Location: atlanta, Georgia, United States

I'm a carbon based lifeform. I was born at a very early age. Mine is a story of lies, power, sex, and deception. without much power or sex...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Katrina - New Orleans... A Cluster Smurf

Like many people I've been wondering how things were handled so badly in New Orleans before and after Katrina. I've been listening to the news and the stories coming out of New Orleans, trying to find the answer. WHO was it that smurfed up... It seems the answer is... EVERYONE!

  7. FEMA

I thought I'd spend a post on each one of these. Most of the time I try to stick to the light hearted and humorous side of life...But sometimes, a thing cannot and should not be ignored. Let's all learn from this. Today, I focus on the residents of New Orleans.

The Residents Of New Orleans

I grew up in Florida and I've been in many hurricanes - and some very strong hurricanes at that. It seemed common sense to us, when a hurricane was likely to hit your area, and you lived on the beach or near the water, you evacuated. When the warning came to evacuate, quite simply, we did... The residents of New Orleans were not only warned that a category five hurricane was going to hit, and not only were they warned that the hurricane could drive water over the levees, but they were ORDERED to evacuate and nearly one million residents did evacuate.

Mayor Ray Nagin declared a state of emergency and ordered a MANDATORY evacuation. By law the residents were REQUIRED to evacuate, and those who chose not to actually broke the law. This law can be used by police and emergency services to force people to evacuate.

Most of the residents of New Orleans who drowned or were stranded by the flood Katrina caused, actually CHOSE to stay. They CHOSE not to evacuate. I didn't know that until I watched Spike Lee's documentary

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.

MANY of these people couldn't even swim... The worst damage from a hurricane usually comes from the tidal surge which floods the land and drags things back out to see... With all due respect, and honest sympathy, the residents of New Orleans MUST take some responsibility for what happened to them if they refused to evacuate.

If you are legally walking along a sidewalk and you see a car heading for you at high speed you're likely to jump out of it's way. Driven by the instinct for survival. You would NOT decide to stay on the sidewalk because you had the right to be there and the car did not. You would NOT stay there because you had been standing there for several minutes and you didn't feel you should be required to move. You would NOT stay there thinking "if this goes badly, someone will rescue me."

People did have warning. Many of those stranded DID have transportation. Many simply CHOSE to stay.

I do realize there were SOME people who could NOT get themselves out of the city. Such as the elderly who lived alone... I am not referring to people such as these, people who could NOT evacuate. I am speaking only of those who could, but for some reason chose not to...

The choices we make today, dictate the lives we live tomorrow...


Blogger lauritajuanitasanchez said...

glad you're back

12:44 PM  
Blogger schaumi said...

there you are.. glad to see you blogging again.

..yes, many people did not have the ability to evacuate. and I could never understand how people could make the choice to stay even though they could have gotten out.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Behind Blue Eyes said...

Thanx for stopping by my blog! I heard that most of them did not have transportation. So this isn't true? But anyway,I get tired of this whole victim focus. I don't mean to sound cold and I know that some were victims. But that isn't my point. It is simply conter-productive to keep bringing it up. We live in a country where people are just not tolerant towards that kind of thinking. Whether they are right or wrong is not for me to say. People are always willing to help but only for so long. At some point they get tired of it it especially if they think that you are not doing anything to help yourself. People also don't like to feel maniputalated by their emotions and I think that may people feel that this is what is happening. Again it is counter-productive to deal with this situation this way. It's all a matter of perspective of course but it is pragmatic to realize all of this when you are dealing with a situation.

7:45 AM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

nice to see your blog back. i am a native floridian and have seen a hurricane or two. what strikes me is the notion of victimhood ...and its very narrow definition. on i-75 south between tampa and naples you will see people housed in fema trailers,still. fly into the east coast florida and you will still find blue tarps on the rooftops in orlando and the coast. then theres the midwest busted up by tornados, floods in north midwest, fires out west.......

look at any disaster and *something* couldve been handled better. its not new, its not racist, its not a conspiracy is the imperfect realm known as life.


