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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-05 09:53 AM
Original message
Bush issued a Federal Disaster proclamation BEFORE
Edited on Sun Sep-04-05 09:54 AM by Catchawave
Katrina struck the Gulf Coast tells me the administration DID realize how serious this could be.

Wouldn't that have begun a mobilization plan by the federal gov anticipating the worse that could happen (and did!)?

I'm really confused about why Chertoff, Bush, Brown and the other bumblefu*ks are saying "we didn't think it would be THIS bad" ? Or, the levees would break?

Worse case scenarios for New Orleans are historic, but the republicans are now blaming local and state authorities for not doing enough to evacuate in the first place?

The feds should not have been blind-sided by a disaster of this proportion. There is no excuse help did not arrive within 24 hours!
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EndElectoral Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-05 09:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. Look at FEMA prediction pre-911 and Bush funding below...
"By 2003 the federal funding for the flood control project essentially dried up as it was drained into the Iraq war. In 2004, the Bush administration cut funding requested by the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for holding back the waters of Lake Pontchartrain by more than 80 percent. Additional cuts at the beginning of this yearforced the New Orleans district of the Corps to impose a hiring freeze.

Over at least the past several budget cycles, the Corps has received substantially less money than it requested for the Lake Pontchartrain project, even though Congress restored much of the money the President cut from the amount the Corps requested.

In fiscal year 2004, the Corps requested $11 million for the project. The Presidents budget allocated $3 million, and Congress furnished $5.5 million. Similarly, in fiscal 2005 the Corps requested $22.5 million, which the President cut to $3.9 million in his budget. Congress increased that to $5.5 million.

This was insufficient to fund new construction contracts, according to a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project fact sheet. The Corps reported that seven new contracts are being delayed due to lack funds .

The President proposed $3 million for the project in the budget for fiscal 2006, which begins Oct. 1. This will be insufficient to fund new construction projects, the fact sheet stated. It says the Corps could spend $20 million if funds were provided. The Corps of Engineers goes on to say:

In the past five years, the amount of money spent on all Corps construction projects in the New Orleans district has declined by 44 percent, according to the New Orleans CityBusiness newspaper, from $147 million in 2001 to $82 million in the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

A long history of complaints

Local officials had long complained that funding for hurricane protection projects was inadequate:

October 13, 2001: The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that federal officials are postponing new projects of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Control Program, or SELA, fearing that federal budget constraints and the cost of the war on terrorism may create a financial pinch for the program. The paper went on to report that President Bushs budget proposed $52 million for SELA in the 2002 fiscal year. The House approved $57 million and the Senate approved $62 million. Still, the $62 million would be well below the $80 million that corps officials estimate is needed to pay for the next 12 months of construction, as well as design expenses for future projects.

April 24, 2004: The Times-Picayune reported that less money is available to the Army Corps of Engineers to build levees and water projects in the Missisippi River valley this year and next year. Meanwhile, an engineer who had direct the Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration Study a study of how to restore coastal wetlands areas in order to provide a bugger from hurricane storm surges was sent to Iraq "to oversee the restoration of the Garden of Eden wetlands at the mouth of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, for which President Bushs 2005 gave $100 million.

June 8, 2004: Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, told the Times-Picayune:
Walter Maestri: It appears that the money has been moved in the presidents budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq , and I suppose thats the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees cant be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.

September 22, 2004: The Times-Picayune reported that a pilot study on raising the height of the levees surrounding New Orleans had been completed and generated enough information for a second study necessary to estimate the cost of doing so. The Bush administration ordered the New Orleans district office of the Army Corps of Engineers not to begin any new studies, and the 2005 budget no longer includes the needed money.

June 6, 2005: The New Orleans CityBusiness newspaper reported that the New Orleans district of the Corps was preparing for a $71.2 million reduction in overall funding for the fiscal year beginning in October. That would have been the largest single-year funding loss ever. They noted that money was so tight" that "the New Orleans district, which employs 1,300 people, instituted a hiring freeze last month on all positions, which was the first of its kind in about 10 years.

A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) report from before September 11, 2001 detailed the three most likely catastrophic disasters that could happen in the United States: a terrorist attack in New York, a strong earthquake in San Francisco, and a hurricane strike in New Orleans.

