# Another hurricane thread

• News
pattylou
This is from a left-y site, but it was an astounding timeline. Have a look. I'd be curious if a similar right-y timeline existed.

http://www.thinkprogress.org/katrina-timeline

## Answers and Replies

pattylou said:
This is from a left-y site, but it was an astounding timeline. Have a look. I'd be curious if a similar right-y timeline existed.

http://www.thinkprogress.org/katrina-timeline
If there is I bet they don't supply links to govt websites.

My guess is they will supply some blog quotes and a few op-ed pieces.
:rofl: :rofl:

Manchot
Skyhunter said:
If there is I bet they don't supply links to govt websites.

My guess is they will supply some blog quotes and a few op-ed pieces.
:rofl: :rofl:
Remember when a certain member thought that the federal state of emergency had been declared two days after the hurricane struck, because of a NewsMax "article?" That was a riot.

Smurf
There's not going to be a right-y one. THe only difference between the left and the right on this issue is wether or not it was all Brown's fault. That, and wether or not Bush was an innocent victim viciously and brutally deceived into hiring him.

edward
There is an old axiom in the business world that goes something like: One tends to rise to the level of one's own incompetence.

Many political appointees have reached that level when they are appointed to a job that they know nothing about. The job was a political gift, Brown has risen to a level that was beyond his capabilities.

Manchot
Except that Brownie managed to rise above his own incompetence. In fact, that's exactly what he was fired from his last job.

Gold Member
Manchot said:
Remember when a certain member thought that the federal state of emergency had been declared two days after the hurricane struck, because of a NewsMax "article?" That was a riot.

Hey screw you :D I don't drown myself in left-wing blogs so that I can play teh blame game for every fart in the wind.

faust9
edward said:
There is an old axiom in the business world that goes something like: One tends to rise to the level of one's own incompetence.

Many political appointees have reached that level when they are appointed to a job that they know nothing about. The job was a political gift, Brown has risen to a level that was beyond his capabilities.

That's called the Peter Principle. I saw this principle play out time and again in the military.

edward said:
There is an old axiom in the business world that goes something like: One tends to rise to the level of one's own incompetence.

Many political appointees have reached that level when they are appointed to a job that they know nothing about. The job was a political gift, Brown has risen to a level that was beyond his capabilities.
That is known as the 'Peter principle'

The Peter Principle is a theory originated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter. It states that successful members of a hierarchical organization are eventually promoted to their highest level of competence, after which further promotion raises them to a level just beyond their highest level of competence. The term is a pun on Sigmund Freud's theory of the pleasure principle.

The theory was set out in a humorous style in the book The Peter Principle, first published in 1969. Peter describes the theme of his book as hierarchiology. The central principle is stated in the book as follows:

In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence.

I don't think it applies to political appointees, at least not in the case of 'Brownie', since he reached his level of incompetence as commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association.

He was asked to resign,'' Bill Pennington, president of the IAHA at the time, confirmed last night.

faust9
Pengwuino said:
Hey screw you :D I don't drown myself in left-wing blogs so that I can play teh blame game for every fart in the wind.

Nice integration of the current Republican run and hide talking point. "Blame game" Ha! If not now then when? When should we blame the moron(s) who botched this? When should political appointees be held to task? When should political appointers be held accountable for handing out kushy government jobs(which eventually lead to well paying lobbyist positions) to incompetents?

In the military, commanders are(or used to) held accountable to a certain extent for the actions of their underlings though commanders have little to no direct control over who they get to begin with. If a CO is in bed when a ship runs aground then the CO is held accountable a lot of the time even though the all officers and enlisted on a given ship are sent to the ship not requested by the CO.

Why doesn't this hold true for the president---even more so because he selected these goons? Why can't or shouldn't we blame the top man for selecting an idiot who was consistently two days behind the news? Why not?

I know why... because the current talking point says we shouldn't to protect the president from any nasty admissions of culpability in selecting an idiot. We all know the president is never wrong(as seen by his response to a question during one second or third Kerry/Bush debate) and as such needs the protection of all of the talking heads. Talking points---gotta love'em!

faust9
Skyhunter said:
That is known as the 'Peter principle'

I don't think it applies to political appointees, at least not in the case of 'Brownie', since he reached his level of incompetence as commissioner of the International Arabian Horse Association.

