An assessment of emergency preparedness
Judging from CNN's coverage, you might think there were massive goof-ups everywhere. Here is a different perspective:
New Orleans waited too late to evacuate, and doesn't seem to have had a very good plan for helping people without cars escape the city. The Superdome has been a nightmare, with insufficient supplies or facilities, though at least it's been a living nightmare.He continues with an admonition that individuals prepare on their own:
But many commentators have looked at the images of people without food, water, or much of anything and announced that this shouldn't be happening in America -- as if we enjoy some sort of supernatural immunity to natural disaster, or some sort of superhuman ability to make things better.
It doesn't work that way.
...FEMA and the Red Cross recommend that you stockpile enough emergency supplies to get through at least a week without food, water, or electricity [because] it generally takes at least that long after a major disaster to get aid flowing. Roads are blocked, bridges are down, power plants -- and lines -- are wrecked, and communications are interrupted. For at least a week (and you're much better off to be prepared for two) you may be on your own.The most serious natural disasters we are likely to face in our area are snow and ice storms, power outages, and tornados. In our home we have followed this advice for decades. Our major concern is that we feel somewhat trapped in the peninsula of Southwestern Ontario. Should we want to evacuate the area, we probably would not be able to do so.
It's too late for the people affected by Hurricane Katrina to do anything about that now. But it's not too late for the rest of us. Don't pretend you'll never need to be prepared for a disaster. Prepare, and hope that you never need to use it.