In 2002, New Orleans officials held the simulation of what would happen in a category 5 storm. Walter Maestri, the emergency coordinator of Jefferson Parish in New Orleans , recounted the outcome to PBS NOW With Bill Moyers:
Maestri, September 2002: Well, when the exercise was completed it was evidence that we were going to lose a lot of people. We changed the name of the storm from Delaney to K-Y-A-G-B... kiss your ass goodbye... because anybody who was here as that category five storm came across... was gone."


Whew....and no one could have predicted this? Let's see FEMA had predicted pre-911 :a major terrorist attack in NYC, a major hurricane in New Orleans, and an earthquake in San Francisco. Two out of three thus far. Yet even with all of this foresight, they are unprepared. Let's hope their prediction of the earthquake at least last beyond the Bush years.

How could Bush's own FEMA make this kind of prediction pre-911 and him cut spending dramatically on the exact area they were most frightened of? If that isn't culpability, I don't know what is. Either that or total ineptness!
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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-05 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thanks for all this info!
I'm bookmarking ! Now I know our government is lying to us!!!
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-05 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
2. It's an ass covering of the largest magnitude.
Trucks and choppers full of everything should have been standing by.

When the area was too flooded for trucks, the people were SOL, because most of the choppers are elsewhere.
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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-05 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. You would think the gov would issue a stand-by alert !
Tons of emergency supplies that have been stockpiled by FEMA never moved an inch until days later?

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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-05 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
4. "We didn't think it would be this bad" in Shruberrese means
"We have delicate gluteus maximus flesh that must be covered at all costs because we couldn't rescue a cockroach out of a paper bag."

No excuses not to commandeer and ask for for volunteer buses to evacuate--business would have been happy to help ( I wish they'd speak up, too). the "commandeering" part is in FEMA's role, in fact.

No excuse for the lack of immediate airdrops of fresh water.

No excuse for not staffing the SuperDome and convention Center with trained volunteers from the Red Crioss--regardless of whether the crowds were supposed to go there or not. You take the staff to where the people are.

No excuse for any of it.
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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-05 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Yep, mobilization should have begun by FEMA as
soon as Bush declared the Federal Disaster areas while Katrina was still in the Gulf !

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snippy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-05 10:13 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. That was done last year prior to hurricanes making landfall.
But last year was an election year.
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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-05 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Last year was an election year !
OMIGOD, I didn't think of that. Not to mention, Florida is Jebbyland.

I am even more disgusted now :mad:

Now if only our Dem leaders will find their cajones.
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snippy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-05 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
6. What Bush did prior to Katrina making landfall
should be compared to what Bush did prior to three of last year's huricanes.

Hurricane Charley hit Florida on August 13 last year. The following is from a DHS press release that day.

Department of Homeland Security Prepares Response to Hurricane Charley

FEMA Public Affairs
Contact: 202-646-4600
August 13, 2004

With Hurricane Charley's 145 mile-per-hour winds impacting the Florida coast, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has pre-positioned personnel and supplies for rapid response to areas that will need emergency assistance from this Category 4 strength storm.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is coordinating activities along with other federal departments and respective state agencies. FEMA met its goal to have necessary emergency response teams and disaster relief supplies positioned throughout the southeast region earlier today in preparation for the anticipated response operations. More equipment and resources are being deployed from stockpiles nationwide.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and FEMA Director Michael Brown are maximizing readiness and response efforts for Hurricane Charley and have been in contact with Florida Governor Jeb Bush and other governors in southeast states that could be impacted by this dangerous storm.

FEMA's Mobile Emergency Response Services communication units from as far away as FEMAs Denver, CO, regional office were mobilized to be in place prior to Hurricane Charley's landfall. These units are able to provide telephone, radio and video links in support of response and recovery efforts.

FEMA has activated and deployed Medical Management Support Teams such as MASH-type Disaster Medical Assistance Teams and Veterinary Medical Teams and has mobilized and pre-positioned first-responder urban search and rescue teams for possible service. Disaster medical teams have also brought extra supplies to ensure that the region's large elderly populations needs are met.

Twenty semi-trailers containing cots and blankets, emergency meals, portable toilets, personal wash kits, sleeping bags, 6-8 person tents, plastic sheeting and roofing, bottled water and mid-range generators are being staged in Georgia for rapid deployment to Florida. FEMA has also deployed large sea containers with building materials for immediate home repairs.

. . .

