I didn't write this, a friend sent it to me un-attributed. My comments are in italics.
If people haven't been learning the lessons from Katrina that they absolutely need to learn, then they haven’t been paying attention.
1. On Friday evening the National Weather Service predicted the path of the storm heading towards New Orleans. By Saturday morning, it was clear that the storm was growing in strength and it was suggested that people begin evacuating. (This would be about an hour after I would've contacted some land locked friends and told them I was coming to visit.)
2. By Saturday afternoon it was clear that Katrina was growing in strength. The Mayor of New Orleans appeared on TV weepy and sad, expressing concern about what could happen in New Orleans. (I’ll admit, sometimes a good cry does make you feel better.)
3. Sunday morning it was obvious that the storm would hit as a Category 4 or 5.
4. On Sunday the Governor of Louisiana was crying and worried about the state and asked the rest of us to pray for Louisiana. (Prayer is good. Be prepared in case the answer is "No.")
5. Sunday at 2:00 pm a mandatory evacuation was ordered. (By the time the government, any government, gets around to ordering anything, it's too late.)
Now let's look at what has happened so far and what we know after the fact:
1. 10% of New Orleans was below the poverty level. It would have been obvious (and was obvious) that these people had no means to leave the city themselves. (Despite the last census, and you know they used the census data to project $$$ requests from the federal gummint. The # of people who were unable to evacuate themselves could’ve been at least reasonably guessed by the local and state governments, and there should have been a plan in place to evacuate them.)
2. Not a single hospital faced with mandatory evacuation orders, was moved. We've not heard of a SINGLE airlift of patients out of hospitals in the direct path of the storm, moved to areas outside of the impact zone. (Again, where was the plan to evacuate, knowing the city was susceptible to flooding.)
3. Not a single school, public, or charter bus left the city carrying people unable to find the means of leaving on their own. (Hmmm... that would've been a good plan. Or a good part of a plan. )
What should happen now:
1. The mayor of New Orleans should be brought up on criminal negligence charges.
2. The people should understand that you NEVER elect a sympathetic Social worker type to public office. If an individual hasn’t served in the military or in an equivalent capacity of managing huge infrastructures and people, they have no business running a government. (Military service shouldn’t be the only prerequisite, we’ve our fair share of twits and boobs; Look at General Wes Clark)
3. The Governor of Louisiana should be brought up on criminal negligence charges--she did not call up the National Guard, order a single evacuation plan, or organize shelters until AFTER the disaster hit. She, a babbling idiot, should spend the rest of her days behind bars, watching the death and destruction on a continuous loop in her jail cell. Or she could be forced to march from her governor’s mansion, having been tarred and feathered, and led to the French Quarter, and les Guillotine.
What people should have learned by now:
When the government says “leave”; you LEAVE! You have ready: 3 days of water and food, a “grab and go”; bag that contains clothing, toiletries, and cash to get you where you will be safe. If it takes you more than 15 minutes to evacuate, you're doing it wrong and are not sufficiently prepared. If you have more time, you should be able to evacuate with three weeks of supplies.
Every person in your family over the age of about 12 should be trained in the use of firearms. If you live in an area that doesn't allow you to own firearms, MOVE. You should have in your possession a weapon for every member of the family. That includes arming your 12 year old daughter. Because SHE may become separated from you and will need the means of defending herself. (As for which types to carry, a large caliber for dad; a moderate and concealable one for mommy; and small, concealable, high-capacity one for the tots. If you hate guns, consider the idea of being raped by predatory humans who have no problem with them. Explain your disdain for firearms to your daughter (or son) after her "first time" is forced in a bathroom at an evacuee shelter.)
You must have an evacuation plan. Discuss with family every possible need to evacuate--what conditions might require you to leave. Plan the routes, what you'll take, a location to meet up if you are separated, etc. etc.
Do not leave your neighborhood with an empty seat in your car or truck. There are hundreds of buses and cars under water in New Orleans and elsewhere in the regions.
Make sure you have filled that seat with one of your neighbors.
Be prepared to take care of yourself for AT LEAST 3 days.
Expect civil unrest and looting. If you value your property more than the lives of your family, YOU WILL DIE. I repeat: IF YOU VALUE YOUR PROPERTY AND POSSESSIONS MORE THAN YOUR LIFE OR THE LIFE OF YOUR LOVED ONES, YOU WILL DIE.
The Federal Government is not going to be able to help you. As with ALL law enforcement matters and catastrophes, they only come for the clean up. They are not going to help you until AFTER the catastrophe has occurred.
If I hear one more person making a statement that begins with “The President of the United States should…” I am going to punch him in the nose, kick him in the balls, or knock them over the head with a mallet. This is NOT! a Federal matter. There is no way that anyone is capable of doing anything for AT LEAST three days, more likely three weeks.
The Federal Government is not the authority in charge here. The STATE and LOCAL governments are in charge. If the people you've been electing to PROTECT AND SERVE you in your local and state are bureaucrats with no leadership, management, or disaster experience, knowing how to do nothing more than write welfare checks, you are seriously screwed. MOVE. (Better yet, vote them out and replace them with qualified representatives, not people whose career of service to the people consists only of political office with no real world experience.)
Looters or anyone stepping outside of civilized behavior should be shot on site (sic)
--no malice, no concern. You\'re eradicating pests. Society will be better off without them and the neighborhoods and decent people of the world safer. If a law enforcement official attempts to disarm you while you are shooting looters, shoot the police officer. He's not your friend or your ally. It doesn't matter that the looter is only stealing food or clothing. What matters is that they've cut in front of the line. You know the expression “women and children first”? That's what civilized society does in a catastrophe. Civilized people, without prodding and baby sitting from government, form distribution networks to equitably distribute food and clothing from the remaining supplies. Civilized human beings DO NOT loot. SHOOT THEM. (I cannot advocate shooting a police officer. If they attempt to disarm you while you are shooting looters, then disarm the police... they're obviously too pussified to pull their own weapon. Give the cop a doughnut and send him on his way (and I only advocate shooting the looters coming after you and yours, I could care less if Wal-Mart loses a few TV's. If they are looting at a distribution center, make a citizen's arrest. The penalty for resisting arrest is death. At least you can sleep better (and the jury will understand that you *tried* to stop him without shooting.) Also, an unregistered 'drop gun' might not be a bad idea. Or a few eye witnesses to swear that you were defending yourself. If however, a soldier tells you to drop your weapon, do so. If you shoot at him, his buddies will be on you like white on rice. They will never quit, and they are better armed and armored. You will most likely not survive.
You have only one ally in such a disaster: YOU. You are responsible for the health and safety of your family. The looters and thugs of the world WILL crawl from the cracks of society and will prey on you and your neighbors. This has happened in EVERY SINGLE catastrophe. If you are not prepared for this, YOU WILL DIE.
Not a single event of this catastrophe is a surprise, with the exception of the extent of the incompetence of the local leadership.
The original writing sounds an awful lot like Kim Du Toit. If so, then Bravo, Kim. If not, lemme know and I'll attribute it accordingly.