New Orleans Calamity: Oversights You Need to Know
Americans seem to agree day-two handling of New Orlean's Katrina response was pitiable compared with steps (see #7-9 in Best Practices). Natural disaster management criteria were available. Plans must be reviewed, approved, and refined at least annually, however. Formalized plans do not seem to have been submitted to the state of Louisiana or FEMA for professional review and approval. Was that even a requirement? The answers appear to be a big NO.
No citizen should expect or tolerate a repeat of such unpreparedness by highly-paid emergency management bureaucrats in FEMA or the each of our 50 states and major cities
Here are some thoughts that may have been overlooked by most. We may be many years from details like these even being considered in natural disaster preparations. However, the time to develope comprehensive plans with actual meat is critically overdue. Each of these points eventually needs consideration in future disaster management efforts and may require local answers even sooner:
Point One (Hat Tip to OSAPian): Jailed detainees were either evacuated or released into the general population. This included 1,393 registered sex offenders living within the pre-flood city limits. Most of them have been evacuated to God only knows where by now. We can assume keeping track of Big Easy perverts was not part of the bungled evacuation plans. It would be unfair to lambaste local and state officials for this: we can also safely assume identifying and keeping tabs on evacuated sex offenders is not a component of disaster protocols in American urban areas.
Point Two (Hat Tip to Scott Henson): Probably a graver public safety concern is that ALL of the evidence for pending state criminal cases, including robbery, rape, capital murder, judicial corruption, you name it, was flooded and lost. All those cases must be dropped, in all likelihood, and the defendants set free. (Vigilis emphasis)
Point Three (VIGILIS): When were detainees released? If prisoners and jailees were evacuated by the parish to safer locales while so many indigent fared (and failed) for themselves, what would that say about Mayor Ray Nagin’s leadership of his city?
Point Four (VIGILIS): If prisoners were merely let go into the remaining New Orleans population released without regard to their backgrounds and the dangers posed to the community, what does that say about opportunities for better planning in the future?
Point Five (VIGILIS): Finally, if detainees were not released until the water breached their cells, what would that say about Mayor Ray Nagin’s leadership of his city?