor (416 249 1878
Next time you email the president, use whitehouse.gov instead of whitehouse.org as the address. whitehouse.org is a parody site and they have posted your second letter.
DATE = 08/31/2005
SUBJECT = UNIBLOCK would protect human's life & property from flooding, mudslide or erosion!
NAME = Walter Bujalski
MESSAGE = Hi Mr. Bush President of U.S.
After Tsunami tragedy I offered you & your administration my invnetion the "UNIBLOCK" which would protect human's life & property from flooding, mudslide or erosion, but you decided to ignore my effort & this priceless invention. Now you see the final result of deliberately public safety negligence by you & your administration. Water is covering New Orleans & who is responsible for this tragedy?
However, pls don't forget "PREVENTION" is always cheaper & less painful than any disaster or tragedy! Don't you agree?
Now up to you & administration.
Walter Bujalski, Canadian Inventor
Check their hurricane katrina letters under the readers mail section.