Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

February 1, 2006

Senate hearing highlights Louisiana state failures

Filed under: Preparedness and Response,State and Local HLS — by Christian Beckner on February 1, 2006

The Louisiana state government didn’t acquit itself too well in today’s Senate hearing on Katrina. According to a USA Today story on the hearing:

State Transportation Secretary Johnny Bradberry acknowledged that although the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security required him to develop evacuation plans, he didn’t agree with the assignment. Among the reasons he cited for not drawing up plans was a lack of resources the state needed to carry out the evacuations

And later:

The state’s top health official, Jimmy Guidry, said his staff rejected an Aug. 28 offer of help with patient evacuations from the federal Health and Human Services Department because he didn’t believe the department could actually provide the help it was offering.

Health and Human Services “is not in the transportation business,” Guidry said. “I know what they can deliver.”

Clearly the chips are going to fall in a lot of different places when these investigations are finished, and improvements will need to be made at all levels. When these investigations are done we need avoid excuses, finger-pointing, and excessive recriminations, and get to work.

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1 Comment »


Comment by William R. Cumming

February 1, 2006 @ 7:08 pm

FEMA funded Hurrican Evacuation Planning throughout the 1980’s. One of the principal technical officials for FEMA was Dr. Gene Zeizel, PhD. Also in 1995 a large scale exercise equivalent to the Hurricane Pam (2004) was paid for by FEMA but the exercise was curtailed early do actual real world storm events. It would be interesting to track the location of the 1995 exercise officials and see if any particpated in the Hurrican Pam exercise. The involvement of the firm IEM in Hurrican Pam reflected the principals experience in the prior exercise.

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