September 18 2005

Katrina Sundays

Until further notice, Sunday’s will be “Hurricane Katrina Catch Up Day”. Why? Because I think we will be making a huge mistake if we forget the lessons this event has taught us. It will be like bullet points discussing various stories about the hurricane from the previous week.

Jockeying Over Return to Big Easy Ongoing – This story talks about Mayor Nagin’s plan to start bringing back 180,000 of the residents bck into the city over the next week and a half. However, the head of the fedearal disaster relief, Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen, says this is a bad idea for a number of reasons. Lack of potable water, no electricity in most sections, toxic sludge, no phones with 911 service and so on. And this is not only the Vice-Admiral saying it is too early. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also saying the city is not yet safe to return to.

I have to go with the Vice Admiral on this one. I think the mayor has the right idea in letting business owners back in to start working on rebuilding their stores, but those have to be ready before you let the population back in. I understand the Mayor’s desire to get people back to their homes, but the city is still a hazardous place, just allow a little more clean up time. Allow the resturants to reopen, the stores to restock, you can’t just plop people down with no support. Never mind the hospitals, which leads us to…

New Orleans’ Health System Faces Crisis – Joe Cappiello, vice president of the national hospital accreditation organization, said “Essentially the health care infrastructure of New Orleans is gone ? it no longer exists”. He also said some hospitals were damaged beyond repair and he feared others would try to rush back in to service too fast. With the national shortage of nurses, he also feared other cities would snap up the nurses who are currently without paychecks.

Short one this time as I just got this idea today. Hopefully, future ones will be longer.

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