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America's most vulnerable citizens are barely considered in most emergency plans, according to a report being issued Wednesday by the National Council on Disability.
The report says huge gaps exist in those emergency plans despite an executive order issued by President Bush in 2004 urging federal and local governments, as well as private organizations, to consider the unique needs of the disabled when planning rescues and preparing to provide emergency shelter.
The 500-page report also criticized government disaster planners for failing to seek input about the needs of the disabled from the community and its advocacy groups. Among other problems the report cited were issues involving service dogs, relocation in trailers and mobile homes, the effectiveness of various warning systems and different transportation needs.
There was one additional factor in Katrina that wasn't present in the other cases: what Quarantelli calls "the worst mishandled disaster I've ever seen in my life, and I've been studying disasters since 1949." The full story of what went wrong has yet to be fully uncovered, but it seems more and more clear that, far from working closely with volunteers and rival authorities, the Department of Homeland Security--the giant new bureaucracy that absorbed the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2003--adopted a command-and-control approach that at times worked actively against the other responses. Anecdotes abound not just of well-qualified civilians being turned away from the disaster zone but of public employees being poorly deployed, such as the 1,400 firefighters who were assigned to do community relations work. Worst of all were the squalid holding camps at the Superdome and the New Orleans Convention Center, where authority was omnipresent but order was absent.
The local government clearly botched the initial evacuation of New Orleans, leaving hundreds of empty buses to drown while carless citizens were stranded, but a deeper problem with the exodus might be the local initiative that was blocked. Fred Smith, the president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and, more to the point, a native Louisianan who monitored events there as closely as he could, says: "There were avenues in and out of the city--people could have been enlisted to come into the city to make pickups, and the problem could have been alleviated much earlier. America has cars and boats and buses and vans, but they weren't called on. In World War I, Paris was saved because taxis rushed French troops to the front. Why couldn't New Orleans have done the same?"
The most appalling allegations come from the leftist activists Larry Bradshaw and Lorrie Beth Slonsky, who were attending a conference of emergency medical services workers in New Orleans when the hurricane struck. Their widely circulated story is a litany both of inspiring self-organization on the ground and of astonishing official mistreatment and neglect. Among other things, they claim that a police officer broke up their embarrassingly situated encampment--it was adjacent to the command station--by falsely telling them that buses were waiting for them on the other side of the Greater New Orleans Bridge. They also wrote that armed officers then blocked them from entering Mississippi on foot. (The latter allegation has been corroborated by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Fox News, among other outlets.)
You lost me when you used the term sheeple....it is a disrespectful term that people beginning a diatribe use to insult everyone who lives within the laws of the legally elected government. If you cannot put forward your argument without inflaming people then you need to rethink your delivery.
This report regards lack of preparedness to facilitate aid in disaster's, to disabled people.
Ezekiel Emanuel's Plan To Kill The Useless Eaters
(LPAC) -- Several blogs picked up immediately on the LPAC report of July 21: "Ezekiel Emanuel: Death to Those With Dementia, as Useless Eaters." In one case, Newsvine.com linked directly to the LPAC wire, which in turn generated comments from over 100 readers. While a few frantic wackos warned against anything coming from LaRouche, nearly all the responses express shock and rage that such a Nazi is functioning openly within the Obama Administration.
Several responses reprint the key paragraph by Emanuel quoted in the LPAC report, before adding their own comment (that paragraph by Emanuel: "This civic republican or deliberative democratic conception of the good provides both procedural and substantive insights for developing a just allocation of health care resources. Procedurally, it suggests the need for public forums to deliberate about which health services should be considered basic and should be socially guaranteed. Substantively, it suggests services that promote the continuation of the polity - those that ensure healthy future generations, ensure development of practical reasoning skills, and ensure full and active participation by citizens in public deliberation - are to be socially guaranteed as basic. Conversely, services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.")