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September 07, 2005

Comments

The really significant failure was the lack of National Guard troops in NOLA to provide security. I do not understand why this happened. The mayor of NOLA and the governor of LA ordered NOLA evacuated 24 hours before the Katrina hit. It seems to me they should have brought a significant National Guard force into NOLA to provide security and prevent looting in the evacuated city before Katrina hit. At minimum they should have had this force positioned to move in immediately after the storm passed. In the days after the storm, there was only a very small National Guard force in NOLA, far too small to keep order.

Did the mayor and/or governor not realize they would need a large National Guard force in NOLA when they evacuated the city? What did the evacuation plan for NOLA say about this? Did LA just not have enough National Guard troops? Clearly parts of LA other than NOLA need National Guard troops too.

I have heard that 40% of the LA National Guard troops are in Iraq, and that 50% of the LA National Guard equipment is also in Iraq. Because of this the Governors of LA, MS, AL and FL agreed to provide National Guard troops to each other in the event of a hurricane. Unfortunately, that plan did not help in this case, because Katrina first hit FL, and then MS and AL at the same time it hit LA. I suspect MS, AL and FL needed all their National Guard troops to deal with their own problems. Did all these governors fail to foresee the possibility of one big hurricane affecting all of those states?

Apparently there were National Guard troops from states other than MS, AL or FL brought into LA, but it apparently took a very long time to get those troops mobilized and transported to LA. Did the Governor of LA not ask for that help soon enough? Does it just take that long to activate and transport the National Guard? Is there too much bureaucratic red tape required to do this in the event of a disaster?

Has the extended National Guard deployments to Iraq depleted the state National Guards to the point they cannot deal with large disasters? If this is true, it could have been dealt with by sending in regular army troops which may have gotten there faster. Did nobody think of this? Did the governor not ask for it? Was this part of any emergency plan?

I don’t think we know the real answers to most of these questions yet, but I hope someone, other than people trying to score political points, will look into these questions.

All we can guarantee is that with government committees investigating and judging the actions of government, that the answer will be more government programs and agencies. Which of course will require more of the people's money to pay for. But hey, at least this time they'll guarantee success. Yay!

Of course you should blame the feds! As well as the local gov'ts. Why? Because they perpetuated the lie that gov't can handle infrastructure, that they can handle rescue efforts. Furthermore they didnt offer private citizens a choice (gov't is not optional) so what in the world are NO citizens to believe? Their protection was in the realm of the political world and not the market world. They had no advantage of hindsight or foresight about hurricanes breaking levees that were mismanaged by central planners. Really, how could they? They trusted the gov't. The gov't is surely to blame.

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