It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Katrina response is faster than Andrew.

page: 1

log in


posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 09:17 AM

It is settled wisdom among journalists that the federal response to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina was unconscionably slow.

"Mr. Bush's performance last week will rank as one of the worst ever during a dire national emergency," wrote New York Times columnist Bob Herbert in a somewhat more strident expression of the conventional wisdom.

But the conventional wisdom is the opposite of the truth.

Jason van Steenwyk is a Florida Army National Guardsman who has been mobilized six times for hurricane relief. He notes that:

"The federal government pretty much met its standard time lines, but the volume of support provided during the 72-96 hour was unprecedented. The federal response here was faster than Hugo, faster than Andrew, faster than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne."

For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 2002. But after Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the afflicted region in three.

Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea what is involved in moving hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the size of England in which power lines are down, telecommunications are out, no gasoline is available, bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered with debris, and apparently have little interest in finding out.

So they libel as a "national disgrace" the most monumental and successful disaster relief operation in world history.

I write this column a week and a day after the main levee protecting New Orleans breached. In the course of that week:

More than 32,000 people have been rescued, many plucked from rooftops by Coast Guard helicopters.

The Army Corps of Engineers has all but repaired the breaches and begun pumping water out of New Orleans.

Shelter, food and medical care have been provided to more than 180,000 refugees.

Journalists complain that it took a whole week to do this. A former Air Force logistics officer had some words of advice for us in the Fourth Estate on his blog, Moltenthought:

"We do not yet have teleporter or replicator technology like you saw on 'Star Trek' in college between hookah hits and waiting to pick up your worthless communications degree while the grown-ups actually engaged in the recovery effort were studying engineering.

"The United States military can wipe out the Taliban and the Iraqi Republican Guard far more swiftly than they can bring 3 million Swanson dinners to an underwater city through an area the size of Great Britain which has no power, no working ports or airports, and a devastated and impassable road network.

"You cannot speed recovery and relief efforts up by prepositioning assets (in the affected areas) since the assets are endangered by the very storm which destroyed the region.

"No amount of yelling, crying and mustering of moral indignation will change any of the facts above."

i guess people overlooked the facts as to how fast we responded compare to other devastations. people are pretty much using Katrina as political to take on Bush. how fast can we humanly respond to such devastation? are we really dat fast? just snap our fingers and New Orleans is back on its feet again?

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 09:50 AM
First, this is an op/ed piece.....And who is quoted???

Jason van Steenwyk ! Even a cursory review of him on the net reveals he is hardly an objective source....

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 10:05 AM
Quoting directly from the article..
For instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in strength on the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 2002.

Hurricane Andrew hit 1992, not 2002.

This guy can't even get his facts straight, but he's trying to preach that current journalists can't?

"Journalists who are long on opinions and short on knowledge".. pot kettle black.

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 10:10 AM
The jest of what is being said is very true. The logistics involved in such a relief effort is beyond the understanding of laymen. 90,000 sq. miles of devastation, 1.5 million displaced over three states in an area as large as UK. This was a relief effort that dwarfs anything that has been attempted in this country before. Speaking as one who did not jump on the 'It's all Bush's fault' bandwagon, I think when everything is taken into account, all is said and done, we will be surprised at the outcome. Yes, there were break downs here and there as is the case in any understaking of such gigantic porportions. I prefer to keep an open mind until which time all is accounted for. I do however believe that the Media in this country tends to sensationalize by making the news instead of reporting it. Time will tell.

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 10:38 AM
several days ago, there was some FEMA info put out in another thread
'Transforming Government: The Renewal And Revitalization of
The Federal Emergency Management Agency

which included the noting of the delays in response times;
Hurricane Hugo- 1989 & of Hurricane Andrew - 1992

both had delays of 6 days in recovery efforts
....which has not been improved upon in the 13 intervening years,
and is viewed as an intollerable delay, here in the New Orleans catastrophe

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 10:40 AM

Originally posted by loam
First, this is an op/ed piece.....And who is quoted???

Jason van Steenwyk ! Even a cursory review of him on the net reveals he is hardly an objective source....

What about the people going after Bush? They are hardly objective, but you guys act like what they say is unchallengable.

[edit on 12-9-2005 by Dronetek]

posted on Sep, 12 2005 @ 11:58 AM
I have to say that I agree that most of us cannot even fathom the effort required to undertake a recovery and relief effort like this. My hat is off to the national guard because whether we knew it it or not, they were plucking people off rooftops while still battling cross winds from Katrina the day after she hit.

My distain is for one group and one group only. FEMA, who turned away aid and volunteers while Americans were in need.

I think the guard did a great job of getting in there considering the circumstances they faced.

No, political hacks, that does not mean I love GW Bush. It means I understand there are things that lie beyond the vision of those looking out the window at starbucks. GW Bush did nothing. Those people who tread into that hell did it all.

Americans today are so sensitized by television and movies that we think everything from a war right down to a national disaster can be wrapped up in 2 hours or less. It can't. 90 thousand square miles is an unimaginable area. Lets say they had 90 thousand troops (which they don't) Why doesn't someone go out and try canvassing one square mile and let us know how long it took.

This is no easy task. Like Galveston Texas, this place is utterly destroyed. No one is going to make it all go away so you all can get on with your lives. There will be bodies washing ashore for weeks. It will take months to relocate those who lost it all and likely decades before this area is anywhere close to normal.

This situation has nothing at all to do with whos rear warms the president's chair. It has to do with tedious and dangerous work that apparently none of you are doing.

To use this effort to put forth yet another stupid political agenda, we insult and embarrass those people wading through sewage to carry a victim out of there.

I cannot waitr for Bush to be out of office and I will vote for Hillary as many times as I can get away with it just to get you people to be happy and shut the hell up! This is a disaster like none many have ever been through. Do you all think we can manage to leave politics out of it for five freakin' minutes?

new topics

top topics


log in