Friday, September 16, 2005

FEMA and Katrina: Incomprehensible Incompetence

In the days before Hurricane Katrina hit land, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, FEMA Director Michael Brown and other top Homeland Security officials received e-mails on their blackberries warning that Katrina posed a dire threat to New Orleans and other areas. Yet one FEMA official tells NPR little was done.

Leo Bosner, an emergency management specialist at FEMA headquarters in Washington, D.C., is in charge of the unit that alerts officials of impending crises and manages the response. As early as Friday, Aug. 26, Bosner knew that Katrina could turn into a major emergency.

In daily e-mails -- known as National Situation Updates -- sent to Chertoff, Brown and others in the days before Katrina made landfall in the Gulf Coast, Bosner warned of its growing strength -- and of the particular danger the hurricane posed to New Orleans, much of which lies below sea level.

But Bosner says FEMA failed to organize the massive mobilization of National Guard troops and evacuation buses needed for a quick and effective relief response when Katrina struck. He says he and his colleagues at FEMA's D.C. headquarters were shocked by the lack of response.

"We could see all this going downhill," Bosner said, "but there was nothing we could do."

Listen to this National Public Radio story here.

It is really breathtaking to see how incompetent the federal response was.


At 3:58 AM, Blogger Sean said...

you really need to stop the perpetrating as a Republican. My goodness, this is basic givt 101. DUH! Since when does the fed govt organize evacuations and buses- when locals have the buses?? makes no sense!. There was nothing stopping the state and city from "mobilizing the Guard" (legally the states duty) and getting the buses done. I guess the city of NO has an evacuation plan just to practice writing it??
this katrina thing, has exposed the difference between people with reasonable disagreements and irrational Bush haters. sanders ahs shown over and over to be an irrational Bush hater- but he is a Republican!! LOL

At 2:20 PM, Blogger halfback jack said...

Give us a break Sean.... If this had occurred on Clinton's watch, the Republicans would have everything but the tar and feathers flying.

The Republicans (in this scenario) would also be arguing about who gets what chair for the best possible camera angle at an impeachment hearing. [Kenneth Starr: The Sequel] Yuck.

You can blame all day long, but the reality is that people SUFFERED and DIED because government was INCOMPETENT at all levels. Both parties. Federal, state and local.

FEMA and Homeland Security demonstrated what a bunch of incompetent boobs they were. The Governor and Mayor were not in sync, and so on. It was a tragedy all the way around.

It took Bush three weeks (and a looksie at the polling numbers), but he finally 'fessed to the mess. It's time to get New Orleans rebuilt.

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Kirkrrt said...

I would answer that day came when this administration said it was the federal government's responsibility.

At 1:54 AM, Blogger Sean said...

what are you talking about? the govt has NEVER said being a first responder is the federal govts responsibility. Never!
you would think civil libertarians would be the first to oppose such an idea.

again, all i see sanders do, is recycle standard media innuendo and rumors.
there is a difference between the federal govt doing what you "wish" it would do; and it doing what it was suppose to do. Thats the problem, there is no context in this story at all. NONE! just jump on the media train. I have not seen a single article showing how Katrina response was "slow" sompared to other Hurricanes! There is just this proclamation that it was "too slow"
There is a difference between saying an org needs to change its purpose and strategy; and dumping on the org for doing exactly what it had said it woudl do, and exactly what it told others to expect.

halfback jack
you get real, and thats typical media partisan crap. thats exactly what i am talking about. so what if republicans would have done the same thing to clinton. that does not make it right! Thats the problem with poltics today, thing are done relative to how the parties treat each other, instead of what is right.
I also think if this had happened in FL, jeb bush would be on the cover of Time and the Nation as the worst Gov in America. You be honest, admit your biases.
you have yet to say exactly what FEMA was suppose to di, that they did not do. all mistakes are not equal, and do not have eqiual consequences. thats why i find this mantra, that "all made mistakes" to be a cop out. last time i checked, that will always happen with human institutions. The issue is how many mistakes, how much did they cost and how to correct them. The truth is the ONE action that would have had the biggest impact on saving lives, preventing people from being in a situation like the superdome- is called an evacuation! That is a fact. I know your partisan ways, prefer to overlook that and pretend all are equally at fault.
but hey, if telling yourself the rep would have done it to clinton is enough to satisfy you, thats fine.

do you honestly think i could not take a camera to any tragedy and find a decent amount of people dissatisfied with govt response?


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