Monday, September 05, 2005

City Hall says: You're on your own

New Orleans Times-Picayune July 24, 2005:

"City, state and federal emergency officials are preparing to give the poorest of New Orleans' poor a historically blunt message: In the event of a major hurricane, you're on your own.

"Their message will be distributed on hundreds of DVDs across the city. The DVDs' basic get-out-of-town message applies to all audiences, but it is especially targeted to scores of churches and other groups heavily concentrated in Central City and other vulnerable, low-income neighborhoods, " said the Rev. Marshall Truehill, head of Total Community Action.

"The primary message is that each person is primarily responsible for themselves, for their own family and friends," Truehill said.

"In addition to the plea from Nagin, Thomas and Wilkins, video exhortations to make evacuation plans come from representatives of State Police and the National Weather Service, and from local officials such as Sen. Ann Duplessis, D-New Orleans, and State Rep. Arthur Morrell, D-New Orleans, said Allan Katz, whose advertising company is coordinating officials' scripts and doing the recording.

"The speakers explain what to bring and what to leave behind. They advise viewers to bring personal medicines and critical legal documents, and tell them how to create a family communication plan. Even a representative of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals weighs in with a message on how to make the best arrangements for pets left behind.

After having run a mock killer storm emergency drill in New Orleans last year involving 250 emergency personnel and costing $250,000, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had planned to address the unresolved problems of evacuating the sick and injured from the Superdome and housing tens of thousands of stranded citizens. However, " funding for that planning was cut," said the disaster chief for North Carolina.

FEMA knew about the plan and its deficiencies, but it did know that Mayor Nagin had no intention of doing something about it on his own? Probably not. Sure the budget was cut; does that mean the Mayor could not have picked up a pencil and pad of paper and written a plan and passed it around to his people in city government just in case something happened before the planned meeting to fix the problems? Absolutely not.

The city transportation buses that could have been used to get the poor to higher ground outside of the city were used to take them as far as the Superdome. All the while Mayor Nagin acknowledged the conditions at the Superdome would deteriorate. New Orleans also has a train system that could have been utilized, but wasn't. The hundreds of school busses that ferry thousands of school children to school and home again were left to the rising water - unused while potentially thousands of poor people - black and white - died.

It seems that in the city of New Orleans the bigotry was not racial, but economic. Poor folk cost too much to save.


The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Sylvana said...

Very good post. That's what I was thinking too. Poor people inevitably will get the short end of any stick.

Indigo Red said...

Thank you, Sylvana. That means alot to me.

Mike's America said...

Bill Hobbs, along with Junkyard Blog was on top of the bus story.

If you want to see the complete idiocy of the blame Bush lefties, go read the comments after he posted on the subject:

The stupidest thing I heard was that the buses couldn't be used, because the drivers might not be trained to evacuate people. More than one person responded that we entrust these drivers with the transportation of our children every school day, so what additional qualifications would they need?