Monday, March 21, 2011
The Learning Curve
the local residents - who didn't take the threat of yet another monster hurricane seriously enough to leave town or prepare to shelter in place,
to the local and state government - which failed to be proactive,
to the federal government - which seemed overwhelmed and out of touch,
the entire response to Katrina was a mess.
Theft, looting and other crimes were commonly mentioned on local and national news.
People who stayed behind were warned that no assistance would be made available in the case of an emergency and that anyone foolish enough to remain in the area (like myself) should be prepared to shelter in place.
Buses were made ready to ensure that anyone who needed a ride to an inland shelter could get a ride.
Local, state and federal government agencies worked together to create staging areas from which to service residents and contractors upon their return and arrival.
(This was particularly tough because my town was already inundated with refugees from Katrina).
Reports of theft and looting were minimal because most non-essential residents were kept out of town until civil services could be restored.
But when a 7.0 earthquake struck the island nation, an already impoverished country was to get even worse.
Even with aid being provided, the logistics of getting the aid to the right places was a problem.
The country's government was almost non-existent, the infrastructure was ruined and no one had a plan for earthquake recovery.
To this day, even with massive charitable donations and international 'expertise', no one can point to any measurable progress.
Theft, violence and looting were reported as being major problems after the quake.
I'm sure no one would dare loot in this predominantly white citeeeerummm...
Wait, I guess Google proves this theory wrong.
Now there are news stories which tell of over 250 thefts in the past ten days in and around Sendai.
I guess theft, looting and crime are a natural response for many (regardless of race, nationality or culture) following a natural disaster.