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  • FEMA Chief removed from duties

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20050909/...NlYwMlJVRPUCUl

    Guess he wasn't doing so great a job after all.

  • #2
    That's good news.

    Comment


    • #3
      New Orleans wasnt prepared for a flood of this scale, I dont think any metropolitan city in the world is. FEMA is only a coordinator - meaning it works with the state, federal government, and private charities to get different sectors working together. It's similiar to a coach on a baseball team. If your players suck, you cant get the job done and usually you're the one who gets fired. In this case, it was a little case of poor local authorities and a lack of preparedness for FEMA. The only one who actually seemed to get the job done were federal troops that poured in Friday morning.
      Warpox exposes himself | Editorial 1 4 | 2Pox

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      • #4
        ^ So do you agree or disagree with this decision?

        Comment


        • #5
          this was a good move, not only logistically but also politically

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TheWalrus
            New Orleans wasnt prepared for a flood of this scale, I dont think any metropolitan city in the world is. FEMA is only a coordinator - meaning it works with the state, federal government, and private charities to get different sectors working together. It's similiar to a coach on a baseball team. If your players suck, you cant get the job done and usually you're the one who gets fired. In this case, it was a little case of poor local authorities and a lack of preparedness for FEMA. The only one who actually seemed to get the job done were federal troops that poured in Friday morning.
            Slow response bewilders former FEMA officials

            BY FRANK JAMES AND ANDREW MARTIN

            Chicago Tribune

            WASHINGTON - (KRT) - Government disaster officials had an action plan if a major hurricane hit New Orleans. They simply didn't execute it when Hurricane Katrina struck.

            Thirteen months before Katrina hit New Orleans, local, state and federal officials held a simulated hurricane drill that Ronald Castleman, then the regional director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, called "a very good exercise."

            More than a million residents were "evacuated" in the tabletop scenario as 120-mile-an-hour winds and 20 inches of rain caused widespread flooding that supposedly trapped 300,000 people in the city.

            "It was very much an eye-opener," said Castleman, a Republican appointee of President Bush who left FEMA in December for the private sector. "A number of things were identified that we had to deal with, not all of them were solved."

            Still, Castleman found it hard to square the lessons he and others learned from the exercise with the frustratingly slow response to the disaster that has unfolded in the wake of Katrina. From the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans to the Mississippi and Alabama communities along the Gulf Coast, hurricane survivors have decried the lack of water, food or security and the slowness of the federal relief efforts.

            "It's hard for everyone to understand why buttons weren't pushed earlier on," Castleman said of the federal response.

            As the first National Guard truck caravans of water and food arrived in New Orleans Friday, former FEMA officials and other disaster experts were at a loss to explain why the federal government's lead agency for responding to major emergencies had failed to meet the urgent needs of hundreds of thousands of Americans in the most dire of circumstances in a more timely fashion.

            But many suspected that FEMA's apparent problems in getting life-sustaining supplies to survivors and buses to evacuate them from New Orleans, delays even President Bush called "not acceptable," stemmed partly from changes at the agency during the Bush years. Experts have long warned that the moves would weaken the agency's ability to effectively respond to natural disasters.

            FEMA's chief has been demoted from a near-Cabinet-level position; political appointees with little, if any, emergency-management experience have been placed in senior FEMA positions; and the small, 2,500-person agency was dropped into the midst of the 180,000-employee Homeland Security Department that is more oriented to combating terrorism than natural disasters. All this has led to a brain drain as experienced but demoralized employees have left the agency, former and current FEMA staff members say.

            The result is that an agency that got high marks during much of the 1990s for its effectiveness is being harshly criticized for apparently mismanaging the response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

            The growing anger and frustration at FEMA's response sparked the Republican-controlled Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to announce Friday that it has scheduled a hearing for Wednesday to try to uncover what went wrong.

            Meanwhile, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) called on President Bush to immediately appoint a Cabinet-level official to direct the national response.

