Orlando Bound

I'm here in Orlando, Fl. Sure as I know anything, I know this: I aim to misbehave.

Location: Orlando, Florida, United States

Friday, September 02, 2005

Hurricane Katrina: Some feelings on this whole mess

I went to bed last night angry and woke up this morning inspired. It's time to affect change so that we as a nation, and as a citizen of the world, are never unprepared again. If this had been a terrorist attack or natural disaster with little or no warning, no one would have evacuated and we would be talking about a human tragedy 10-times the scale we're seeing right now. (By which I mean hundreds of thousands of body bags instead of hundreds of thousands of refugees.) The nation has had four years since 9-11 to get something in place for a large scale disaster but as we can see, nothing effective has been done. In fact, money that could have lessened the impact of this particular disaster (one that was predicted many times for many years) had been cut. The folks in charge up in Washington now have a choice either fix the problem immediately or find themselves voted out at the next elections.

The answer I'm leaning to right now is a civil defense corp. Whether or not you agree with our nation's armed forces, reserves, and nat’l guard being stationed in Iraq right now, it's a situation we have to deal with. While plans were being drawn up to invade, federal level plans to replace the resources those lost reservists and guard members provided should also have been drawn up. In the past in the U.S. and in other nations that role was played by the Civil Defense Corps. Large groups of citizens, with some from every neighborhood, who are trained to deal with disasters, operate and distribute propositioned equipment and supplies, and are looked to in their community as leaders in time of emergencies, can step into the role of managing people in their communities during emergencies. This releases the National Guard members that are left as well as police and emergency personal to perform rescue missions and keep the peace as needed.

Hindsight is twenty-twenty, but it is already clear that this is a failure of monumental proportions by members of the government from the top on down. What must be done immediately is to get resources to the stricken areas ASAP. That effort looks like it is slowly materializing. Over the next few weeks congress must enact legislation that brings into existence the 'Civil Defense Corps' with a large enough budget for training and procuring the equipment and supplies necessary to deal with an emergency a magnitude larger in scale than the one occurring right now. Only then will we begin to be ready for the next catastrophe whether it is man or nature made.

In the meantime, if you haven't donated, please do so today. If you want to help some other way, please consider giving blood or signing up at the local Red Cross or Salvation Army for a volunteer shift at the phones.

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