Hurricane Katrina Miscommunications
Gee! I really don't know how to begin or end this. You decide how to end this. You give it your own perspective. I stay, remain, flabbergasted. Our leaders- don't!
Federal Emergency Management Agency
On September 12, 2005, in the wake of what was widely believed to be incompetent handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by state, local and federal officials, Brown resigned, saying that it was "in the best interest of the agency and best interest of the president."
"I must say this storm is much bigger than anyone expected." Fema Director Michael Brown, who'd spent much of his time in New Orleans as the hurricane hit e-mailing colleagues with messages like, "Can I quit now? Can I go home?" and complaining about the unfashionableness of his official FEMA storm attire.
"Considering the dire circumstances that we have in New Orleans, virtually a city that has been destroyed, things are going relatively well." Michael Brown, at a point when thousands who lacked food, water, and medication were packed into the inconceivably squalid convention center or clung to rooftops or huddled on bridges and overpasses as corpses floated in the stinking flood waters.
"We have just learned of the grim situation at the convention center-"we" being the federal government- today". Michael Brown to ABC's Ted Koppel, who asked incredulously, "Don't you guys watch television? Don't you guys listen to the radio? Our reporters have been reporting on it for more than just today."
"Please roll up the sleeves of your shirt... all shirts. Even the president rolled his sleeves to just below the elbow. In this crisis and on TV you just need to look more hard-working...ROLL UP THE SLEEVES!" E-mail from Sharon Worthy to her boss, Michael Brown.
"It's totally wiped out...It's devastating, it's got to be doubly devastating on the ground." George Bush, looking out the window of Air Force One during his flyover of New Orleans.
"I also want to encourage anybody who was affected by Hurricane Corina to make sure their children are in school." Laura Bush, getting the name of "Hurricane Katrina" wrong while speaking to Mississippi parents.
"Louisiana is a city that is largely underwater." Homeland Security head Michael Chertoff.
"Now tell the truth, boys, is this kind of fun?" Texas representative Tom Delay, chatting with three young New Orleans evacuees having the times of their lives resting on cots in Houston's Reliant Park after having lost their homes.
"It looks like a lot of that place could be bulldozed." House Speaker Dennis Hastert arguing against spending money to rebuild New Orleans.
"This wasn't about going to my house. It was about me going to my district." Louisiana representative William Jefferson, trying to justify using National Guard troops to retrieve his laptop and other belongings from his New Orleans home, thus making the troops unavailable for rescuing people clinging to rooftops or huddling in feces-strewn facilities. Two years later he was indicted on sixteen counts of various charges connected with taking as much as a million dollars worth of bribes.
"I mean, you have people who don't heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving." Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum apparently feeling that those whose utter poverty prevented them from any means of escape had not suffered enough.
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