Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How to Manage Disaster Relief

Here in California as many as half a million people have fled their homes as wildfires advance. The disaster is spread over multiple counties and cities in Southern California.

Have you heard Governor Schwarzenegger wringing his hands and blaming the President for not sending in the National Guard and FEMA? Nope. He's handling the disaster like most responsible governors would. He called in the National Guard -- because that's the Governor's responsibility, not the President's.

Funny thing, I bet you won't hear anyone in the mainstream media mention that this week.

Compare the scene at Qualcomm Stadium with the Super Dome (click on subject link). State governments never know when hurricanes or massive wildfires will hit, you just know they will, and you're supposed to plan for it and take care of your state's citizens. 10,000 people are being safely fed and housed at Qualcomm, with the National Guard and police standing watch. No one's screaming to the media that FEMA hasn't shown up to handle it.

A 90-year-old evacuee said, "Everyone's so friendly. I guess it's making us all feel secure at a time when we all feel so insecure."

The words of one evacuee about his personal situation could also be used to describe how governors deal with emergencies: "You can deal with it, or you can whine about it."

California chose to deal with it -- as the state has during past disasters -- and the difference from Louisiana is stark.

Update: The latest figures I've heard on TV this evening -- which I have not yet been able to verify elsewhere -- are one million evacuated and 20,000 at Qualcomm Stadium. It's said to be the biggest evacuation in California history.

The weather and air in Orange County today can only be described as nasty. It was extremely hot -- nearly 100 -- and the air quality is terrible. People who have to work outdoors, like our mail carrier, are often seen wearing masks. P.E. and sports are cancelled. The Trojans practiced at USC -- scroll down to see the eery photos at Trojan Ticker -- but then complained of breathing troubles and sore throats.


Blogger windycorner said...

California knows how to take care of it's own. Florida does, too. Guess Louisiana has had too many years of corrupt government. Hope you and yours are safe and sound.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you very much. :) Other than breathing the foul air, we're fine and in no danger.

Best wishes,

9:27 AM  
Blogger jau said...

I'm sure that someone in the MSM will pick it up one of these days and they'll start muttering about how Californians aren't black or poor, so that's why it was different. The facts of how it's being handled - and I'm so glad to see it's being done well!! - will be either ignored or treated as irrelevant, I'm afraid. It's no fun unless it's terrible and it's Bush's fault.

3:21 PM  
Blogger The Whited Sepulchre said...

Laura The Muser,
I'll be linking something to your excellent post in a few minutes, but I want to bring your attention to something else....Go to the comments at the bottom of the L.A. Times article that you linked with the phrase "half a million". I don't know which comments are always listed first, but people are already trying to blame this on global warming. Then next commenter wonders how many developers are going to prosper as the result of this. I can't imagine what it's like to see the world through that pair of glasses.
-Allen in Fort Worth

6:06 PM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

Thanks for keeping the posts coming- your blogging buddies (including myself of course) keep checking your blog to make sure you guys are safe. I'm glad you are OK.
(I'm even more glad there's no Nagin or Blanco in your state's leadership too :)

7:09 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks so much to all of you for your inquiries and good wishes!

Allen, thanks very much for pointing out that comment. It does boggle the mind.

Best wishes, Laura

7:41 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Well, if global warming wasn't the cause, no doubt the next reasonable point of blame would be Bush. After all, everything else is aparently his fault...

7:46 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

How are you doing out in your neighborhood, Dana? Very smoky?

Take care,

8:24 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Lots of smoke and ash and the wind is kicking up again, but so far a-okay. Thanks for asking.

8:43 PM  

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