            "There was a time when FEMA understood that the correct approach to a crisis was to deploy to the affected area as many resources as possible as fast as possible," Landrieu said. "Unfortunately, that no longer seems to be their approach."

            John Copenhaver, a former FEMA regional director during the Clinton administration who led the response to Hurricane Floyd in 1999, said he was bewildered by the slow FEMA response.

            It had been standard practice for FEMA to position supplies ahead of time, and the agency did pre-position drinking water and tarps to cover damaged roofs near where they would be needed. In addition, FEMA has coordinated its plans with state and local officials and let the Defense Department know beforehand what type of military assistance would be needed.

            "I'm a little confused as to why it took so long to get the military presence running convoys into downtown New Orleans," Copenhaver said.

            And there isn't an experienced disaster-response expert at the top of the agency as there was when James Lee Witt ran the agency during the 1990s. Before Michael Brown, the current head, joined the agency as its legal counsel, he headed the International Arabian Horse Association.

            That loss of experienced personnel might explain in part why FEMA wasn't able to secure buses sooner for the mass evacuation of New Orleans, a step anticipated by the hurricane disaster simulation conducted by federal, state and local emergency officials last year.

            Peter Pantuso, president and chief executive of the American Bus Association, said, "I have a hard time believing there is any game plan in place when it comes to coordinating or pulling together this volume of business," referring to FEMA's effort to obtain hundreds of buses to move tens of thousands of evacuees from New Orleans. "And what happens in two or three weeks down the road when all of these people are moved again?"

            When FEMA became part of the Homeland Security Department, it was stripped of some of its functions, such as some of its ability to make preparedness grants to states, former officials said. Those functions were placed elsewhere in the larger agency.

            "After Sept. 11 they got so focused on terrorism they effectively marginalized the capability of FEMA ...," said George Haddow, a former FEMA official during the Clinton administration. "It's no surprise that they're not capable of managing the federal government's response to this kind of disaster."

            Pleasant Mann, former head of the union for FEMA employees, who has been with the agency since 1988, said a change made by agency higher-ups last year added a bureaucratic layer that likely delayed FEMA's response to Katrina.

            Before the change, a FEMA employee on site at a disaster could request that an experienced employee he knew had the right skills be dispatched to help him. But now that requested worker is first made to travel to a location hundreds of miles from the disaster site to be "processed," placed in a pool from which he is dispatched, sometimes to a place different from where he thought he was headed.

            Pleasant said he knew of a case where a worker from Washington State was made to first travel to Orlando before he could go to Louisiana, losing at least a day. What's more, that worker was told he might be sent to Alabama, not Louisiana, after all.

            http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/talla...s/12549282.htm

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TheWalrus
              New Orleans wasnt prepared for a flood of this scale, I dont think any metropolitan city in the world is.
              Amsterdam and Rotterdam are for example.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Un-American
                ^ So do you agree or disagree with this decision?
                I agree with it. It makes sense politically because he can be the scapegoat that is needed. It 'looks' like we are fixing a problem.

                The flood was caused because of local politicians not fixing up the levee system when the US army corps wanted to do it - the local justices refused to allow it because environmentalists thought it would harm the ecosystem.

                During the catastrophe, local authorities are to blame although it isnt entirely their fault. Many of the police officers who were assigned to "help" were also worried about their families and the homes they live in. Evacuations were suggested, but the city could have (maybe it did?) arranged for public transportation out of the city for some of the people that couldnt do it on their own because of the lack of mobility or automobile. The disaster plan drafted by the mayor and governor (in 2004) called for keeping people in the superdome with enough supplies to outlast a typical hurricane, not a flood. No plan was in place (understandably) to deal with evacuating 10's of thousands of people from a sports arena without the ability to drive them out on dry land. This required helicopters - helicopters which were primarily busy trying to rescue those that were still alive while others remained 'relatively safe' (at first) in the superdome.

