Tuesday, September 06, 2005

My thoughts on the aftermath of Katrina.

After reading the partisan bickering around the blogosphere regarding the aftermath of Katrina, I realized I wasn't going to get any answers that way. So I started surfing some non-partisan blogs of people I respect and here are the things that bother me the most and I don't care whose fault anyone thinks it was, we have to find out exactly whose fault it was and smack them. (And I am sure many a commenter will let me know who they think is responsible, but don't bother)

First of all, if it is true that the people in the Superdome were LOCKED IN, then that is just reprehensible!!! And I don't care if it was for their "own safety." That just makes my blood boil!!

It seems to me, by all that I have read, that the 1st responders were so focused on rescue and recovery they weren't thinking of the people they assumed were safe in the Superdome and on highways. I honestly don't think FEMA or the National Guard or the police or whoever had anyone watching the news. If they had, then they would have been more aware of the food and water situation on the ground. That was a big mistake that I hope we never make again. There was obviously no communication between the local and federal authorities. That is a mistake we should never make again.

The head of FEMA isn't looking too good in my book. From the looks of things, he wasn't too honest with the press. I understand that this was an unprecendented tragedy, but it isn't the time or place to cover your ass at all costs. Just be honest. If you don't know why your people didn't get the message about people needing food and water, then just say that. Don't make things up.

The other thing that burns me up is the rampant crime that was allowed to happen. It seems we got it under control in a matter of days, but those days must have been terrifying for the innocent people who experienced it! The shootings and rapes that occurred in the Superdome just makes one sick. Should the police or National Guard have known it would be that bad? I don't know, but I understand now why the people I spoke with at the Astrodome were all saying they would never return to New Orleans.

The final thing. We all agree that all the people should have evacuated. Yes, the buses should have been used. But had that ever been done before? And where would they have bused them? If there is one lesson that the whole country learned is that when the city says go, YOU GO. I don't think it does any good to blame the people who stayed though. If the levees hadn't broken, then it would have been fine. Hindsight is 20/20. I don't remember anyone jumping up and down on Sunday screaming for the people to get out. Telling people to come to the Superdome sends the message that it's ok to stay though. So I don't know WHAT the answer should have been.

Bottom line here is that people were treated terribly. I heard that when people tried to walk away from the Superdome guns were pointed at them. If true, then shame. Shame! That is NOT how I want America to keep me safe. Don't point the guns at us! I understand a bit better why many people who have listened to the stories are so ticked off. But they shouldn't see some big sinister plot behind it. This was a combination of a terrible force of nature and the terrible nature of man.

We seem to be redeeming ourselves here though. Giving and loving those who lost so much. I hope nothing like this ever happens again. But the only way we can be assured of that is to not just blame the other "party," but to look closely at the situation and who did what and just CHANGE IT.