Sunday, December 04, 2005

Governor Blanco of Lousiana - The worst governor to handle a hurricane in history

The governor of Lousiana no doubt handled one of the worst natural disasters that has ever occurred in the United States. We know that the response of the local and the state government were inadequate, and the federal government's own emergency response agency was overwhelmed by the local and state's inadequacy. But what we truly didn't know is why the federal troops arrived so late to Lousiana...until now.

The memos that the governor recently released to Congress clearly shows what factors hindered the rescue effort and in the end helped in killing the thousands of residents in Lousiana:

1. The Fight for Control
Unlike the rest of the governors that federalize troops immediately in emergency disasters, the governor of Lousiana seems to have been inherently more concerned of who looks better on the press; hence, she refused to give command and control to the national military of all the National Guard in the state.

2. Pride Will Be Your Downfall
The amount of pride shown on the side of the Lousiana's governor confuses me. She wants to gain control of the National Guard in the type of disasters she has no experience with. She expects aid from the federal government when she gives no control of the resources. And if the documents are true, there were Democrat Congressmen already planning for a PR push against the Bush administration to blame shift the issue. This was DURING the tragedy. Wow.

3. Lack of Training for Governors
She apparently didn't know all of her options and those around her didn't either. This begs the question, are we electing and promoting officials to the highest offices of the land and not require them to go through Governor's Basics 101?

4. A tip for the governor and other governors
I've helped coordinate aid efforts during Hurricane Charley with charities and also aid programs through my own employer. There's one thing to always remember when you are conducting these types of operations: Have one command and control center, or in layman's terms -- federalize your troops ahead of time so there's no confusion!

I feel absolutely sad for the families that were affected in Katrina. The only thing we can do now is to finance the recovery efforts and hopefully learn for next year's hurricane season.

Just in case the rest of the governors didn't catch it...federalize your troops under one command when there's a natural disaster and let's not help kill anymore civilians through pride.

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