Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Paging Captain Obvous! Captain Obvious!

States Fear Fixes May Bring New Problems

Associated Press Writer

May 23, 2006, 7:35 AM EDT

WASHINGTON -- Competition for relief supplies and confusion about who's in charge could hobble preparations for the brewing hurricane season, say state officials.

Just over a week before the June 1 start of the storm season, the Homeland Security Department has nearly finished 11 top-priority changes to nation's beleaguered disaster response agency.
The hurricane season starts next week, and predictions for this year are far worse than the initial predictions for last year.
MIAMI -- With visible reminders from last year's Atlantic hurricane season -- blue tarps and broken signs -- still dotting parts of Florida and the Gulf Coast, forecasters warned storm-weary residents to prepare for as many as six major hurricanes this year.

There could be up to 16 named storms, the National Hurricane Center announced Monday.

Last year, forecasters initially predicted 12 to 15 tropical storms, with seven to nine of them becoming hurricanes, and three to five of those hurricanes being major, with winds of at least 111 mph.

[...]But 2006 should not be as destructive as last season's record year, which had 28 named storms, 15 of which were hurricanes, seven of them Category 3 or higher.
Or it could be worse. Still...this is the part of today's story that caught my eye:
He said FEMA has done little to coordinate with states on stocking and distributing food, water, ice and other items to disaster sites -- meaning states could end up competing against the federal government to purchase relief supplies.

"What can we expect and how quickly we can expect it? What is going to be pre-positioned in our states?" Latham said. "That is what is important. I know they're working feverishly to develop that plan, but we need to know."
A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a small little piece in the news that I was reminded of in reading this story today:
So imagine my surprise this morning to read this:
Report: Federal Bird Flu Aid May Be Tough

AP Medical Writer

May 3, 2006, 6:35 AM EDT

WASHINGTON -- States, cities and businesses should not expect to be rescued by the federal government if a flu pandemic strikes, warns a draft of the latest national response plan, one already under fire from critics who say federal preparations are moving too slowly.
Ya huh. In other words, "Don't mind us, we'll be praying for you!"

Does it surprise anyone that, in a day and age when the Bush administration is basically abandoning its responsibility to its citizenry, perhaps in a fit of pique over been so unliked, that FEMA is deliberately dragging its feet on informing states of its plans in the event of a major storm, at least one which is guaranteed to devastate part of the United States?

I'm not, and that's sad.

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