...And on so many levels of government! The federal government failed to respond fast enough and I will make no excuse for Bush, Chertoff or FEMA, but local government is not without fault either. People should have been given evacuation notice sooner, but aside from that, people outside of New Orleans had no concept of the amount of people without transportation, people who were trapped while the city flooded. I would like to think that local and state officials would have a better understanding of their area's demographics. Someone should have contacted the Department of Homeland Security right away to make sure they were on their way. Meteorologists told us that this hurricane was coming, so all the planning should have been done before it hit. But apparently, that did not happen.
There is one consolation and that is that private citizens have more on the ball than their elected officials. The outpouring of generousity from people around the world is truly touching. Even Afghanistan, a nation that has experienced plenty of hardship, has pledged $100,000 in aid. Germany, Great Britain and Russia have pledged money outside of their NATO contributions for Hurricane Katrina disaster relief.
Perhaps it is because the leaders of these nations realize that the rebuilding efforts will require serious environmental protections, ones that began to be implemented in 1995 under the leadership of President Clinton, but have been significantly cut under the Bush administration. To find out more about the need to rebuild Louisiana's coast, visit http://www.crcl.org/
This site is also functioning to further relief efforts in the region devastated by Katrina.
As someone who teaches communication, I understand that listening is vital. The greatest failure in communication was that of the Bush administration, failing to listen to scientists who warned that New Orleans would would be covered in water if action was not taken to restore the Louisiana coastline. It is too bad that a disaster has to serve as a wake-up call.