God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen - Jars of Clay - listen now

Sunday, September 4, 2005

"It's Been Hell" For Them

And that's an understatement.

The primary lesson from Katrina: you must be ready to take care of yourself. In the short term after a disaster - you are the only resource you have for survival. You must know that while the government will help - it is not the first line of defense for any disaster. You must exercise common sense and be prepared. I'm going to buy a gun for the first time in my life and I'm also going to get a group of friends together and make a disaster plan so that we all know where to go and how to contact each other. I'm also going to make sure that if I'm told to evacuate, or if I even suspect that something serious enough to warrant leaving Atlanta is about to happen, that I LEAVE.

At the same time, the government - local, state, and federal - has a responsibility to provide for the common defense, whether it be from foreign army or a hurricane. What happened in New Orleans? I'm sure we'll find out and be properly horrified at the lack of prepardness in the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana. The federal government will share the blame as well - but its hard to deny that once the feds got involved the situation rapidly improved.

With National Guard troops finally bringing food, water, and some sense of order to evacuees awaiting transport from the Superdome and convention center, attention was turning to saving those languishing elsewhere. That included airdrops of boxes containing food and water into flooded areas, where people pushed through neck-high water to retrieve them.


Buses, trains, planes and helicopters were transporting people mainly to Texas, where government-run shelters in everything from stadiums to minimum-security prisons housed about 120,000 people. The Red Cross said its shelters in nine different states housed 94,000 people. Tens of thousands were living with relatives or in hotels as a result of Katrina, which left New Orleans, a city of 480,000, uninhabitable and which drove people in Mississippi and Alabama from their homes.


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