The outpouring of public support for the
victims of Hurricane Katrina is unprecedented. One report said
that cash donations from individuals to the American Red Cross
is running three times what it was following the nine-eleven
attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. From the kids on
the corner with the lemonade stand to high-tech credit card
giving on the Web, it's literally impossible not to find a
channel for a donation.
County government is not unique, of course, in making a
contribution. Nevertheless, there was a sense of pride
witnessing the dispatch of 32 patrol cars
to the New
Orleans P.D. Other jurisdictions around the nation are
responding to the request from that department for help to
quickly replace some of its lost equipment. And, no doubt,
others are sending cars -- more or fewer than we are doesn't
notable was in the little things that count. Somebody was
thoughtful enough to go to the Internet and call up a picture to
ready to roll -- County police patrol cars awaiting
shipment to New Orleans.
what the logo on Big Easy cop cars looks like -- and then
arranged to have decals made here so that the vehicles would
arrive with the proper insignia. Also, it was decided early on
that the cars would be sent with a full tank of gasoline.
County officers and other county employees
were not to be left out. They hit the stores and bought various
items of police gear and stuffed it into the cars for the
benefit of officers who soon will be driving them and their
partners. With that and personal messages sent along with the
stuff made it all one-on-one. And a county source advises that
much of the effort was spontaneous.
"I'm impressed by how hard our people
worked to make this happen," County Executive Coons remarked as
he and Councilman George Smiley were lading packages of bottled
potable water into some of the cars. So are we, Chris.
HERE to read
the Delaforum article.
An item in
the Baltimore Sun points to a concern likely to rise to the top
of the pile as the lessons of the Gulf catastrophe are studied:
The failure to evacuate New
Orleans' most vulnerable residents before Hurricane Katrina
struck is causing city leaders nationwide to rethink plans for
the mass movement of people unable to escape on their own in a
It's nothing short of mind-boggling to ponder how to get 8
million people out of New York City.
to read from the New York Times what happened when such was
considered a possibly, albeit remote, at the time of the Y-2-K
In Massachusetts, according to the Boston Globe:
State and local officials, alarmed by the devastation of
Hurricane Katrina and failed relief efforts, say they are
revamping plans for evacuation, training, and temporary shelters
in Boston and Massachusetts if a similar disaster struck close
The Chicago Tribune reports:
Given its geography, Chicago will
never be hit by a hurricane like the super-violent Katrina, but
officials acknowledge that the dreaded day may come when a
cataclysmic event forces the evacuation of hundreds of thousands
Which all brings us closer to home. New
Castle County and Wilmington both have emergency response plans,
but as far as Delaforum can find out, neither is specific on
where people would go in the event of cataclysmic disaster.
Marcia Nickle, planner with the county
Office of Emergency Preparedness, said there are so many
possible scenarios that the question does not have a simple
answer. "It would vary by incident, so we don't have anything
[specifically] down on paper," she said. Basically, such
decisions rest with the fire official in charge at the site of a
local emergency, she said. Both the county executive and the
chief of police have authority to order an evacuation in case of
something happening on a larger scale.
Wilmington's plan calls for a phased
evacuation with residents of areas of the city told to move out
at specified times to avoid traffic gridlock. An estimated 80%
would 'self-evacuate', determining for themselves where to go,
according to Jim Mosley, director of public safety. The
remaining 20% would be moved to places of refuge which depend on
the nature of the disaster. He said the city has been offered
use of campsites as far away as the western shore of the
Chesapeake Bay in the event they would be needed.
Several months before Katrina hit, as
Delaforum reported at the time, County Executive Coons initiated
a process to update and implement the county emergency plan.
That is underway, Nickle said.
Speaking of evacuation on a really grand
scale, County Council sent the entire city of Biloxi more than
1,000 miles inland to Michigan. The preamble to a
geographically-challenged resolution enacted unanimously
referenced "Biloxi MI" -- that's postalese for the Wolverine
State -- as opposed to MS.
New Castle County early this year spent
$45,400, or an average of $3,026, to provide up to 60 days of
emergency room and board for 15 households from Glendale and
Newkirk Estates displaced by flooding in September, 2004.
Senator Joseph Biden called upon the Bush
administration to step back from "the brink of a national
security debacle" by changing course in Iraq, the Middle East
and on the international level.
to read his opinion piece published in the Washington Post.