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A Message from Katrina Reader Comments

Direct download part one
Direct download part two

Long time supporter of Mitigation Journal, Michael Ehrman sends in his commentary on our recent podcast A Message from Katrina: Hospitals be Ready. Part One and Part Two are available on the Mitigation Journal homepage.

You can contact Michael directly via Twitter @MichaelEhrman

Michael writes:
First point.  When I went to National Red Cross training and National Fire Academy training in the middle 1970's with some of the Public Safety Officers of New Orleans, the levies were a disaster waiting to happen and they knew it in the 1960's for sure so with 50 years to prepare for what I call their worst nightmare and not have gotten their public prepared and themselves is NO excuse.  When I worked in California, almost every public organization, most businesses to varying degrees and most residents prepare for that big 9+ earthquake they know is coming.  May not be prepared for San Onofre, the nuclear power plant to explode but their worst nightmare they prepare for and practice.

As for NIMS and Jamie's comments.  NIMS is simply a way to organize and help control a bad situation in an orderly fashion.  Not a resource to mitigate the situation.  Just an orderly set of step to follow to help the responders mitigate the situation and to play well with each other.

As for Matt, FYI, regardless, there will be lawsuits-for any reason.  Hey, you had one less stored supply for one more person that you had.  Hey, you should have built your ATM to work perfectly while being under 10-feet of water.  Get real here.  If one attorney lives, there will be at least one lawsuit.

Improvements since 9-11?  Look at communications, one of my pet peeves.  We are still bantering about allocating a portion the 700 MHz frequency for first responders.  Every major disaster has had communications as the base shortfall in that disaster.  Read the reports, books, etc.  And we still have not resolved that one.  And we expect the population to be prepared for X days and we, ourselves, are not prepared?  Let us totally fix our house first before we complain about the neighbors.

Hey, don't bitch about the bus.  I have preached long before Katrina that every community should make a contract with their school district or buy a school bus, whether used or new but used is cheaper by a mile if maintained.  Every bus can mass move in first responders.  Every bus can mass move out casualties and every school bus comes with its own set of red lights.  Just paint it fire engine red or police blue.

More PSA's is right.  Jamie hit the nail on the head.

As for Dr. Pou, she did what she had to do when her world was ending for her patients.  If we were there and faced with the limited information available at that time versus the type of death your patients would suffer during this world ending crisis (for you), what would you do?  I know I would not want to give up and would try to find a solution until it was too late, but that's me and my patients would have most likely suffered.  It is a shame the situation got to that point.  And she was not alone in making he decision to euthanize some patients.  Remember that.

Jamie was right, Katrina was a lesson of the worst, and the best and that we need to prepare.  Bigger question now is, will we.  Or will we be stating, like a broken record, the same solutions are needed that we said for the last XXX disasters and still do nothing to fix the problem except to spend money to say let's fix it...again.

Got me on a rant on this one.  Good job!

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