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at FEMA's request, has coordinated the deployment of ten truckloads of water and seven truckloads of ice to the Tampa area and has deployed sandbag teams and portable flood control levees to central and northern Florida.

. . .

The Department of Defense (DoD) is supporting FEMA's response effort with four military bases being used for mobilization and staging sites for response teams and supplies. DoD is also analyzing national aircraft assets from military and civilian agencies if additional aircraft are needed to transport response and recovery supplies.

. . .

All of this was done prior to the hurricane making landfall.

And hurricane Frances hit Florida on Sunday, September 5 last year. This is from a September 6, 2004 White House press release:
. . .

As of noon Monday, in response to Hurricane Frances, FEMA and other Federal response agencies have taken the following actions:

About one hundred trucks of water and 280 trucks of ice are present or will arrive in the Jacksonville staging area today.

900,000 Meals-Ready-to-Eat are on site in Jacksonville, ready to be distributed.

Over 7,000 cases of food (e.g., vegetables, fruits, cheese, ham, and turkey) are scheduled to arrive in Winter Haven today.

Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT) are on the ground and setting up comfort stations. FEMA community relations personnel will coordinate with DMATs to assist victims.

Urban Search and Rescue Teams are completing reconnaissance missions in coordination with state officials.

FEMA is coordinating with the Department of Energy and the state to ensure that necessary fuel supplies can be distributed throughout the state, with a special focus on hospitals and other emergency facilities that are running on generators.

The Army Corps of Engineers will soon begin its efforts to provide tarps to tens of thousands of owners of homes and buildings that have seen damage to their roofs.

The National Guard has called up 4,100 troops in Florida, as well as thousands in other nearby states to assist in the distribution of supplies and in preparation for any flooding.

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and Defense together have organized 300 medical personnel to be on standby. Medical personnel will begin deployment to Florida tomorrow.

. . .

All of this was done prior to the hurricane making landfall.

And there also was this concerning Frances:

Michael Brown, director of FEMA, told CNN:
. . .

"We have poised right now to move into this state literally thousands of personnel, literally hundreds and hundreds of trucks, emergency rescue workers, urban search and rescue, medical teams."

FEMA spokesman James McIntyre said about 4,500 federal personnel are staged at various locations in Florida, Georgia and other states in Frances' path. More people are on call. FEMA deployed about 1,500 people in response to Charley, which hit southern and central Florida Aug. 13, McIntyre said.

. . . /

In addition, last year Bush even had FEMA hire a political consultant to devise political public relations strategies concerning the response to hurricane Frances for FEMA and the Bush campaign.
. . .

But politics was foremost on the mind of FEMA consultant Glenn Garcelon, who wrote a three-page memo titled "Hurricane Frances -- Thoughts and Suggestions," on Sept. 2.

The Republican National Convention was winding down, and President Bush had only a slight lead in the polls against Democrat John Kerry. Winning Florida was key to the president's re-election. FEMA should pay careful attention to how it is portrayed by the public, Garcelon wrote in the memo, conveying "the team effort theme at every opportunity" alongside state and local officials, the insurance and construction industries, and relief agencies such as the Red Cross.

"What FEMA cannot afford to do is back itself into a corner by feeling it has to be the sole explainer and defender for everything that goes wrong," he wrote. "Further, this is not what the President would want. Plenty is going to go wrong, and his Department of Homeland Security does not want to assume responsibility for all of it."

Garcelon, a former FEMA employee, recommended that "top-level people from FEMA and the White House need to develop a communication strategy and an agreed-upon set of themes and communications objectives."

"Communication consultants from the President's re-election campaign should be brought in," he wrote. "Above all, everybody's got to understand that no amount of flogging DHS/ FEMA will insure that the recovery will go perfectly. This is going to be a huge mess. The public needs to be prepared for it."

. . .,0,5144...

And hurricane Ivan hit the gulf coast on Sunday, September 16, 2004 . This is from a September 16, 2004 Department of Homeland Security press release:
. . .

The following activities are taking place to prepare for Hurricane Ivan:

Homeland Security officials are fully coordinating preparations and are in constant communication with our federal partners, governors, and other state and local officials in possible affected states.

Currently, more than 5,000 FEMA personnel are in Florida and additional emergency response personnel have been deployed from the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation, and the Department of Defense. FEMAs Hurricane Liaison Team remains activated at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, to assist with advisories, information coordination and emergency evacuation activities. FEMA personnel continue to work with the victims of Hurricanes Charley and Frances while others have been repositioned to respond to state requests for assistance as a result of Hurricane Ivan.