HaHa beat you to it. Nanna-Nanna foo-foo!

Pengwuino said:
Hey screw you :D I don't drown myself in left-wing blogs so that I can play teh blame game for every fart in the wind.
Oh you would like to play, you just don't want to be "IT"

faust9 said:
HaHa beat you to it. Nanna-Nanna foo-foo!
I would have beat you except I was playing a game as well. :rofl:

faust9
Skyhunter said:
I would have beat you except I was playing a game as well. :rofl:

Now is not the time for the "blame game".

Mentor
pattylou said:
This is from a left-y site, but it was an astounding timeline. Have a look. I'd be curious if a similar right-y timeline existed.

http://www.thinkprogress.org/katrina-timeline
I am absolutely amazed that the city of New Orleans didn't have better plans for evacuation and supplies ready for a storm like this. What the hell were they thinking? This was not the Federal government's responsibility.

Per pattylou's link "APPROXIMATELY 30,000 EVACUEES GATHER AT SUPERDOME WITH ROUGHLY 36 HOURS WORTH OF FOOD". Was the Superdome the plan the mayor had for storm evacuation? If it was, why wasn't it properly supplied? Is anyone calling for the head of that mayor? They should be.

What was the state's disaster plan? Has anyone posted that?

Smurf
Again with the mayor, it's not just his fault. These plans have been neglected for years, decades even. The problem is not going to be fixed with a few heads on some pikes.

Mentor
Smurf said:
Again with the mayor, it's not just his fault. These plans have been neglected for years, decades even.
Using that reasoning, it's not Bush's fault either. But it doesn't take long term planning to have an evacuation plan and adequate food, water & medical supplies stored for an emergency.

The problem is not going to be fixed with a few heads on some pikes.
Can't hurt.

Gold Member
Evo said:
I am absolutely amazed that the city of New Orleans didn't have better plans for evacuation and supplies ready for a storm like this. What the hell were they thinking? This was not the Federal government's responsibility.

Per pattylou's link "APPROXIMATELY 30,000 EVACUEES GATHER AT SUPERDOME WITH ROUGHLY 36 HOURS WORTH OF FOOD". Was the Superdome the plan the mayor had for storm evacuation? If it was, why wasn't it properly supplied? Is anyone calling for the head of that mayor? They should be.

What was the state's disaster plan? Has anyone posted that?
All levels are to blame in some way, and yes the residents as well. If you know a major storm is approaching but have no transportation or some where else you can go, wouldn't you get some supplies together? I mean, I'm surprised there wasn't a run on the stores in the days preceding the storm.

And I've been hesitant to post this as I don't want it to be taken wrong, but when one sees footage of people looting (and I don't mean for necessities), and reports of rescuers being shot at, and a women who is complaining about relief efforts as she sits there smoking a cigarette (she manages to have cigarettes), it doesn't promote sympathy.

Yes, of course everyone is responsible. But that includes the federal government and Bush administration.

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Mentor
SOS2008 said:
All levels are to blame in some way, and yes the residents as well. If you know a major storm is approaching but have no transportation or some where else you can go, wouldn't you get some supplies together? I mean, I'm surprised there wasn't a rush on the stores in the days preceding the storm.

And I've been hesitant to post this as I don't want it to be taken wrong, but when one sees footage of people looting (and I don't mean for necessities), and reports of rescuers being shot at, and a women who is complaining about relief efforts as she sits there smoking a cigarette (she manages to have cigarettes), it doesn't promote sympathy.

Yes, of course everyone is responsible. But that includes the federal government and Bush administration.
Yes, thank you, everyone is responsible.

Smurf
Evo said:
Using that reasoning, it's not Bush's fault either. But it doesn't take long term planning to have an evacuation plan and adequate food, water & medical supplies stored for an emergency.
It's not. It's the people's fault for electing him.
Can't hurt.
:rofl: :rofl: Luv your reasoning.

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Can't hurt.

Tell that to the guys with pikes for necks...

faust9
Smurf said:
It's not. It's the people's fault for electing him.
:rofl: :rofl: Luv your reasoning.

