Friday, March 09, 2007

Someone’s figured out their post-Katrina Lessons

One thing that should have been learned is that it’s folly to depend on others as your plan for dealing with set-backs. Given the full-force political finger-pointing at FEMA after Katrina one could not be blamed for thinking that FEMA rescue was New Orleans’s plan. Of course they’re own preparedness documentation spelled out the fact that the city would be ‘on its own’ for up to five days.

Now, this is not to absolve FEMA of all incompetence, but to point out that placing reliance on giant, far-away bureaucracies is not a very good idea. In a word, don’t. Sometimes they’ll do well, sometimes they won’t, and it doesn’t matter who is in office.

Which makes this story interesting. Mansfield University is creating a hazard mitigation plan with the idea “…to be prepared for three to five days of being alone and handling it yourself…” in case of a major flood, a real risk in that geographical area.

Bingo. This should be the first lesson learned from Katrina. Making FEMA a faster responder is at best second or third on the list.

Actually in the Hurricane Pam disaster practice FEMA told the local officials 24 to 48 hours. It has been 19 months now and the "response" is still not complete. Individual homeowners are still on their own as they were the day after the storm. This is the lesson of Katrina. You pay taxes for nothing. You are on your own. Also learned is that insurance companies do not have to fulfill their contracts. The system is broken and we need to take our government back.
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