Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What the terrorists learned from Hurricane Katrina

New Orleans just showed the world the following:

1. The US is incapable of evacuating more than 50% of even a medium size city with 48 hours notice. Evacuation plans do NOT take into consideration those who cannot evacuate because of no cars, no money, etc. Why weren't school buses and public transport mobilized to evacuate the city? Other cities need to add this component to their plans TODAY.

2. The "shelters" are nothing more than disasters waiting to happen, ie SuperDome. 12 hours after power went out at the SuperDome, the people were on the verge of rioting. Toilets haven't been flushed since Monday morning. The roof has open holes in it. There is no A/C. People are being allowed to go out of the Dome for fresh air. Now - imagine a disaster where fresh air is not an option. There is no information being given to people - they claim the SuperDome has no public address system.
But why wasn't this considered in advance.

Why weren't chemical toilets/portapotties brought in? The place is an epidemic waiting to happen.

Why hasn't ANYONE rigged up some sort of device to pump water in to flush toilets? I saw a science fair project by a 12 year old who rigged up a bicycle to generate power to operate a light bulb. I'm sure some enterprising 15 year old could rig up a device powered by bicycle power to run fans for increased ventilation, and run pumps to flush toilets.
They've got lots of bored manpower in a shelter - let the people feel like they are contributing rather than sitting around getting bored, restless, and agitated.

Yes, I know that flushing toilets assumes you have water. The FIRST thing you do in the face of an imminent disaster is fill EVERY container in existance with water. Was that done?

3. Our transportation infrastructure has serious vulnerabilities - i.e.
bridges, tunnels, etc. Major arteries in and out of New Orleans are down and the city is largely cut off by land from the rest of the country. New Orleans isn't the only city with those problems - imagine tunnels and bridges around NYC. Not a pretty thought. Cities who can be cut off by water need to IMMEDIATELY make sure that any disaster plans include use of boats etc for transport in and out of the city after a disaster.

4. Four years after 9/11 we STILL have SERIOUS communications issues. Law enforcement, FEMA, the military, and the rest of the agencies responsible for maintaining/restoring order in New Orleans have been on national TV complaining about problems communicating with each other.

Folks, the jihadis and other enemies of America just got a dry run that gives them intel that is of an absolutely frightening magnitude. Our weaknesses are visible to the world. We have shown we are a wounded giant.

Yes, there are positives. A lot did go right in the planning. Things could have been a lot worse.

But these issues HAVE to be addressed - IMHO it's a matter of national security.




Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree with your assessment!!!

Do you write all of these articles yourself or do you have contributors? This post especially is a good example of your ability to "say it like it is" and personally is one of the best commentaries I've seen on this Louisiana thing from a Homeland Security point of view.

Great work and a fine bit of analysis.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I write my own assessments.

Thanks ver much

7:26 AM  

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