Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Failure of responsibility

There's a must-read editorial in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Craig Martelle, a retired Marine with FEMA experience. The title sums it up nicely: "FEMA is not a first responder." Martelle explains that everyone from the looters to local and state officials have failed to do what's right. A quick look at NOLA's disaster response plan indicates exactly where officials have failed. A couple excerpts from Martelle's piece: "...Prior development of an emergency plan, addressing all foreseeable contingencies, is the absolute requirement of the local government --and then they share that plan with the state emergency managers to ensure that the state authorities can provide necessary assets not available at the local level... " "...Hurricane Katrina was a national tragedy -- not just in the number of lives lost or the amount of physical damage, but also in the failure of people to do what is right when no one is looking."