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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Who's to Blame for Natural Disasters?

It's quite disappointing to see story after story of political bashing and racial insinuation regarding the response (or lack thereof) to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. However poorly the coordinated response looked, it took a lot of people to mess things up as badly as is being portrayed. Laying blame on the president or his administration is woefully short of the full culpability for all involved parties including local and state officials who were criminally negligent in not ordering mandatory evacuations.

In fact, mandatory evacuations would have solved many of the current problems. There would be no worries about dropping water to survivors stranded on bridges. There would be no search and rescue (recovery) missions conducted while looters shoot at helicopters. There would be issues of toxic water threatening the stubborn populace that insists on remaining in their flood ravaged shells in the newest southern bayou. Take a lesson from the Israelis and their state sponsored evacuations of Gaza.

The fact remains that mandatory evacuations would have been a highly political issue in and of itself for the local and state government – those who maintain the first line of defense and ultimately should bear the full brunt of responsibility for their lack of inaction. Unfortunately, it seems political ambition took the place of prudent forecasting and now as we all watch relief efforts and point fingers, it seems left slanted media are completing the illusion by deflecting blame and questions towards the federal response that addresses the symptoms rather than the glaring lack of immediate local and state response that would have eliminated the problem before it began.

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