What Wal-Mart and FEMA don’t have in common

Wal_mart_logo1For anyone who’s been tempted to absolve the Feds—FEMA in
particular—of some major culpability in the handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina
and shift blame to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco
and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, here are some sobering thoughts from Aaron Broussard, president of
Jefferson Parish in New Orleans. He drew some unfortunate comparisons between how
FEMA handled the crisis, as opposed to—in his view—the more effective response
from Wal-Mart on Meet the
Press
this past weekend. As for New Yorkers who feel safe living in a city
above sea level, they should take heed of this story, which gives dire
scenarios for what could happen here after a hurricane like Katrina. While news
stations tend to hype hurricane warnings to a level that can sometimes induce
mind-numbing indifference among viewers, the damage in New Orleans clearly provides fresh perpsective. And all
the more reason to demand local and state officials be prepared. (Remember, New Yorkers,
there’s a mayoral election  in November. Choose well.) In the
meantime, if you’re thinking of a long-term donation for survivors of this Gulf Coast tragedy, Habitat for Humanity
International
might be a good place to start.

—Posted by Kathleen Sampey