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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Katrina Follow-Up

I have little news to add on Katrina response and recovery, except to report, from first-hand local knowledge, that THERE IS NO GASOLINE to be had on the I-65 corridor south of Clanton AL, or on I-85 from Auburn west, and there may not be more for days. The news reports runs on gas in Atlanta as well. I doubt there is ANY on the coast east to Cedar Key. Readers planning on hitting the Gulf coast east of the affected area should take this into consideration before they set out to sip Mai Tai's and soak up rays on the unaffected beaches.

Here are the AL / MS/ FL lists of road closures. I should add that the FEMA det operating out of my base, Maxwell, adds that they'd like to keep I-65 clear of all but responders, FEMA-cleared suppliers (dozens of semis headed out of here today), and vehicles evacuating people from the affected area from the 57 mile marker south. The road's not closed, but let's lend a hand, shall we?

By way of giving: Let's make it like Democratic voting in this country: Do it early and often! Here's FEMA's list of charities supporting Katrina relief, in case you haven't found them elsewhere. (And if you must come here to find them, I pity you for the miserably isolated life you must lead!)

Let me clear one thing up: In my previous post on Katrina where I discussed learning lessons from this catastrophe, I may have given some the impression that I was criticizing first responders and others providing disaster relief in New Orleans. I did not intend to do so! Everyone there has labored, is laboring, and will continue to labor heroically. Tuesday, a handful of USCG helicopters rescued 1,200 people from rooftops in the city. Twelve hundred. In a day. Police are having to split their time pretty evenly right now between search and rescue and deterring looters. I doubt their getting much sleep. All these people and more are doing the absolute best they can do in the circumstances -- those circumstances are just very dire. No -- I meant simply that, in reflecting on the aftermath, we can probably learn lessons that will be valuable in responding to crises that cause such damage in the future. Too often in the planning communities -- and particularly in military planning -- we face each crisis as if it's completely unique and have to "re-invent the wheel," so to speak. So it was with our "post-conflict" planning for Iraq: "Whaddya mean, we won't just pack up and come home after the statue comes down?" I saw it at close second-hand. AF formal planning for "Phase IV" and beyond was relegated to one Major who thought a lot more of his capabilities than his capabilities warranted. People's lives are too valuable to continue making the same mistakes.

As for the looters and thugs: a whiff of grapeshot works wonders with the mob. I fear things won't really get better until martial law is declared and a few examples are made...

Anyway: give!


: Correspondent Teresa asks, "End of Times catastrophe? I am inclined to think so..."

Dunno. I can only offer the words Jesus Himself spoke when asked a like question:

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father....Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.
[Mat 24:36, 42-44]


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