Monday, September 05, 2005

600 buses

Most of the comments to my Who is responsible? were very complimentary, but one raised some questions. I answered them in the comment section, but decided to pull my comment out and make it a separate post:

Source said...
But…they had buses.…

Did they have the local manpower to organize one of the largest evacuations in US history?

They had a lot of people wanting out, and I bet a lot of them knew how to drive. Surely Jabbar Gibson was not the only one.

But…they had buses.…

Did local officials have the resources to feed, water and provide medical aid to the tens of thousands of people they’d needed to evacuate?

Their emergency plans certainly called for them to have them, President Bush issued the requested disaster declaration which resulted in food, water, and medical supplies being staged in nearby areas, so if she was not willing to let him bring them into the state, they could have sent a bus load of people out of state, and filled it with supplies for the trip back to pick up more people to evacuate.

But…they had buses.…

Did they have a destination? Or were the buses supposed to travel North until they ran out of gas?

North would have been a good direction. West would have been another good one. And they would have encountered a number of "filling stations" along the way where they could have bought more gas.

And If they had destinations, were these destinations equipped to deal with thousands and thousands of survivors for days on end?

Perhaps not before the storm hit (that is something they should have had in their planning documents, reciprocal arrangements with other states to have places for evacuees to go in an emergency). But after the storm hit, Texas set up facilities in the Astrodome, and rather than sending people to their Superdome they should have taken them to the Astrodome, which had plenty of food, water, and electrical power.

But…they had buses.…

Yes, they had Buses. Almost 600 of them. They just didn’t have any support from the Federal Government. And if you think it’s possible to evacuate a major US city without it…well, the term Batshit Insane has been escaping my lips at an acceleratred pace the more I hear apologists for FEMA, the DHS and The President.

They had a lot of supplies staged in nearby states as a result of Bush's disaster declaration, and he was asking for authorization to send in Federalized National Guard and other military troops with the equipment, but she would not authorize it because she preferred having her people do without, than share the spotlight with Bush.

And she did not send those 600 buses out with evacuees, and let them pick the supplies up on their return trip.

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