It came to my attention today that: 1) the city of New Orleans actually had a specific and detailed evacuation plan that the mayor never put into action; and 2) that in emergency situations, the first line of relief/organization/preparedness falls on the local governments, then the state governments, then, when requested the federal governments.
The mayor of New Orleans is all up in arms about the feds not being prepared and not reacting quickly enough. Why didn't put the evacuation plan into effect? The plan, from what I have heard, provides for the evacuation of most of the poor who otherwise lacked transportation to evacuate. Along this line, I saw a picture over on the drudge report of a lot full of busses sitting in high water unused. The buses are about a mile from the superdome. Why weren't these buses used to get those people out prior to the hurrican hitting?
Also, I heard that W actually had to call and beg the governor of Louisianna to order an evacuation and declare an emergency on the Sunday prior to the hurricane. It still took the governor nearly 24 hours to do so. Giving the warning only 2 days prior to the hurricane hitting New Orleans.
I heard interesting commentary this morning on Quin and Rose about the looting and violence after the storm. This type of behavior is generally not expected en masse. However, the people who did not evacuate fall into 2 categories: poor, uneducated, welfare-minded people and criminals (apparantely, many criminals were let out of jails because authorities did not know how to keep them safe). These two groups tend to have a lack of respect for property and personal rights. The welfare/entitlement minded because they don't own anything and have always been given what they want/need. The criminals, because, well, they're criminals. It's sad to see the amount of violence/intentional destruction going on down there. If I hear one more person with an armfull of tennis shoes state that she was stealing them because she has six kids and needs to survive, I am going to puke. I can understand stealing food/water/medical supplies to survive (of course it's not like they had been without these things for weeks after the hurricane, there was looting the next day). However, I cannot understand how people can rationalize taking tvs and computers and tennis shoes and jewelry as necessary for survival.
Oh well, my prayers and best wishes go out to those in New Orleans who are not looting/killing/whining and to those who are headed there, or already there, to assist in the cleanup and assist with the people 'left behind'.
As an aside, I started playng D20 Traveller, via an email group. I am working on my character now. Traveller is a far-future, realistic science fiction role-playing game. Anyone who reads this, and I know that is a very 'exclusive' audience, is welcome to email me if they are interested in joining up. I have role-played by email with the same game-master in the past and it worked out very well ... until everyone got too busy. This particular group has been on going for nearly a year, I think. Anyway, it's good to be back in RPG mode. And I hope this last paragraph does not diminish how people interpret the first several.