9:14 AM  
Blogger Miranda said...

Hi, thanks for dropping by my blog. Have a nice start here. I was suppose to go to New orleans last year on this day exactly. The plan was to meet my g/f in Texas and fly to New Orleans the same day. But we that changed for obvious reasons. So we decided to stay in Texas and then Rita came.

I usually go to Texas every fall, but not this year. Lol why do people live there?

9:27 AM  
Blogger J R Estelle said...

Hey Doc-T, thanks for stopping by my blog. You asked what I liked, in what terms are you referring? Physically?, because I think I have the emotional/mental part covered.

But if I have to answer now, I prefer more on the "femme" side, if we need labels, non-smoker(this is a MUST), social drinker is ok. You know, i don't know, I can't tell until i meet someone.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Kira said...

Sometimes people like to believe that the situation is overexaggerated, and that the end result will be not so bad. It's called, "I would like to dream that it's going to be okay!" I can't even imagine the shock of waking up and realizing it was WORSE than the folks predicted.

My fondest hope is that next time there is a hurricane warning like that just about anywhere in the US, folks will take it seriously even if they really HOPE it will be fine.

3:01 PM  
Blogger Sunny Delight said...

Found you through fiona's blog, you have made some very good points. I wondered at the time why many stayed, the options were there for them to leave. I have not seen the documentary, hope to soon...

The thing that really 'gets' me, is there are many evacuees (late ones that stayed until it was too late) still living here in my hometown, I have spent some time with them...what makes me even after all this time, they are still living as victims...I realize all are not, but many are, and I keep looking for that tenacity, that something to come into their being, that makes them move on..get their lives back together, instead of living in the past.

5:56 PM  
Blogger skinnylittleblonde said...

Ancient Chinese Proverb that hangs on the wall where I take kick-boxing reads
'Those Who Fail To Prepare, Prepare to Fail.'

I have no personal qualms with the individuals who chose to stay or who chose a lifestyle that allowed them NOT to evacuate.

Growing up in Fla & in fact, living in Pass Christian (devastated by Camille in Aug of 69 & again by Katrina)...we evacuated for many hurricanes.

Since I was kid I always heard that you Should Never Fool With Mother Nature!

Great Post...Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

ps - thanks for visiting mine, which I am sure prepared you for my rambling tendencies!

6:05 PM  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

In retrospect, your blog does have merit. However, I will not blame those who chose to say, ignorant as it might have been. Some people just can't leave, especially old people or those with psychological traumas. I am limited on my knowledge of this, but it seems that the transportation did not make any adjustments other than the standard legal ones for disabilities. Yes, that's all that was required legally, but it clearly didn't work in perspective. Most of the people who stayed were poor and African American; they've had little reason to trust government before. Their skepticism was impratical and costly, but not without logic.

8:28 AM  
Blogger velvet acid explosion said...

i do find the notion of victimhood somewhat BORING. ie - even victims need to take responsibility for their own actions.

that said, its hard to fault any individual who chose to remain at home. fine and good for us to sit here, in the comfort of our own office/home and judge such people, but what would any of us do?

for many home is that santuary which encompasses life. hard to just walk away from it, without making some noble, albeit in retrospect foolish, attempt at salvaging their homes.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Lady Lux said...

echo on Kira...I think it is universal tendency for people to ignore won't happen to me...

Natural calamity is asmuch a part of a Pinoys life where I'm at...the most recent was the eruption of a famous volcano...villagers living at its foot where continously warned and finally dragged...police power was at the hilt...but there were those have totally lost their senses who wouldn't budge....some of those evacuated went back...what's a little smoke and a few raining ashes gave a pretty show at night...then suddenly the pretty show decides to get ugly...

I was actually disbelief as I watched everything on how could this happen in the United States?...It's like..unthinkable..but then people are people...are people...all over the world...I just wish people and people and people would finally learn a lesson or two...we can't beat nature.

great post

ps: no time to' apologies if something si spelled amiss..

10:19 PM  

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