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View Poll Results: Why Chaos in the wake of Katrina?
I blame the State and Federal Government and their lack of planning 10 15.38%
Irresponsiblity of the citizens who failed to evacuate 10 15.38%
The underbelly of American culture reacting under pressure 11 16.92%
Resources stretched too thin by war in Iraq 7 10.77%
The magnitude of the crisis is just too much for anyone 27 41.54%
Voters: 65. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #1  
Old Sep 2, '05, 1:15 pm
HelpingHands HelpingHands is offline
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Default Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

This is an opinion poll on the disaster in New Orleans. Why such chaos?
  #2  
Old Sep 2, '05, 1:27 pm
geezerbob geezerbob is offline
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

My partial assessment is in post 14 on this thread:

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=72720
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  #3  
Old Sep 2, '05, 1:46 pm
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

People in the region are completely overwhelmed, hungry, thirsty, homeless, and growing desperate. Pointing the finger at someone else means you have less energy to devote to finding solutions to the immense challenges of the situation, IMHO.
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  #4  
Old Sep 2, '05, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by geezerbob
My partial assessment is in post 14 on this thread:

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=72720
Good assessment I'd say.
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  #5  
Old Sep 2, '05, 1:50 pm
Mt19:26 Mt19:26 is offline
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

I didn't vote because I think it's a combination of a few of the options. I think planning for relief from a hurricane of that magnitude was severely lacking especially after it was known that New Orleans could not survive a catagory three or higher storm. I also think there was some negligence by the fact that nothing was done to help prepare the city for a severe huricane.
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Old Sep 2, '05, 1:55 pm
felra felra is offline
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

The Governor in her AM TV interview indicated that the looters were drug addicts and people "out of their mind".

In a simplistic analysis, I think that each person has within them some proportion of "the good, the bad, and the augly"; and when push comes to shove, in absence of a strong value foundation and/or prior experience of managing acute stress/trauma, folks are vulnerable (or predisposed in character) for the the bad and the augly to take front stage when one's actual or perceived survival in on the line.
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  #7  
Old Sep 2, '05, 1:56 pm
Fitz Fitz is offline
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

The magnitude of the crisis is greater than anything we have ever experienced in our country.
  #8  
Old Sep 2, '05, 2:16 pm
Peace-bwu Peace-bwu is offline
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

I believe there are many reasons and will begin from top to bottom, though this is an early personal analysis and I am sure that more complete reasons will present themselves later upon professional analysis.

# 1. The Community.

A. evacuation attitude:

I lived in the Gulf Coast community and they deal with hurricanes as a way of life. I only lived near Pensacola, FL for 5 years and my first hurricane was Opal, so it was rather large and the eye went over us. We were not able to leave because the roads were too packed to move, so had to wait it out in our little apartment. Even after that experience, after years of hurricane evacuation, the work it takes to prepare and the headache and expense of evacuation gets really old. Most long time residents only evacuate for the truly large hurricanes. We had very moderate funds for hurricane evacuations.

B. income:

In any disaster, the poorest face the hardest impact. because
** They are less likely to have adequate insurance
** resources for evacuation.. transportation, money for a hotel,
*** less durable homes in lower lying areas
*** more likely to live in a neighborhood with less information

Often people who have a lower income, are in that postition for health reasons, mental and physical, making it difficult to help themselves.

C. Community leadership

Immediate success depends upon how well a community is able to work together to help one another, this sets the tone while waiting for outside emergency response.

****Are the stong willing to sacrifice to help the weak?
**** Are a few strong personalities who mean well able to rise above and be leaders in order to prevent chaos and panic?

New Orleans faced some unique factors.

# 1. It is a gulf coast / hurricane commuinty, so they are accustomed to smaller hurricanes. Large hurricanes rarely hit N.O because of their location on the gulf, because of this hurricane parties are a part of the culture... they have a drink named "hurricane!"

# 2. Lower income people tend to live in inner city neighborhoods, whereas the wealthier often live in the safer, less congested, more pleasant suburbs. New Orleans is basically a below sea level inner city island. There is much tourism and businesses but the residents of inner city N.O, the citizens who live in "the bowl" are mostly low to middle income people and N.O is also a largely African American population, of all income levels.

