phoenix_born pointed this out in her blog: “Hurricane Katrina – Our Experiences” written by Larry Bradshaw and Lorrie Beth Slonsky.
It needs to be read and passed on. The sort of corruption and cavalier disregard for suffering exhibited by the official relief effort cannot and should not be tolerated.
About the authors: Bradshaw and Slonsky are paramedics from California that were attending the EMS conference in New Orleans. Larry Bradshaw is the chief shop steward, Paramedic Chapter, SEIU Local 790; and Lorrie Beth Slonsky is steward, Paramedic Chapter, SEIU Local 790 and Editor of the Gurney Gazette [California].
“Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the Walgreen’s store at the corner of Royal and Iberville streets remained locked. The dairy display case was clearly visible through the widows. It was now 48 hours without electricity, running water, plumbing. The milk, yogurt, and cheeses were beginning to spoil in the 90-degree heat. The owners and managers had locked up the food, water, pampers, and prescriptions and fled the City. Outside Walgreen’s windows, residents and tourists grew increasingly thirsty and hungry.
“The much-promised federal, state and local aid never materialized and the windows at Walgreen’s gave way to the looters. There was an alternative. The cops could have broken one small window and distributed the nuts, fruit juices, and bottle water in an organized and systematic manner. But they did not. Instead they spent hours playing cat and mouse, temporarily chasing away the looters.”
Read the whole thing. Spread the word.
That’s inexcusable behaviour on the part of the authorities…
From Dreamwind the critter
On Christmas Eve in 1974, Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin in the Northern Territory. The authorities had thought that the cyclone would hit an unpopulated part of the coast, and by the time it was clear that Darwin was in the path, it was too late to evacuate anyone.
That part of Australia isn’t hugely populated, and doesn’t have the geography that made Katrina so devastating (building a city on a plain below sea level is asking for trouble). And Tracy wasn’t as powerful as Katrina. Even so, it was a catastrophe, and Darwin was completely flattened. And by completely flattened, there were about 5 buildings left standing when the wind stopped blowing.
Bear in mind that this is before the days of mobile phones and internets. Within hours of the storm abating, relief operations (completely unplanned for) were underway, and soldiers were deployed to keep the peace and set up emergency accomodation within 24 hours. Looting was minimal, and to the best of my knowledge no one was murdered or raped in the aftermath.
It makes me wonder – did ANYBODY really care what happened to all those people? If nothing else, there was plenty of time to do more evacuating than occurred. And not opening the shops to let people get to food and water… that was appalling.
and on a lighter note – please submit something to Critters soon! I need something good to crit! I’m sick of being nice to people who don’t know grammar!