But experts say when natural disasters strike, it is the primary responsibility of state and local governments - not the federal government - to respond.Huh. I reckon that makes me an "expert," huh? Nevermind that. Let's talk about who should have done their jobs, and who decided to blame it on someone else.
As one FEMA official told ABC News, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco failed to submit a request for help in a timely manner.Oops. Looks like the Feds think it's the Governor's problem.
One aide to the governor told ABC News today Blanco thought city officials were taking care of the evacuation.Oops. Looks like the Guv thought it was a local government problem.
"If the city and the state are stumbling or in over their head, then it's FEMA's [Federal Emergency Management Agency's] responsibility to show some leadership," said Jerry Hauer, director of public health preparedness at the Department of Health and Human Services.Oops. Looks like one federal agency is blaming another federal agency.
Whatever. I've said it before, now I'll let ABC news say it again:
New Orleans' own comprehensive emergency plan raises the specter of "having large numbers of people … stranded" and promises "the city … will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas."Tag, Ray Nagin. You're IT.
"Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves," the plan states.
When Hurricane Katrina hit, however, that plan was not followed completely.
Instead of sending city buses to evacuate those who could not make it out on their own, people in New Orleans were told to go to the Superdome and the Convention Center, where no one provided sufficient sustenance or security.