Why won't the problems be fixed if we lay blame at the feet of those responsible right now? Why do you think we can only operate in series not in parallel? We are fully capable of determine what went wrong and who screwed up in these first stages as we are a year from now. We are fully capable of continuing evacuation and pumping while castigating all levels for their failure. This "it's too early for the blame game" BS is overbaord and is being used to cover some butts until things cool down. It's not being used to speed recovery efforts in the least only to prevent an immediate eye from looking into things.

Manchot
Pengwuino said:
Hey screw you :D I don't drown myself in left-wing blogs so that I can play teh blame game for every fart in the wind.
I don't read blogs (unless someone links to one from here). You see, I get my information from this wonderful media called "the news." It takes on many forms: web sites, newspapers, magazines, and television programs. In fact, if you read/watch the news on a daily basis, and have a memory that spans beyond two weeks ago, then you can draw your own conclusions, instead of needing them to be manufactured for you by NewsMax.com (which, despite its name, is in fact not a news site, as you demonstrated in that other topic).

Homework Helper
Evo said:
I am absolutely amazed that the city of New Orleans didn't have better plans for evacuation and supplies ready for a storm like this. What the hell were they thinking? This was not the Federal government's responsibility.

Per pattylou's link "APPROXIMATELY 30,000 EVACUEES GATHER AT SUPERDOME WITH ROUGHLY 36 HOURS WORTH OF FOOD". Was the Superdome the plan the mayor had for storm evacuation? If it was, why wasn't it properly supplied? Is anyone calling for the head of that mayor? They should be.

What was the state's disaster plan? Has anyone posted that?
I find it hard to believe that there could be a good plan for evacuating an entire city the size of New Orleans - especially for a hurricane. The plan for evacuation was unrealistic to begin with, but stated on paper that 72 hours would be required for evacuation. For Katrina, New Orleans had 66 hours, at best, and it would have required a commitment to evacuate in spite of the fact that the hurricane could shift it's track significantly in 66 hours. The plan called for mass transit evacuation of those without the capability to evacuate on their own. You could say that an attempt at evacuating residents would have saved some lives and human suffering, but it would have been a pretty meager effort in the big picture.

Bus drivers aren't exactly emergency response workers. A coworker of mine retorted "The mayor could pay them overtime", but I'm not sure a lot of them would have told their family, "Hey, honey, I'm going to work. You got the home front. Pack up our kids and belongings and get out of town. See you in a couple days or so." Even if a large portion of the drivers showed up, the first ones out of town still wouldn't have had a destination.

Even including an evacuation plan for the poor of New Orleans was bureaucratic pretentiousness - "Hey, we have to say we'll do something". It was pretty telling that the idea of mass transit evacuation was the first part of the plan tossed out the window when the reality of a Cat 4 hurricane set in.

As for the Superdome, the city's plan was for the hurricane to be a Cat 3 so everyone could leave the Superdome and go home after the storm. A Cat 4 is simply beyond the capability of a city.

The decision on the number of hurricane deaths per century was made when the levee system was built to withstand a Cat 3 hurricane. Deaths per century is the key part of the decision - no one could decide they'll accept 10,000 dead in their city next week or next year - the date of the disaster has to be ambiguously in the future.

A Cat 4 hurricane in a town like New Orleans is just too big a disaster for any city to be capable of responding to. In fact, it's too big for even a state the size of Louisiana to respond to. A disaster that big would be hard for a state the size of California or New York to respond to. You have to have a federal response to a disaster as big as Katrina.

In fairness to FEMA, though, it looks like they did have huge amounts of water and supplies available before the storm, so claims they did nothing aren't exactly true. Unfortunately, the vast majority of it was deployed to Alabama and aid slowly spread from East to West, with the biggest disaster happening to be on the Western end of the supply chain. FEMA was there, but the response was slow and it seemed impossible to make the system react flexibly towards the areas of greatest need. Alabama received good support, Mississippi not as good, but about so-so, and Louisiana's support was inadequate.