                By late wednesday and early thursday FEMA should have coordinating and taking better command of the operation. Instead of trying to evacuate the superdome, they continued the "rescue" operations. They might have saved 5,000 people from homes and roads that were flooded - but 10,000 people in a superdome for a few days is a recipe for trouble. If FEMA took over wednesday evening and called for federal help, a period of time equaling 30 hours or so passed before the long supply lines and 51,000 troops began arriving in New Orleans. This is not adequate enough for what we as Americans expect, but it was logical from the standpoint of safety. If they had to gather hundreds and thousands of pounds of food and if they had to provide an enormous amount of manpower they HAD to deliver it all at once. If you bring in troops as they arrive they will be swamped and conditions will be dangerous. Imagine 10,000 PISSED OFF, POOR, HUNGRY people confronting 500 troops? Imagine bringing in food as it came, who would get it first - and what kind of trouble would that start?

                FEMA's job is to coordinate all of this. If you take a look back, this disaster was too much for a major metropolitan city to handle. FEMA's job was to be prepared for all possibilities - not the government. It failed.
                Warpox exposes himself | Editorial 1 4 | 2Pox

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by | K Y L E |
                  Amsterdam and Rotterdam are for example.
                  If Amsterdam and Rotterdam was suddenly under 20feet of water and it had a population of a few hundred thousand, there would be no deaths and no panic?

                  Please.
                  Warpox exposes himself | Editorial 1 4 | 2Pox

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TheWalrus
                    FEMA's job was to be prepared for all possibilities - not the government. It failed.
                    Exactly my thoughts on the matter.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TheWalrus
                      If Amsterdam and Rotterdam was suddenly under 20feet of water and it had a population of a few hundred thousand, there would be no deaths and no panic?

                      Please.
                      No, we have world-class flood prevention systems (mostly due to the reclaimnation of land centuries old and the big flood of '52) so that floods do not happen at all, and they both have a population of a few hundred thousand.

                      Point is: invest, invest in flood prevention (like your scientists told you to do) and you wont have any panic or deaths.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by | K Y L E |
                        No, we have world-class flood prevention systems (mostly due to the reclaimnation of land centuries old and the big flood of '52) so that floods do not happen at all, and they both have a population of a few hundred thousand.

                        Point is: invest, invest in flood prevention (like your scientists told you to do) and you wont have any panic or deaths.
                        It was tried, but groups like the Sierra Club blocked these attempts for flood proofing New Orleans.
                        http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

                        “if somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him” (Bukhari, vol. 4, bk. 52, no. 260).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by | K Y L E |
                          No, we have world-class flood prevention systems (mostly due to the reclaimnation of land centuries old and the big flood of '52) so that floods do not happen at all, and they both have a population of a few hundred thousand.

                          Point is: invest, invest in flood prevention (like your scientists told you to do) and you wont have any panic or deaths.
                          You had a major flood which forced you to build those up so essentially, we are in the same situation you were in. I actually think I remember seeing something about the systems you mentioned on the discovery channel. When the US army corps suggested and offered to fix (invest) in our levee system, environmentalists took them to court and the project halted. Federal money stopped trickling in. What can the government do when hippies hijack the judicial system
                          Warpox exposes himself | Editorial 1 4 | 2Pox

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I hope they take him out of ANY government position in the future as well. The government is'nt a place where people should be getting their friends and relatives hired, it's not a family business. The best man for the job should ALWAYS get the job, and you can't tell me a horse tradesmen has more hands-on emergency know-how than a former military type or coast guard type or even a god-damn ambulance driver from for chists sakes. This is just another MAJOR level on which the Bush government horribly failed.

                            I have an aunt and a great uncle and 2 little cousins that lived in New Orleans, we still have not heard what has happened to them yet.
                            One convienient location...... somewhere in Africa.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              BBC said he's been placed somewhere else.

                              Comment

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