Sickening . . . Just Sickening.
Each day that goes by, the situation in the storm eviscerated area becomes worse and worse. And the hype gets worse and worse. I heard a quote by a refugee last night saying that "she had been in the Superdome for 7 days without a bath". Now, by my calculations, seven days prior was Thursday, August 25 - and that was the day that little hurricane Katrina hit South Florida. At that time, New Orleans didn't have a clue the storm was headed their way. I've also heard reporters refering to 3 days as a week. Get a clue, folks, don't make it even more dramatic than it is.
We're hearing all around that the government hasn't/isn't reacting quickly enough. Well, I'm here to tell you that when the area under federal disaster declaration is 90,000 square miles large, it ain't easy to cover that much ground. And, despite what the media and the refugees in N'yawlins would like us to think, they're not the only ones undergoing pain and suffering. Sadly, while there are many, many, innocent and good people who whether due to age, health issues, or poverty had to rely on shelters such as the Super Dome, I'm afraid there is a disproportionately large percentage of - dare I say it - downright low-lifes who are inhabiting the shelters. These are folks who strolled in with a pillow, a pack of cigarettes, a bag of chips and a coke - fully expecting that the government would take care of them. This despite being told that if they entered a shelter, they needed to have food supplies to take care of themselves for 72 hours. Video clips of the bathrooms in the Super Dome give a glimpse of the kinds of people being sheltered there. Rather than trying to keep trash together, the sinks and toilets were overflowing - not with human waste, but with actual trash. Did NO ONE have the thoughts of taking care of their own garbage? Has the Super Dome run out of cleaning supplies? Basic care of your surroundings, no matter what and where, is a hallmark of a civilized society - and I'm sorry, but I have to conclude that MOST - not all - but MOST of what have been housed in the Super Dome are the uncivilized dregs of society.
A shelter is not an stranger of an idea to me - my family and I went to a shelter here in Florida during one of our hurricanes last year. Granted, it was a much smaller affair, but we did spend two nights and three days in the shelter. We carried with us drinks and non-perishable foods to sustain more than our family of four for the time period, and we cleaned up after ourselves. We made sure to use provided facilities for trash, but we also used some of the plastic grocery type bags we had to take care of our own trash. When we left the shelter, aside from light vacuuming, the auditorium where we slept with about 30 other families was clean and picked up - my husband and I, along with our children tried to be sure of it. Why make a bad situation worse?
I'm closing here with a link to a posting by an active duty USAF Pilot who works in the Pentagon. This is on the message board at Hurricane City and the last seven paragraphs he goes into great detail as to why a relief effort in this situation is taking several days to coordinate.
Update: The link posted above has been removed, and the author, unfortunately, did not keep a copy of his writings. But a quick summarization is that things were in place before the storm, but you cannot move ships into harms way in the gulf where there is a hurricane (which at one time had winds of 175mph). Also, many planes, helicopters, etc. had to be moved away from the area initially to protect them from damaging winds. But supplies were actually moved into staging areas before impact. Once the hurricane had passed, emphasis had to be on saving lives first. Food/water drops were not practical, because while they can be pinpointed fairly well, they might very well end up landing a mile away from those who needed them and with so much area under water, then you'd have more people exposing themselves to disease, drowning, and critters trying to get to them. Also, as people were sniping at helicopters, what would they have done on the ground where there was an unsecured food drop? If they had been able to get to it, you'd have probably had rioting and murder.