Staff Emeritus
. . . . the city of New Orleans didn't have better plans for evacuation and supplies ready for a storm like this. What the hell were they thinking? This was not the Federal government's responsibility.
Most cities probably lack a comprehensive emergency response plan in the event of a major disaster like Katrina. Had the levees not failed (federal government's responsibility), those remaining would not have had to be evacuated, but they could have returned to their homes on Tuesday.
NYTimes said:
State and federal officials had spent two years working on a disaster plan to prepare for a massive storm, but it was incomplete and had failed to deal with two issues that proved most critical: transporting evacuees and imposing law and order.
Apparently Mayar Nagin 'mostly' followed the city's emergency plan. But that did not take into account the levees failing - and the loss of transportation equipment.

The problem - "a city where nearly 100,000 people had no cars." That appears to be a main reason why they didn't leave.
NYTimes said:
. . . an initial examination of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath demonstrates the extent to which the federal government failed to fulfill the pledge it made after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to face domestic threats as a unified, seamless force.
NYTimes said:
FEMA officials expected the state and city to direct their own efforts and ask for help as needed. Leaders in Louisiana and New Orleans, though, were so overwhelmed by the scale of the storm that they were not only unable to manage the crisis, but they were not always exactly sure what they needed.
NYTimes said:
FEMA appears to have underestimated the storm, despite an extraordinary warning from the National Hurricane Center that it could cause "human suffering incredible by modern standards." The agency dispatched only 7 of its 28 urban search and rescue teams to the area before the storm hit and sent no workers at all into New Orleans until after the hurricane passed on Monday, Aug. 29.
NYTimes said:
The Louisiana National Guard, already stretched by the deployment of more than 3,000 troops to Iraq, was hampered when its New Orleans barracks flooded. It lost 20 vehicles that could have carried soldiers through the watery streets and had to abandon much of its most advanced communications equipment, guard officials said.
NYTimes said:
Oliver Thomas, the New Orleans City Council president, expressed a view shared by many in city and state government: that a national disaster requires a national response. "Everybody's trying to look at it like the City of New Orleans messed up," Mr. Thomas said in an interview. "But you mean to tell me that in the richest nation in the world, people really expected a little town with less than 500,000 people to handle a disaster like this? That's ludicrous to even think that."
His opinion, probably shared by many in that area.
NYTimes said:
Russ Knocke, press secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, said that any detailed examination of the response to the storm's assault will uncover shortcomings by many parties. "I don't believe there is one critical error," he said. "There are going to be some missteps that were made by everyone involved."
I agree.
NYTimes said:
But Richard A. Falkenrath, a former homeland security adviser in the Bush White House, said the chief federal failure was not anticipating that the city and state would be so compromised. He said the response exposed "false advertising" about how the government has been transformed four years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

source - Breakdowns Marked Path From Hurricane to Anarchy (registration required, article must be purchased after Sep 18)
By ERIC LIPTON, CHRISTOPHER DREW, SCOTT SHANE and DAVID ROHDE
Sept 11, 2005

Article appears with picture of Mayor C. Ray Nagin and Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco discussing floodwater with National Guard generals on Aug. 30. The problem is that they had to find 500 buses - outside of New Orleans.

So the problem remained evacuating 100,000 people, many trapped by the flood waters, and finding the resources to provide law and order, when much of the National Guard equipment was in Iraq. Shops with supplies of guns and ammunition were abandoned, and looters helped themselves.

Staff Emeritus
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050911/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/katrina_calculating_costs [Broken]

WASHINGTON (AP) - One storm could end up costing almost as much as two wars. Although estimates of Hurricane Katrina's staggering toll on the treasury are highly imprecise, costs are certain to climb to $200 billion in the coming weeks. The final accounting could approach the more than$300 billion spent in four years to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Analysts inside and outside government agree that the \$62 billion that Washington has spent so far was merely the first installment of perhaps an unparalleled sum.

"I cannot put a cost figure on it," Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday in a visit to the hard-hit states.

The government never has dealt with a disaster of this scale: 90,000 square miles of the Gulf Coast affected, with hundreds of thousands of people displaced and an entire metropolitan area under water.
Can any city or municipality, or even state, deal with a disaster of this magnitude? Is it or is it not the responsibility of the federal government to offer support in such an extraordinary situation?

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Lack of communication! Across the board, that's the big problem here. And as far as I know, that's FEMA's role, to ensure communication channels remain open and the officials who need information receive it from those who have it. Phone lines shouldn't be the only link to the outside for those who are critical to the emergency response.

