At least when it comes to being prepared for this year’s hurricane season.
Therefore, I don’t want to hear this:
Q Yes, sir, regarding FEMA, do you think that they're prepared for the season? And is there any way to measure that at this point?Or this:
[THE PRESIDENT:] It's going to be interesting -- let's pray -- first of all, pray there's no hurricanes. That would be, like, step one.
"I think everyone this season is concerned about the capability of the National Guard and what we have," said Capt. Matt Handley, a spokesman for the National Guard of North Carolina. "We'll be ready, but hopefully we'll have a slow (hurricane) season."That last quote is responding to this:
The National Guard heads into the 2006 hurricane season with more troops at home than last year but with less equipment to handle emergencies.Our national guard has this to say:
In Louisiana, about 100 of the Guard's high-water vehicles remain abroad -- even as the state continues to rebuild from Hurricane Katrina. Coastal North Carolina is missing nearly half its Humvee fleet, and Guard officials there said shortages have forced the state to pool equipment from different units into one pot of hurricane supplies. Vehicles are particularly crucial to hurricane response because they are often the only way to ferry ice and water through devastated areas.
In Louisiana, a spokesman for the state National Guard said they have enough high-water vehicles and Humvees to handle "your typical storm." Anything worse, though, and Louisiana officials would be picking up the phones. "Even if we had every vehicle back, if we had another (Hurricane) Katrina, we would need help from other states," said Lt. Col. Pete Schneider, the deputy chief of staff for the Louisiana National Guard.“Your typical storm” sounds a lot like "standard project hurricane," which was the hurricane strength that the US Army Corps of Engineers built the levees to withstand. That didn’t work too well.
Can some leader please stand up and fight for hurricane protection for the coast? Anyone? We are the freaking United States of America. Why are we are planning for disasters half-ass? The leader doesn’t have to come from the national level. It can be somebody right here at home.
Instead, we are praying for no hurricanes or for a slow hurricane season.
Guess what. There will be no “typical storms” this year for southeastern Louisiana. With tens of thousands of trailer dwellers, with an inadequate and still under-construction levee system, with a disappearing coast, with a stressed out population, with a cash strapped city and state, every storm will have the potential to be a Katrina. Or worse.
If praying and hoping is part of our hurricane plan, we better have a heckuva backup plan.