I have said this before, but it bears repeating. I am not about to allocate responsibility to any individual; anyone who has viewed a variety of news coverage is capable of reaching conclusions about what went wrong and who may have made mistakes. I will say that I think government, on each and every level, failed to appreciate the seriousness of the threat in advance and was slow to respond after the fact. I also think that the American people deserve an accounting after the situation has been stabilized and ameliorated.
It has become painfully and amply apparent that the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency may not be able, for whatever reasons, to respond to an unexpected disaster in a timely fashion. Coordination between federal, state and local officials must be more effective in future.
Cities all over our land are quite possibly in danger of failing to adequately prepare for a disaster of the proportions of Hurricane Katrina. If, for example, a small nuclear device were to be set off in the city of Rochester (unlikely, but ...), I much doubt that our city planners have in place a protocol to deal effectively with the devastation that would result. At no time, to our knowledge, have city or county officials told our population what we must do should such a tragedy eventuate. There are, so far as we are aware, no plans for evacuation of the region should such become necessary. There is an emergency plan for evacuation in place, courtesy of our local nuclear power station, but this plan covers only a 10-mile radius, or Emergency Planning Zone, around the plant itself, and does not contemplate that people might have to leave the county. This does not cause us to sleep better at night.
Do you have any inkling of what you should do if a situation comparable to the aftermath of Katrina were to suddenly occur in your vicinity? Are you confident that local, state or federal governments would respond rapidly and effectively to help people in need - people who might, tragically, include you and your family?
It is high time that politicians remember for whom they work, and begin to treat average American citizens with the respect that we deserve and expect. If they do not, remember that your vote still counts for something.