The "blame game" is just a new name for the old phrase "passing the buck." That's not going to solve anything, because there isn't any ONE person who was at fault. What is at fault is the complete and utter lack of communication across all levels. That's what needs to be fixed. Every mayor of every city in this country should have a list of phone numbers, and every governor of every state needs a similar list of numbers, and FEMA needs a similar list, etc. And when phone lines go down, there need to be a few key officials with other means of communicating, sat. phones or something. There needs to be a central dispatch location. When you send people off to the SuperDome for shelter and you planned on them being there for just a few hours and it turns into even a single overnight stay, you need to have someone inside with communication who can call out and say, "here's the head count, here are the resources we have, here's what we need," and someone on the outside who can then start rounding up those supplies.

I know they had emergency workers in that city...when the evacuation order first went out and tourists found themselves stuck, there was a call from one of Cincinnati's firefighters to our local news stations to report on the situation there because he was stuck there as one of many who had been attending an EMT convention! The city had and abundance of EMTs, and someone should have known this and rounded them up to help in critical locations.

But, that's what never happened as far as I can tell. Nobody just sat down and said, "What do we need, what do we have, who do we need to contact to get what we don't have?" The people who should have been doing that and who should have been providing leadership crumbled under pressure. They were all piss-poor leaders...all of them, from local up to federal levels.

So, I think it's a good thing that Brown is stepping down. Several other officials need to do the same thing. If they can't handle emergencies, they don't belong in a leadership position that requires they keep a cool head in emergencies.

faust9
Good article in newsweek: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9287434/ [Broken]

Enjoy.

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edward
I can't imagine that not one of the responsible parties stopped to think that a hurricane, even a category three hurricane, would take down cell phone towers.

Gold Member
faust9 said:
Good article in newsweek: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9287434/ [Broken]

Enjoy.
Aside from many other relevant points made, I noticed this paragraph:
(When the AWOL officers began trickling back to work last week, attracted in part by the promise of five expense-paid days in Las Vegas for all New Orleans cops, Hosli told them, "You've got your own demons to live with. I'm not going to judge you.")
I'm thinking, let them come back to work--it will take too much time to replace them, but without pay for the days they were missing. I'm certainly not thinking, let's send them on a tax-paid vacation to Las Vegas. They can't be serious!

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Gold Member
edward said:
I can't imagine that not one of the responsible parties stopped to think that a hurricane, even a category three hurricane, would take down cell phone towers.
True. But how far away--Baton Rouge too? Even so, when calls were placed, officials underwent transfers, vague responses, and a sheriff was told to send an email.

Staff Emeritus
It occurs to me that they could have had buses on standby in Lafayette and Baton Rouge.

All the available buses in New Orleans should have been brought to the Superdome, and parked on the overpasses nearby so as not to get flooded.

They had expected a Cat 4 storm, at high tide, so there was a chance that the levees would have been overtopped (the water would have flown over the levees and flooded the city).

Clearly the responsible authorites at the City and State level had not worked out contingencies, and that was not the fault of the federal government.

On the other hand, someone should have been watching the levees for signs of failure, or at least there should have been some monitoring system of the integrity. Was that strictly some entity in the federal government, such as the Army Corps of Engineers?

TRCSF
Astronuc said:
It occurs to me that they could have had buses on standby in Lafayette and Baton Rouge.

All the available buses in New Orleans should have been brought to the Superdome, and parked on the overpasses nearby so as not to get flooded.

They had expected a Cat 4 storm, at high tide, so there was a chance that the levees would have been overtopped (the water would have flown over the levees and flooded the city).

Clearly the responsible authorites at the City and State level had not worked out contingencies, and that was not the fault of the federal government.

On the other hand, someone should have been watching the levees for signs of failure, or at least there should have been some monitoring system of the integrity. Was that strictly some entity in the federal government, such as the Army Corps of Engineers?

The city of New Orleans did use buses to evacuate, both out of New Orleans and within the city to the Superdome. They only stopped because Katrina was getting too close and the evacuation routes were getting clogged. Parking buses on an overpass is not a good way to clear up evacuations routes.

80% of New Orleans citizens were evacuated. That's a very large rate. FEMA was only predicting 60%.

The bus issue is a ruse.