#3. There is generally a huge population of tourists, staying in hotels, B&B and time-shares. Many do not need to rent cars but rely on public transportation and walk.

all of this lends itself to a very difficult evacuation situation. ***Tourists may not be familiar with hurricane danger, they may not have transportation out of teh city to the airport, and nobody wants to cut their vacation short if they don't have to!

*** Low income residents and people with health problems have a difficult time evacuating. Many who didn't have the means to evacuate, went to the Superdome or Convention Center.


This is the point where I think the local and state government failed to provide for New Orleans citizens and tourists. There should have been public transportation in place to transport people out of the city before the hurricane. All shelters should have been supplied with enough water and MRE's to support residents for at least three days.

It should have been mandatory that the state guard have troops, even from surrounding states, immediately placed in N.O after the hurricane to prevent chaos and maintain order. There should have been no tolerance for violent or unlawful behavior.

The levee system was only built to withstand a level 3 hurricane. apparently improvements were in the works, but they were years away. Too late.
  #9  
Old Sep 2, '05, 2:17 pm
Peace-bwu Peace-bwu is offline
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

People were told to evacuate but many were too poor and relied on public transportation, which failed them this time. Enough stayed to have fun committing crime, that they caused problems for everyone else.

When the floods began the first priority went to rescuing those people in immediate danger. This portion of the operation went amazingly well. The coast guard and other emergency workers did an unbelievable and heroic job rescuing people. They had nowhere to take them except highter ground to be rescued by others.

This is where everything went wrong. As soon as the floods began, there should have been an evacuation of the Superdome to the astrodome in TX. This would give them a chance to bring in emergency workers to set up the superdome as an emergency center. The lack of early evacuation of the Superdome allowed for a large mob mentality.

FEMA is set up to provide Emergency government aid. The first response is generally done by local and state law enforcement. The New Orleans community and LA. itself was not prepared for a large hurricane. I don't blame the federal government for this. They must go by the desires of the state government until it is clear they aren't handling the situation.

The lack of adequate immediate state and local response allowed the situation to compound out of control before the Fed govt. had time to step in and help. Because of this the federal govt must solve even bigger problems.

The state and local inability to send in adequate number of troops left cops who are overworked and unable to do get total control. This allowed lawless crime to hinder aid to the thousands of innocent citizens.

Typically the state and local system is able to get things under some sort of control for a few days before federal govt. can step in and help further.

That said, I think the Fed Govt. took all the steps they normally take in a hurricane situation, we just tend to see a highly functional state of Florida handling the emergency before the fed. govt is able to step in. Florida faces more hurricanes and greater damage than New Orleans historically, so Florida hurricane emergency response reacts like a fine oiled machine out of necessity. In this the case of New Orleans I wish the Fed govt had stepped up the pace to make sure the local officials were doing an adequate job of providing food and water for a few days before the feds could get there. I wish that the fed govt. could have air dropped supplies and troops before crime took over and a few violent people were shooting at helicopters and boats trying to provide aid.
  #10  
Old Sep 2, '05, 2:19 pm
manualman manualman is offline
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

Definate combination of things.

1. HUGE disaster. The swath of destruction is enormous!
2. Late surprise. Everbody thought that NO had survived the storm pretty well and had begun to focus on the apparently harder hit eastern areas when the levees failed. That hopelessly the logistical arrangements for getting relief to the city.
3. Poor local preparedness. Why build a super shelter like the Superdome and NOT give it an independent water supply and passive ventilation options?
4. Demographics. Nobody thought of the fact that the do-it-yourself evacuation plan would maroon the poorest and most desperate folks in an unpopulated town full of wealth. (See #3, above).
5. Nobody ever expected relief teams to be shot at, looted and otherwise hindered by mobs.
6. Poor individual preparedness. If YOU were warned two days in advance that potential doomsday was coming, wouldn't you have filled up every bottle and jug you owned with drinking water and hoarded some food? Not enough people did.
7. Americans are spoiled. Not just THEM. I honestly believe that this behavior would happen durn near anywhere in America today in similar circumstances. We are a nation of people who see clean water, sanitation, food and shelter as RIGHTS that somebody is obliged to provide us. When disaster strikes people perceive that their RIGHTS have been violated and that some person or group is to blame. Thus the resentment and hostility to the rescuers instead of joy.
  #11  
Old Sep 2, '05, 2:39 pm
Peace-bwu Peace-bwu is offline
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by manualman
Definate combination of things.

