Skip to comments.Hurricane Pam, July 2004 Preparedness Exercise
Posted on 09/03/2005 8:35:10 AM PDT by Smelly_Fed
The City of New Orleans was built on wetlands. Leveeing and draining has resulted in substantial subsidence such that most of New Orleans is now below sea level, with a maximum deflation of 13 feet. Within this bowl reside approximately 600,000 people. The West Bank, south of New Orleans and across the Mississippi River, has a population of about 500,000 who also live within levee protected bowls. Recent research reveals that a slow moving Category 3 hurricane, or stronger, could cause levee overtopping and complete flooding of New Orleans, with the West Bank even more susceptible. Floodwaters would have residence times of weeks. The resultant mix of sewage, corpses and chemicals in these standing flood waters would set the stage for massive disease outbreaks and prolonged chemical exposure. Estimates are that 300,000 persons would be trapped and 700,000 would be homeless; thousands could perish.
(Excerpt) Read more at ohsep.louisiana.gov ...
Obviously prepared by fearmongers and GOP stooges trying to get a contract for Halliburton to beef up the levee system and the roads.
During my visit I discussed these problems at length with Governor Riley of Alabama, Governor Barbour of Mississippi, Governor Blanco of Louisiana and Mayor Nagin of New Orleans. Each state will have its own set of challenges and issues to solve. Yet all of us agree that more can be done to improve our ability to restore order and deliver relief in a timely and effective manner. This morning I received a briefing on the latest developments on the ground. Right now there are more than 21,000 National Guard troops operating in Louisiana and Mississippi, and more are on the way. More than 13,000 of these troops are in Louisiana. The main priority is to restore and maintain law and order, and assist in recovery and evacuation efforts. In addition to these National Guard forces, the Department of Defense has deployed more than 4,000 active duty forces to assist in search and recovery, and provide logistical and medical support. Hour by hour, the situation on the ground is improving. Yet the enormity of the task requires more resources and more troops. Today I ordered the Department of Defense to deploy additional active duty forces to the region. Over the next 24 to 72 hours, more than 7,000 additional troops from the 82nd Airborne, from the 1st Cavalry, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force will arrive in the affected areas. These forces will be on the ground and operating under the direct command of General Russ Honore.
Thank you GOD for this man. Slapped sense into the Louisiana Democrats that they NEED US Combat troops there. Bet you anything the forces mentioned above do NOT end up anywhere in Alabama or Mississippi. What an amazing contrast to the 3 days of hysteria , posturing and finger pointing from the Dems leadership.
Wow, using active duty units with heavy firepower.
And to think Nagin is taking credit for this because he "got their attention".
5. The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating.Under STAGING AREAS AND LAST RESORT REFUGE:
A. Staging AreasThere is some good planning in this docuement that somehow failed.
The definition of a staging area is a central location, easily accessible to those ambulatory people who are in need of transportation to a shelter.
1. Residents who have no means of transportation will be directed to the staging areas.
2. Transportation vehicles will be pre-positioned to transport residents to shelters.
3. Once the evacuation routes are closed, the staging areas will become Last Resort Refuges.
4. After the storm has passed and the evacuation order is rescinded, transportation will be provided to return people dropped off at shelters to the staging area.
There is some very good planning that was NOT executed. Our supposed "journalists" SHOULD be looking into WHY the plan was not executed instead of hyperventilating about the blame the Feds game.
I suspect because the locals leadership had NO idea what they were suppose to be doing. This is what happens to one party city's that keep electing the same corrupt machine politicians for decades because they have the "correct" party label. Prior to this, NO was one of the dirtiest, most corrupt, violent cities anywhere in the USA. They could barely managed their day to day obligations so I guess I should not be surprised they failed disastrously in a crises.
They froze at their posts. Its what incompetents do.
From the Federal Response Plan at http://www.ohsep.louisiana.gov/plans/frp2003.pdf
Most disasters and emergencies are handled by State and local responders. The Federal Government is called on to provide supplemental assistance when the consequences of a disaster exceed State and local capabilities. If needed, the Federal Government can mobilize an array of resources to support State and local efforts. Various emergency teams, support personnel, specialized equipment, operating facilities, assistance programs, and access to private-sector resources constitute the overall Federal disaster operations system. The FRP describes the major components of the system, as well as the structure for coordinating Federal response and recovery actions necessary to address State-identified requirements and priorities.
This is actually not very good planning, in my opinion. It's filled with passive language, and vague generalites. For example:
"residents who have no means of transportation will be directed"
Who will do the directing?
If they have not means of transportation, what good does it do to "direct" them somewhere?
"Transportation vehicles will be pre-positioned to transport residents to shelters."
Transportation vehicles from where?
Who will pre-position?
Seems pretty vague to me.
Great find Fred
Check out page 10 of that same document:
Organization and Assignment of Responsibilities
The organization and assignment of primary and secondary responsibilities
are detailed in the State Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). Listed below are
the key participants and their roles in the event of a catastrophic hurricane:
a. Proclaim a State of Emergency.
b. Issue supplementary declarations and orders, as the situation
c. Authorize and direct the use of State government personnel and
other resources to deal with the emergency.
d. Authorize and direct the authorities of non-risk parishes to
coordinate the opening and operation of shelters with DSS in
conjunction with ARC, and to lend all possible assistance to the
evacuation and shelter effort.
e. Request Federal government assistance as needed.
"Part II : Stipulations and Assumptions
5. The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles.
School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack ttransportation and require assistance in evacuating."
Someone needs to get a rope when this is all over and hang a few Louisiana elected officials.
DSS was assigned responsibility for the shelters. Police were assigned to direct people. The document identified the vehicles (mostly buses) and how many there were that were to be used to move people.
Actually THIS is the only part of the plan that worked. The people WENT to the designated shelter areas. What FAILED was the City did NOT use any of it's Public Transit assets to move people AWAY from the shelters to safe areas NOR did the City have any stock piles of food and water stored for the refugees at the shelters. Why could the US Govt have stockpiles of food and water stored all over the country thru out the Cold War but a City that has been given millions of dollars in Federal Homeland Security aid since 9-11 to prepare for JUST this sort of crises could NOT even meet this BASIC requirement?
From everything I've read, I have concluded that it was a very deliberate decision by Mayor Nagin NOT to issue a mandatory evacuation order. This was because the city was threatened with a lawsuit after Hurricane Ivan by the ACLU for failure to provide public transportation for poor people who did not have cars during that mandatory evacuation. Obviously the city had no system in place to get those people out then, and still didn't a year later. If it is a mandatory evacuation, the city has at least a moral obligation and possibly a legal obligation to make sure everyone gets out. If it is voluntary, the city has no such obligation. It was CYA in advance. Nagin threw all the poor people to the wolves of the hurricane, the floods, and the predators on the streets. He and everyone in the city government should be prosecuted after this.
But I'm afraid that instead of a serious inquiry into how the city leadership failed and prosecution of those responsible, the poor black folks are going to be fed the opiate of white racism and federal government failure once again.
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