Hurricane Accountability

Take a look at this excellent post from Rhodent, full of first-hand hurricane experience. Lots of good points there.

But I’m going to disagree with two ;-)

First, I think that we’ve seen colossal failures at all levels of government. Congress should have appropriated the money to strengthen the levees years ago, when New Orleans officials first asked for it. The local authorities should have provided transportation out for people. The federal authorities should have been better positioned to help, and should have had more people on the ground (or at least dropping food from the air) sooner. There’s no excuse for the feds saying they can’t get food in when private groups could, or for saying they didn’t know anybody was in the convention center when it had been on the news for days. There’s also no excuse for the Louisiana emergency management services relying on cellphones for communication in a disaster.

Second, I think she’s right to say that the “blame game” (fingerpointing) is terrible. But I think that accountability is vital. The disaster is still in progress and lives are still at stake. If relief efforts are being so poorly managed that they are endangering people or prolonging suffering, then we need to remove these poor managers and replace them with good ones immediately. This *is* the time to see if the government is responding well and to do something about it if not. Not 6 months later when it won’t make as much difference to victims of the current disaster. When you see a problem, you should respond to it.

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