Thursday, September 1, 2005

What Would Rudy Do?

Robert N. Going, who volunteered at Ground Zero for several months following 9/11, believes that what the Gulf Coast needs is another Rudy Guiliani:

All hell broke loose [in New York on 9/11]. They had emergency plans and equipment, but those got wiped out, too. What did it take, one maybe two seconds for him to improvise? By giving orders, he created order out of chaos.

One just can't imagine the NYPD driving past thousands of dehydrating people and giving them no help, no information, no instructions, no water.

How hard would it be for SOMEONE to tell the dispatchers to put out an APB saying "Five hundred buses will be arriving in twelve hours to bring you to safety at such and such an intersection." It doesn't even have to be a great plan or a good plan for that matter. ANY plan would do to restore order and give hope.

How long should it take to say, "We need the National Guard and we need them NOW!" I know the Governor of Louisiana's heart is bleeding over all the suffering, but how about shutting down the tears and DOING SOMETHING.

In New York it seemed like every piece of construction equipment in the northeast was mobilized and in place in the first 24 hours. In New Orleans days have gone by and they still have not made any concerted effort to stop the leak. It seems that even though they had a plan to drop 3,000 pound sand bags into the hole, the straps they needed to carry the bags were still in Baton Rouge....

On the fringes, things seem to be under control. The Red Cross has huge contingency plans and a nation-wide network of experienced people who can set up shelters everywhere on a moment's notice. Ditto the Salvation Army and the Southern Baptists whose portable kitchens for thousands pop up wherever needed. The manner in which the City of Houston has opened its doors is heartwarming.

But the governments of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans? Pathetic.
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