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Hurricane Katrina Miscommunications

Updated on June 4, 2010

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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    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      God bless you dear Peggy.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      So very, very sad! No more need be said.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      God bless you Karen! I appreciate your kind heart.

    • Karen Russell profile image

      Karen Russell 7 years ago

      Michael, thank you very much for this hub. This was very emotionally traumatic for me, I am still concerned about the aftermath of the families who've lost so much from this awful tragedy, but more so for the children who were split up from their families during this horrible storm, God bless humanity, we really need his support now...thanks again Michael...

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Thank you for the added words. I have no idea why some "hubs of truth" are not "viewed" and commented on. All hubs cannot be pretty and sweet and dainty. All hubs cannot tickle the funny bones. I have to mix so much fructose into my hubs so that people won't walk on by my every hub.

      So many of our "so-called leaders" should be drawn and quartered. My God let the punishment fit the flipping flopping crime. Most of our leaders are CRIMINALS! Sorry my language got so rough there.

    • MFB III profile image

      MFB III 7 years ago from United States

      "Sad Callings From N'awlins."

      How many lips begged

      salvation over cell phones,

      as flood tides engulfed them

      With Katrina's kiss of death?

      How many hundreds of mouths

      stretched with pursed lips,

      above the filthy waters,

      sucking life from bubbles of air

      in attics, and crawlspaces

      all across New Orleans?

      How many souls were trapped,

      strapped, bedridden,

      or wheelchair bound,

      as the liquid death

      crept up over their chins,

      eyes wide with terror,

      and new found hopelessness?

      How many toddlers climbed

      in terror up their mothers bodies

      like trees to escape the flood,

      as babies were held high

      until the last possible seconds.

      Can you still see them all now,

      in the corners of your minds,

      where darkest thoughts are

      pushed aside, to preserve sanity?

      Many lingered from Monday

      till Friday, calling on phones

      or in loud voices for help

      till gurgles silenced their pleas.

      Many more unfortunate folks

      on rooftops, listened to neighbors

      begging for rescue, though unable

      to swim, to free them from attic prisons.

      Sons listened to their mothers

      calling them daily to ask if help

      would come, and then reassured them

      it would, but then Mom's drowned days later.

      Where were all of the infrared scanners,

      and the heat sensors and goggles,

      as well as the many listening

      devices that can pick up

      even the tiniest voices

      through walls and rooftops?

      Where were all the seaplanes

      and massive transport vessels,

      and troop carriers in the form

      of copters, and trucks, and swamp buggies?

      Where were any, and all available boats

      including the Navy and Coast Guard ships,

      all launching, dinghies and rescue craft?

      All those Lifeboats filled

      with dedicated sailors bringing axes,

      and chain saws to the locations not flooded yet,

      where people were trapped,

      and then joyously discovered

      by our vast technologies listed above.

      Why was our president and Vice president

      both forced to leave vacations,

      well after the catastrophe had struck?

      Why weren't Governors, and Mayors

      screaming insanely for federal help

      and evacuation before Monday?

      Why would any organization have

      to wait for permission to save people?

      Why did Fema's Mike Brown,

      now relieved from his post, but not fired,

      tell the scrambling rescue crews

      to take two days to get there?

      Where was the safety promised us

      in the 2004 election,

      under the bent,and now badly broken

      umbrella of Homeland Security?

      So many of these questions

      fall on waterlogged ears,

      deafened by false promises

      and drowned dreams.

      The evidence of all of this

      chaos lies scattered in

      the form of many, many bodies

      still rotting in the streets

      and houses, nine days old,

      and not yet recovered.

      Where was the manpower to

      retrieve these bodies before they

      became unidentifiable to both

      their loved ones and the coroners?

      Are we truly that short on help

      in this country? Do we have to

      fight over who is in charge

      before things are done to save lives?

      I am sure many of the Americans

      who were tagged as refuges

      would be happy to be PAID to

      rebuild their homes and businesses,

      using local, state, and federal aid.

      Let the thousands who have

      no jobs find one in the reclaiming

      of New Orleans.

      Mix much of that massive debris

      that inundates the city

      with concrete, and steel girders

      and build insurmountable levees,

      that will withstand Class five or higher storms,

      and also survive, incompetent government allocations,

      of badly needed repair funds.

      Ask the bravest, and the strongest

      stomached souls among the displaced

      to return and be paid a good wage,

      to help recover the dead.

      Dead who for too long now

      have lain in despairing, and

      disrespectful arrays all over

      the southern part of one

      of our great states.

      Start pointing fingers at those

      who failed to get this right

      and REMOVE THEM...DISPLACE them.

      Let them find new work

      doing the common labor that needed

      to be started nine days ago.

      Silence the Barbara Bushes

      who think these poor folks

      are so much better off now,

      with no homes, no jobs, and

      loved ones perhaps lost forever.

      Our Commander-in-Grief and

      his entire administration

      failed miserably beyond belief.

      They need no assuaging by mothers,

      or loyal to the end, party members.

      Let them take an offensive

      to answer these questions,

      and then do what needs to be

      done nine days late

      as of today and NO dollars short!!

      But hey, what do I know?

      I am just a local artist

      outraged by this tragedy,

      manifested ten times

      more then needed.

      I've never worked with show horses,

      before my appointment

      to handle disasters,

      and I would never have been be caught

      dead relaxing, jogging and riding bikes,

      or lounging in Wyoming

      while people I was sworn,

      and elected to protect

      were drowning in New Orleans.

      Pray for the thousands

      who survived that they will find peace,

      and a much better life in the years to come,

      than the lives they almost lost

      under W.'s and Mike Browns

      most tardy Watch!

      ~~~MFB III- excellent hub mickey!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 8 years ago

      Thanks djsky24. I guess I could have added my opinion at the top but that's really redundant, I suppose. Anyone who "respects" these "leaders" is in the "dark" in more ways than a few. I didn't serve for this type of leadership either. These leaders that are elected and re-elected are slaps in the face. They cheapen the sacrifices we have made and now my grand nephew will make. I resent the sleaze-bags. You have some people criticizing social health-care while stuffing their pockets and then the "health-care" will be milked down to where suffering is tolerable to them.

      Check out by bgamall.

      Now on yahoo news is an article about 5 CEOs who are worth their salary. So the only incentive for working hard and making your company prosper is a reward of million of dollars. So I don't admire "them", Michael Jordan, any athlete, etc. I don't admire people who send people to war. I do admire the men and women who always make the real sacrifices.

    • djsky24 profile image

      djsky24 8 years ago from Colorado

      I believe these quotes say it all. These are just the tip of the iceberg that will sink this titanic country. If a reader can't see it, then I fear the worst. I didn't serve for this type of leadership. Our elected leaders need to take a look at our creed, "...I will always place the mission first.

      I will never accept defeat.

      I will never quit.

      I will never leave a fallen comrade...."