FEMA is positioned to send emergency management personnel, supplies and equipment to those areas impacted most to ensure a rapid and effective response as soon as Hurricane Ivan passes. Critical commodities such as ice, water, meals and tarps are staged and ready for immediate delivery to residents in affected areas. The Army Corps of Engineers is standing by with 100 refrigerator trucks of ice and 500 trucks of water to meet immediate needs as part of the Hurricane Ivan response.

Two Urban Search and Rescue Teams are deployed in Florida with four additional teams en route to Alabama and Mississippi for immediate deployment if needed. Mobile Emergency Response Service communication units are also available to provide telephone, radio and video links in support of response and recovery efforts.

Four Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT) and Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams have been activated or deployed to sites in Florida, Georgia and Mississippi to support medical facilities and hospitals that are not fully operational following Hurricane Ivan. An additional seven teams have been placed on alert, assembling teams and loading equipment in case they are needed. The DMATs include doctors, nurses and medical technicians trained to handle trauma, pediatrics, surgery and mental health concerns. DMATs also bring truckloads of medical equipment and supplies with them.

Preparations are being made for Disaster Field Offices and Disaster Recovery Centers to be established in the hardest hit areas within 72 hours after a federal declaration. This will allow impacted residents to receive disaster assistance as soon as possible.

The U.S. Coast Guard has pre-positioned helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to support response activities, closed all ports from New Orleans to the Florida panhandle and has established a temporary safety zone extending the entire width of the lower Mississippi River from mile marker 88 to 106 to help protect people and vessels from the potential safety hazards associated with Hurricane Ivan. The U.S. Coast Guard is also broadcasting hurricane advisories and warnings to mariners along the hurricanes projected path and coordinating area harbor safety committees to prepare ports and minimize potential damage. Following the storm, the Coast Guard will assist with post-hurricane response and recovery operations to aid navigation assessment and repair, marine pollution response, search and rescue operations, and support to other agencies and humanitarian aid.

Aircraft from Homeland Securitys Immigration and Customs Enforcement will help transport FEMA officials to and from sites and will fly over the storm's path following landfall to collect high-resolution images for damage assessment. The remotely sensed data will allow FEMA to better target areas needing immediate disaster damage assessment.

The Department's Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection unit is assessing the vulnerabilities and potential impact to critical infrastructure located in the storm's projected path. Based upon these assessments, Homeland Security will be prepared to work with private sector partners and state and local government officials during the recovery phase.

Homeland Security is working with the American Red Cross and other volunteer agencies to ensure sheltering and critical needs are met immediately.

Citizen Corps Councils and national Citizen Corps affiliate organizations mobilized more than 2,000 volunteers and representatives from 45 states to provide disaster support in Florida communities affected by Hurricanes Charley and Frances. In addition, Citizen Corps Councils and volunteer members already established within Florida are supporting state coordinated disaster relief efforts and preparing for response to Hurricane Ivan. Citizen Corps will also be recruiting an additional 500 people nationwide to support disaster recovery efforts following Hurricane Ivan.

FEMA is working to provide multiple trailers full of generators at the request of Gulf Coast and inland states that will be used to provide power to critical facilities affected by the hurricane.

All the National Processing Service Centers (NPSCs) are fully staffed and ready to register and process disaster assistance applications immediately, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

. . .

All of this was done prior to the hurricane making landfall.

In contrast, before Katrina hit, Bush declared parts of the gulf coast a federal disaster area to streamline claims for financial assistance from the government after the hurricane passed. I have been unable to find any information on the White House, DHS, or FEMA web sites concerning any other actions taken in advance of Katrina except for a press release stating that:

"FEMA will mobilize equipment and resources necessary to protect public health and safety by assisting law enforcement with evacuations, establishing shelters, supporting emergency medical needs, meeting immediate lifesaving and life-sustaining human needs and protecting property, in addition to other emergency protective measures."

Shortly before Katrina made landfall, Bush also attended a fund raiser, played a guitar, and shortened one of his several annual vacations by a few hours.

That is a far cry from what Bush did in 2004.
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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-05 10:25 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Thank you so much......
wonderful information proving someone fell asleep at the controls, but the buck must stop with Bush. He created this administration and all fingers should point to him.

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