Thursday, September 22, 2005

Invoking the Other "I" Word

A previous post mentioned Impeachment, a word I'm still very fond of. This one is about Incompetence. There's been so much of that particular "I" word that even I am astounded. I expect politics to house a few incompetents -- where else would they get jobs? Even revelations about Mr. Brown's resume and lack of disaster planning experience didn't come as a shock. I could be head of FEMA with his qualifications. At least I've participated in disaster training and, at one time, was an EMT.

He wasn't just a Republican problem, either. Democrats gave this guy a rubber stamp when he came up for the job. Apparently, no one asked, "Hey, are we missing a page of your resume? I don't see anything resembling emergency management experience here" or better yet let the guy tell you how he intends to supply an entire city with food/water/security for a week or longer.

Disaster planning requires an inventive mind willing to break the rules -- take the worst case scenario and then find a way to make it more horrific. Then do it again and then yet again. Never assume someone is riding to your rescue. Never assume everything is going to work like you think it is. Assume the very worst and if you're lucky, it won't get that bad.

Sadly, in the case of New Orleans, it did.

Did we learn anything? Hurricane Rita will be the test of that. Let's hope it all works right this time. We've lost too many Americans to that other "I" word as it is.

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