No one thought: the epitaph of Bush's reign on America

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No one thought

No one thought: the epitaph of Bush's reign on America -- law

An "emergency relief expert" on Katrina

William S. Gross, P. E. is a consultant in emergency management issues with experience in domestic and foreign disaster relief. When he was Colonel William S. Gross, US Army Reserve, he commanded a Hurricane Mitch recovery operation in Guatemala. I served with Bill’s Task Force Motagua during the summer of 1999. While I was deployed an earthquake struck the town of Puerto Barrios– so Bill went from hurricane recovery to earthquake relief, and took the 500 troops under his command with him. Bill is a Vietnam vet (Army engineers), class of 1971. He’s also a civil engineer and a qualified salvage diver.

Here are his thoughts about the Katrina crisis:

The system works when all players know their parts. It begins with a plan at the local government level that its members know and are comfortable with. That plan in many cases is reviewed at the state level. This provides the state with a full concept of what the local government will do. Though “no plan survives initial contact with the disaster,” some of the basics hold. For example, a well constructed plan will make clear who is in charge and the frame work under which decision are made. Further, it will all hinge on the concept, local response first, state help second, Federal when those two are overwhelmed. When the first link breaks, it assumes the second link (the state) will fill in. In retrospect, no one thought that two links in the chain would break down....

Austin Bay Blog � An emergency relief expert on Katrina


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