Monday, September 05, 2005

Survival Instincts

I think the actions of the people in the devestating areas are as fasinating a topic as the action (or lack or action) by the officials in charge. As I sit on my couch watching, I found myself constantly yelling at the television, "Why don't y'all go and do [....]" My hero is Jabbar Gibson, the young man who drove an empty bus he found on the side of the road and arrived first in Houston. This man is an example of what was lacking in New Orleans. It seems that all of Nike's advertising of their theme "Just Do It" was for naught. There was nothing being done. Everybody was waiting, waiting for orders, waiting for their water in perfect little bottles, waiting for a bus.

The blame game began a couple of days ago and there's plenty to go around. It starts from the bottom and goes all the way to the top.

1. FEMA needs to watch the news a little more. The many statements coming out of FEMA leader Brown showed an obvious disconnect from the reality of the situation. Even President Bush once said he watched CNN and the other news channels to get his info during the war.

2. The state government of Louisiana obviously had no plan for the disaster of the city. They didn't call up troops and have them ready. Mayor Nagin was quoted as saying there were a mere 250 troops present.

3. The City of New Orleans did not provide adequate transportation for the poor to evacuate.

4. The nursing homes and hospitals didn't have good evacuation plans like they were expected too. The first hospital that was fully evacuated was a private hospital that paid for their own way. Their plan went well.

5. The people of New Orleans were unprepared. They were told to bring a 5 days supply of food and water to the Superdome but on the very first day, I saw MREs being the passed out.

6. There was no communication in the city except the radio. Somehow, everybody knew to go to the Superdome and later the Convention center, but they were unable to coordinate from there. Ironically, the only people in the city that had communication were the media, but they too were blind, unable to step up and say, "Use me."

But in the end, watching the people in the Superdome and Convention Center suffer and suffer was the most unbearable. I can't just wait. I would do something. I wouldv'e... I wouldv'e... Well, I would have done a lot. There was plently of water to be had in that city. The idea that there was not enough supplies to feed a tenth of the city for 2 days is ridiculous. The police, the leaders, the people forgot how to tap their hidden resources and treasures.

I hated hearing the word, "...we're here, just waiting for permission to go..." Did you know that President Jefferson didn't have permission to buy Louisiana in the first place? He just did it. I wish those people had the same philosophy.

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