Approval? reports today that the National Forest Service offered use of firefighting planes to extenguish several fires raging in teh city. The local fire department is not able to respond - I am sure it is a mix of not being able to get equipment to the fire, not having firefighters on site, and lacking water pressure.

However, the Department of Homeland Security has not approved their use. Yes, they are waiting on approval. This is unacceptable. Mayor Nagin is correct - there are too many chefs in the kitchen. The disaster area is spread across at least three states, but the majority of this problem is within one state. The governor can't seem to handle this; General Honore is quite in charge, but only the military side; FEMA is supposed to be in charge, but is in abstentia and relies upon other leaders. Mayor Nagin has been stellar - the captain at the helm - but is cut off and can't rally his resources. They are dispersed and now tired- some police officers have resigned.

WWL Radio just noted that we didn't just have two days to know this storm was coming; we had 35 years. I am not even from New Orleans, and I knew that this could happen. Having been to the city, it is obvious that there is water everywhere. Why wasn't the state and federal government ready? Why are they waiting for approval?

The current government is woefully unprepared - they're distracted. While the DHS sits on the front porch with a shotgun waiting for a terrorist to come walking up the sidewalk, this hurricane has slipped in the back door and wrecked the house. We can only suspect another terrorist attack - we've known this hurricane is coming for years. We know another earthquake can hit LA or San Francisco at any time. The New Madrid Fault, straddling Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky is another earthquake risk zone.

Why is it we must wait on official requests when their is a problem? Why isn't there one agency or individual who can call these shots and send the appropriate resources to the appropriate place? Why aren't the structures already in place to allow resources to surge to one place? Why was it that Sheriffs from Loudon County Virginia were turned away?

This bureaucratic crap is just that. I certainly hope that when the Big One hits Tokyo, the officials here are much more prepared. I have my map ready to find my way home when I walk home from downtown. 100's of thousands practiced this on September 1, the anniversary of the last major earthquake here in Tokyo.

No comments:

Popular Posts