September 4, 2005

If FEMA don't get 'ya, Blanco will...

This is stunning. The American Red Cross is being denied access to New Orleans. This information is from their FAQ here:
Disaster FAQs
Hurricane Katrina: Why is the Red Cross not in New Orleans?
  • Access to New Orleans is controlled by the National Guard and local authorities and while we are in constant contact with them, we simply cannot enter New Orleans against their orders.
  • The state Homeland Security Department had requested--and continues to request--that the American Red Cross not come back into New Orleans following the hurricane. Our presence would keep people from evacuating and encourage others to come into the city.
  • The Red Cross has been meeting the needs of thousands of New Orleans residents in some 90 shelters throughout the state of Louisiana and elsewhere since before landfall. All told, the Red Cross is today operating 149 shelters for almost 93,000 residents.
  • The Red Cross shares the nationís anguish over the worsening situation inside the city. We will continue to work under the direction of the military, state and local authorities and to focus all our efforts on our lifesaving mission of feeding and sheltering.
One very small part of me sees the reasoning behind this. If I was in New Orleans and needed medical aid for something non-critical and was able to get it in New Orleans, I might be disinclined to evacuate after I was treated. The much larger part of me sees that there are people with critical medical needs that are dying because they are not being treated. This is what the Red Cross does and they need to get to work. General Heinz Guderian said the following: "No plan of battle ever survives contact with the enemy." No bureaucratic contingency plan can either. The people administering emergency plans need to be supple and fluid and able to think on their feet. The bureaucracies in charge now are not doing their job and need to be replaced with something much much smaller. Posted by DaveH at September 4, 2005 11:36 PM
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