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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Morning Roundup

Boomr is out. Both his home and his parents' were destroyed. There are millions and millions of Boomrs out there. We have got to get our butts in gear, get people out and find them decent living situations.

Supposedly the Convention Center and Superdome in New Orleans were completely evacuated, with 42,000 people brought out in a day. That's great, but let's not forget the hard-hit areas along the rest of the Gulf Coast either.

Oraculations suggests giving the United Way another try. Howard is also concerned that the racial rhetoric will hurt donations. He is probably right, but people need to ignore the nonsense and do what's right. He is very definitely correct in writing:
Had the hurricane hit the poor areas of Appalachia the victims would have been white, had it hit Chinatown the victims would have been Asian.
There are tons of people of all races and ethnic backgrounds marooned in smaller communities in the rest of the Gulf Coast. The victims are the ones who happened to be living in the place. Obviously the poor, the old and the sick are the most vulnerable.

True Grit has written a number of helpful posts. She has her mind firmly on what can be done to aid recovery efforts, and there is so much need! See here for Shreveport news and here for stories from the inside.

Chief Justice Rehnquist died, and No Oil For Pacifists has a very good suggestion about withdrawing Roberts' nomination for Associate Justice and renominating him as Chief Justice. The country needs to concentrate on other things right now and everyone has had a chance to look Roberts over. He also seems to me to have a good personality type for Chief Justice. Carl also writes that we need to do what's right and ignore politics for the time being:
It's all pointless nonsense. Quit squabbling; quit finger-pointing. We need to focus on rescue, relief and rebuilding. Hurricane Katrina was no one's fault. That's why they're called "natural disasters.
Sigmund, Carl and Alfred has been looking at the big picture (along with all of the commenting crew). This post in particularis fascinating. One thing I have to say - we'd better all be looking at what has gone wrong and checking in our local communities to see if we have the same vulnerabilities. No amount of good planning will avert all of the effects of a mammoth disaster hitting four states all at once, but the outcome didn't have to be this bad. Apparently the New Orleans officials didn't even let FEMA know that they had 20,000 people in the convention center until Thursday. The Feds can't get them out or get food and water in if they don't even know they are there.

Any town or business has some lessons to learn from this, and it is very important to study what went wrong in this one in order to plug the holes in your own plans, even if they are just family plans. One of the first is whether your town or business has a backup communication plan in the event cell phone communications are severed. New Orleans' communication plan relied on cell phones. Every person and institution in New Orleans needed to have a minimum of three days worth of water and food, and they didn't. Do you? Do you have rendevous points set up for family and/or employees? Do you have security and emergency communication supplies? Flare guns and flags can be great tools to alert potential rescuers that people are alive and need assistance.

And as much as I like the theory of gun control, the reality of it sucks. In a disaster that guy with the three guns in his closet is a hero, and believe me the criminals will be rapidly acquiring guns or knives. Read this Times-Picayune collection at Editor and Publisher.

well the problem with gun control has always been how do you deal with the criminals getting guns.

Ann Althouse had a relatively short but helpful (for me anyway) article about New Orleans and rebuilding and it's being below sea level. One of the comments was in reference to the Dutch and thier system, I know it works for them, but honestly I don't know if the situations are similar enough to be relevant. But, New Orleans will be rebuilt in one way or another so it needs to be looked at. Seriously this time. Because it will happen again, it's just a matter of time, Mother Nature will insist on it.
You can be sure that every state in the union is going to look at it's own response plan- and they will plug the holes where they find them.

The NOLA post mortem will be a spectacular show of ineptitude, and neglect, to say the least.

Case in point- just today, LA Governor Blanco signed an order to allow NO school busses to be used for evacuation.

That's just the appetizer..
SC&A - you mean the nauseator, don't you? As for the planning, I certainly hope so.

Tommy - From what I've read the Dutch don't have quite the same problem with subsidence, which we can't change. I don't know. I wonder if the housing can be something like floated geodesic domes. Properly built geodesic domes are pretty hurrican resistant.

In one way, I am glad that it will take so long to restore some parts of the city. Hopefully some serious thought will be put into ways to rebuild a functional city that is not also a deathtrap. We can't prevent hurricanes, but we don't have to leave ourselves so open to them.
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