"The Best of Al Franken Show"
Hurricane Katrina One Year Later....
Sun Aug 27, 2006 17:47

Hurricane Katrina One Year Later....


"The Best of Al Franken Show"
Katrina One Year Later....Interview with FEMA Manager

Katrina One Year Later...

INTERVIEW: Christopher Cooper
"Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and Homeland Security ...


What is really going on in New Orleans
Who is to blame for the slow response to Hurricane Katrina? Watch Clip below...


DISASTER: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security ...
The Wall Street Journal has published a free chapter of Disaster: Hurricane ... In this troubling exposť of what went wrong, Christopher Cooper and Robert ...


Co-author and WSJ reporter Robert Block talks with Patrice Sikora of the Wall Street Journal
Radio Network about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

'Disaster' tracks Katrina failures of security agency
The Spokesman Review, WA - 13 hours ago
... And if that happens – as Wall Street Journal reporters Christopher Cooper and Robert Block make clear in "Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and Homeland Security ...


"Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security"
by Christopher Cooper and Robert Block (Times Books, 352 pages, $26)

All Americans have a stake in the disaster management business.

What could be coming to your town? A flood, a tornado, an industrial accident, a terrorist attack?

And if that happens – as Wall Street Journal reporters Christopher Cooper and Robert Block make clear in "Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and Homeland Security" – you're on your own, folks.

That word comes right from the top, as Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff makes clear, advising Americans to be able to care for themselves in the 72 hours immediately following an emergency, reminding us to have food, water, flashlights, first-aid kits and medicine.

Yep, we're out here all alone, all right. Check your batteries.

As Cooper and Block make clear in their introduction, this is a story of top-down failure, of a bureaucracy that offers no room for the creative response, the nimble acquisition and deployment of resources.

They take the reader through the paces of the founding of the Department of Homeland Security; the folding of the Federal Emergency Management Agency under that umbrella; the glory days of disaster management under Clinton appointee James Lee Witt, who understood that all disasters were political; and FEMA's decline under Joe Allbaugh, a George W. Bush appointee, and of course, Michael Brown, who presided over the loss of financial and political clout during the agency's weakest period.

Much of the ground in this book has already been covered, but it's a clear, coherent, weirdly compelling narrative.

The writers begin with the 2004 Hurricane Pam exercise, which grew out of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. After that, the Department of Homeland Security drew up a list of "doomsday events." The 10th scenario was this one: "A massive hurricane hits a major southern city, which also happens to be a popular tourist destination, just like New Orleans."

And so the Hurricane Pam exercise evolved as a practice, one that served local managers well – as far as it went. But then the funding for follow-up stopped.

Then we come to Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flood, the wrangling between state and federal officials, the interagency squabbles, the failures to communicate.

Who was calling the shots? That was the problem. With Washington in charge, receiving inaccurate information, disaster multiplied.

Cooper and Block are quick to give credit to those activists who took matters into their own hands, in vivid narratives describing the efforts of the "Cajun flotilla," those volunteer fishers who rescued stranded people; Plaquemines Parish President Benny Rousselle, whose creative approach to evacuating citizens was checking driver's licenses and handing out keys to 400 school buses; and Carl LeBouef, who rescued animals.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with the responsibility of managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. http://www.nutria.com/site.php


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