Where the Responsibility is Ultimately Going to Fall

Throughout last week and the weekend, the MSM has been on the "Blame Game" for New Orleans, and (in case you forgot) the decimated Gulf Coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama.

Most of this "game" is focused on President Bush and his staff. Read here and here

Just as an aside, I hated the Movie "Independence Day". No, Will Smith was great and I actually like the screenplay and was thoroughly entertained.

But I remember when I left the theater I was thinking, "Holy Crap,...now whenever there is a disaster everyone is going to expect the President to act like the one in the movie, you know, take charge - fly the plain into the alien den!"

But in "REAL LIFE" , In an Emergency such as Katrina, where there is real death and destruction, there is also responsibility. There is also protocal and plans and roles that everyone plays to ensure the least amount of loss of life and destruction.

The first part of the responsibility is with individuals. Yes, individuals.

When you live on the fault line, you had better be prepared for the "quake".

Here in Florida whenever a storm begins in the Atlantic and meanders our way we don't think "Gulf Coast", we think "MY Coast" as in the East Coast of Florida. The local Publix supermarket, Walmart, Home Depots fill up with Shoppers gathering water, can food, flash lights, batteries, plywood for windows, etc.

Our local Media is the best in the business when a hurricane is coming. They flood the airwaves with "Get your supplies, make your plans, here's the numbers to call, etc"

In other words, there is a lot of focus on PERSONAL responsibility.

We also have a lot of poor people here in South Florida. Our Emergency Management is also second to none in identification of who is going to need assistance getting out or into shelters.

After the Personal Resonsibility comes the Local, County and State Government responsibility.

Here in Broward, Dade and Palm Beach we have learned our lessons from Andrew and other previous storms, and all are quite involved in each County EOC (Emergency Operation Center), going into operation a full 24 hours before any storm hits. In those news conferences you have all the players in the County Government - the Mayor, the Sheriff, and all the rest who give individual briefings and information.

After this is the State Government of Florida - hardened (and dissimated) by FIVE hurricanes in one year. Again, they are visible before the Storm and after the storm, on the ground, radio and TV.

The point is that apart from problems, which you are going to have (power/water/etc), which have to do with fluid conditions that affect logistical planning and resource availability, things go pretty darn well in the State of Florida.

Witness the State of Louisiana and especially New Orleans. First let's understand that the absolute disaster for New Orleans was not caused specifically by Katrina as it actually passed thirty miles to the east of New Orleans. I remember a week ago today the media and others thinking, "New Orleans dodged another bullet!"

But then the levee broke and the water came in and flooded eighty-percent of the City.

However, more important was the difference I saw in the Local and State Governments of Louisiana and that which I have witnessed in Florida. Apart from the organization and professionalism I described in Florida, I have seen nothing but the opposite coming from the leaders in Louisianna.

In the coming months you are going to hear stories that will bear out one of the greatest examples of municipal and state incompentance ever to have existed in the face and aftermath of a disaster.

I have worked in hurricanes large and small, both in the planning and aftermath stages, as well as personal experience in the aftermath and what I have witnessed happening the aftermath of Katrina is incredible.

Bluntly, the people of New Orleans were basically on their own as their local and state government officals basically ran for cover and left them on their own.

Thousands were crammed into a football stadium as a "last resort" with no food or water, which is the responsibility of the local/state government. Buses that didn't roll with people out of harms way is a glaring example of the utter incompetance of politicians "over their head".

I am going to keep on this this story. I am even now running through the local and state disaster plans to see where the problems began and more importantly to bring light to what I feel is absolute criminal neligence on the part of Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco and other State and Local officials. It is inexcusable that the MSM would absolutely ignore their culpability just because of the Political persuasion and in the case of New Orleans "Political Correctness".

They are NOT going to get away with this!

Other bloggers:

For some comment from someone with personal knowledge of the problems I've described, read this at the Pink Flamingo.

Also Bryan Preston, guest blogging over a Michelle Malkin has some more insights.

Also via Paul at Wizbang "I don't have time to explain... but trust me... when the history of this thing is written, Gov Blanco will be near criminally liable."

Blogs for Bush has a results of an AP/WAPO poll showing that the American People are not swayed by the bull of the MSN.

UPDATE 1: The Washinton Post is trying to cover Bianco's butt with this correction about when she issued a State of Emergency Order.

"A Sept. 4 article on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina incorrectly said that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D) had not declared a state of emergency. She declared an emergency on Aug. 26."

Really? Looks like it's time to re-issue a correction:

Here is the order dated September 1st. Nice try WAPO.

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