1. HUGE disaster. The swath of destruction is enormous!
2. Late surprise. Everbody thought that NO had survived the storm pretty well and had begun to focus on the apparently harder hit eastern areas when the levees failed. That hopelessly the logistical arrangements for getting relief to the city.
3. Poor local preparedness. Why build a super shelter like the Superdome and NOT give it an independent water supply and passive ventilation options?
4. Demographics. Nobody thought of the fact that the do-it-yourself evacuation plan would maroon the poorest and most desperate folks in an unpopulated town full of wealth. (See #3, above).
5. Nobody ever expected relief teams to be shot at, looted and otherwise hindered by mobs.
6. Poor individual preparedness. If YOU were warned two days in advance that potential doomsday was coming, wouldn't you have filled up every bottle and jug you owned with drinking water and hoarded some food? Not enough people did.
Great analysis, and much more concise than mine.. I'm wordy!


Quote:
7. Americans are spoiled. Not just THEM. I honestly believe that this behavior would happen durn near anywhere in America today in similar circumstances. We are a nation of people who see clean water, sanitation, food and shelter as RIGHTS that somebody is obliged to provide us. When disaster strikes people perceive that their RIGHTS have been violated and that some person or group is to blame. Thus the resentment and hostility to the rescuers instead of joy.
You are right on the money with this. I also think that this is even more true for city folk. Rural people ( my part of the world) are very good at doing physical things for themselves. As my dad said, if he were in that situation he would have taken as much water and food as he could get and go on a hiking trip outta New Orleans ASAP. This would have especially worked for him because he always uses hiking backpacks, never suitcases, and he lives on GORP and water for weeks at a time while camping. He also built our house with his own two hands when I was a kid.
  #12  
Old Sep 2, '05, 2:47 pm
Fitz Fitz is offline
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peace-bwu

You are right on the money with this. I also think that this is even more true for city folk. Rural people ( my part of the world) are very good at doing physical things for themselves. As my dad said, if he were in that situation he would have taken as much water and food as he could get and go on a hiking trip outta New Orleans ASAP. This would have especially worked for him because he always uses hiking backpacks, never suitcases, and he lives on GORP and water for weeks at a time while camping. He also built our house with his own two hands when I was a kid.
You have brought up a good point. We have lost some of our survival skills in this country.
  #13  
Old Sep 2, '05, 2:57 pm
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

Some great thinking on this thread. I will add only that hurricanes are chaotic systems; while some predictions can be made, others may not.

Some important considerations are that the levees broke after the hurricane and in places which were not predicted. People having derived a sense of false confidence from surviving the storm, then were caught off guard with a devastating blow which did more to erode their confidence than if they had been pummelled from the start.

The communications equipment failed, thus making policing, rescue, care, leadership and group synergy almost impossible under the best of conditions.

The best of conditions turned into the worst of conditions due to the unstable geology, treacherous streetscape, and the drug-addiction cycle tuned to go nutty at the end of the month when the cheques come in.

This last point is worthy of further comment. During the blackout of a coupla years back, our crack addicts up here helped hand out food, helped the elderly cross streets, directed traffic. Go figure. I've been wondering what the difference could be. I think it is the time of month. Our addicts always act more desperate around the time the cheques come in.
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  #14  
Old Sep 2, '05, 3:01 pm
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

And scraping the bottom of the barrel today was a spokesman for the NAACP who actually looked straight into the camera and said that the rescue operation was going so slowly because most of the people to be rescued are black not white.

He didn't do that organization any good today IMO. Sheesh!
  #15  
Old Sep 2, '05, 3:38 pm
MJE MJE is offline
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Default Re: Why Utter Chaos in New Orleans? Your Opinion?

I didn't vote because I think the lack of preparedness and leadership on the local level has been astonishing. That foul mouthed mayor of NO should go to the Rudy school of leadership.
 

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