By law, the state and local government take precedence in an emergency, the federal government cannot take over anything without their express request and consent.
The federal government helps the states plan for the immediate reaction to an emergency, they all know FEMA may not be able to respond for 72 hours. The Democrats in New Orleans failed miserably. The Republicans in Mississippi fared much better despite the fact that the storm hit MS much harder because they followed the plan.
FEMA was ditributing food, water and ice in both states less than 24 hours after the storm hit, far ahead of schedule.
So why all the deaths? I don't get it.
The deaths came because the state and city failed in their responsibilities to evacuate people and to conduct rescue operations in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.
Yes, the situation in New Orleans was terrible and the city's response was lacking. However, dealing with disasters that overwhelm local and state governments is the very reason for FEMA's existence. The deaths in New Orleans occurred for a lot of reasons and putting aside the problems with the federal response goes beyond what even Bush himself said.
What did Bush say, Ken?
Pretty quickly after Katrina he admitted there were "serious problems in response capability at all levels of government.” I'm waiting to see what his memoirs say.
The problems with the FEMA response were in housing victims after the incident and and getting supplies to isolated or inland areas. The deaths occured immediately after the disaster because the state and local government failed. The FEMA response was the same for New Orleans and Mississippi, the vast majority of deaths that occured due to lack of response occured in New Orleans.
Thanks, Ken and Ted, for explaining.
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