Monday, September 12, 2005
Not If But When
The stupidity of the European claims that the Katrina tragedy shows that US doesn't care about people becomes obvious when you look at the death toll from the European heat wave, as The Astute Blogger does:
The current death toll from Katrina in New Orleans - and the rest of Louisiana and Mississipp and Alabama - is less than 400. This number is SURE to go up, but it is VERY UNLIKELY that it will reach 10,000 or anything near that dire and irresponsible prediction.But you could probably watch and read European news coverage and never realize that Katrina struck four states rather than one city.
BY COMPARISON: the 2003 heat-wave in Europe killed 35-40,000, (14,847 in France alone; 20,000 in Italy). [More HERE.]
Florida emergency planners are not impressed by either Mississippi's or Louisiana's emergency planning:
Florida emergency planners criticized and even rebuked their counterparts -- or what passes for emergency planners -- in those states for their handling of Hurricane Katrina. Gov. Jeb Bush, the head of Florida AHCA and the head of Florida wildlife (which is responsible for all search and rescue) all said they made offers of aid to Mississippi and Louisiana the day before Katrina hit but were rebuffed. After the storm, they said they've had to not only help provide people to those states but also have had to develop search and rescue plans for them. "They were completely unprepared -- as bad off as we were before Andrew," one Florida official said. ...This is a good read. Florida makes no bones about the fact that they had to be booted into awareness. Many other states probably haven't done the planning they need to be prepared either. Check your own state out.
Local and state officials in Mississippi and Louisiana, as well as federal officials, simply weren't prepared to deal with a disaster of Katrina's magnitude, according to observers, citizens and national experts on the scene after Hurricane Katrina wreaked catastrophic damage on the Gulf Coast.
One of the biggest differences between how Florida and other states handle natural disasters lies in the degree of cooperation between cities, counties and the state. In Florida, they are in constant communication with one another as storms advance and during the recovery phase. Not so elsewhere, as first responders from Florida discovered at dawn the day after Katrina made landfall. Search and rescue crews from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were poised in Pensacola on Sunday night in anticipation of Katrina's landfall Monday.
One of the possible disasters for which we ought to be planning is the bird flu. WHO changed their tune last week, announcing:
Earlier this week, the World Health Organisation warned that the world is going to face a pandemic caused by a strain of bird flu which is lethal to humans. ...People are already dying of bird flu in Asia. A fourth person died of pneumonia in Jakarta:
WHO communicable diseases department director Jai P. Narain said that it is no longer a question of whether the avian influenza pandemic will occur. The question is when will it happen.
"We may be at almost the last stage before the pandemic virus may emerge," he said earlier this week.
An Indonesian woman is suspected to have died from bird flu, which has already killed three people in the country, Health Minister Siti Fadillah Supari said on Sunday.The previous three deaths in Jakarta occurred all in one urban family. A father and two of his children died. This is just to provide a little perspective, because a lot of groups are going to be running in circles claiming that the John Roberts nomination is a disaster. Believe me, you'll know a disaster when it hits - no pundits will have to inform you about it.
The woman, aged 37, died at a private hospital in South Jakarta on Saturday evening after being admitted there on September 6 in a serious condition, Supari told ElShinta radio.
Blood samples had been taken and tested positive for bird flu. Samples had been sent to Hong Kong for further testing and the results would be known in about five days, Supari said.
Finally, I thought this post by Dr. Sanity was incredibly good. Don't miss it. It's about what you have to do to be an adult and use all of your own resources, including your emotional intuition. In the course of the post she rather offhandedly tells about a case in which she helped solve not one but two murders. I have been watching all sorts of politician and media coyotes run in circles and point their fingers at various individuals. It is so refreshing to encounter someone applying hard-headed scrutiny to herself!
As for the Avian flu, the math in the article is off.
They say 1-7 million dead- worldwide.
That's awfully low.
This makes me shiver.
I give credit to the Floridians willing to state they had to be booted in order to see their plans were - less then able.
SC&A. Yes. I thought so too. Actually what I thought was quite unprintable.
Cyli - me too. And I agree about FL - I guess you have to be honest with yourselves when you get hammered by storms the way they have been.
I bet an awful lot of places don't have any feasible DR plans.
I have a Hurricane Katrina blog. It pretty much covers hurricane related stuff.
Thank you - and keep up the thoughts!
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