The Lesson of Hurricane Katrina

Since hurricane Katrina slammed into Louisiana and Mississippi, local, state, and federal government bureaucracies, politicians, and political organizations are doing what they do best: pointing fingers at each other and assigning blame elsewhere. A swift response from any government agency, even in times of crisis, is rare. There are rules and regulations to be followed, forms that need to be filled out, papers that need to be processed. No matter what "reforms" are made, I doubt the response time will change much next time a similar disaster strikes. There has been much made about the lack of leadership from local, state, and the federal governments, but the lack of leadership on the ground while help was "on the way" was equally appalling. When it became apparent that help was not soon coming to those stranded at the Superdome, for example, where was the leadership of trying to evacuate those people in small groups or making some kind of attempt to find supplies and bring them back to those stranded?

The lesson of hurricane Katrina is not what government can do better next time a disaster strikes, it's what can we do to better prepare ourselves should we find ourselves in the midst of a similar catastrophe. Sitting in waiting for someone else to help is one option. Taking charge and finding a way out of difficult circumstances is another.

Knowing how fast bloated, bureaucratic organizations tend to move, should I be finding myself in similar circumstances, I'll be taking matters into my own hands.