September 25, 2005
SAN ANTONIO - Military officials told President Bush on Sunday that the United States needs a national plan to coordinate search-and-rescue efforts following natural disasters or terrorist attacks.
… Bush got an update about the federal hurricane response from military leaders at Randolph Air Force Base. He heard from Lt. Gen. Robert Clark, joint military task force commander for Hurricane Rita, and Maj. Gen. John White, a task force member, who described search-and-rescue operations after Hurricane Katrina as a “train wreck.”
With Katrina, “we knew the coordination piece was a problem,” White said. He said better coordination is needed to prevent five helicopters, for example, from showing up to rescue the same individual. “With Rita, we had the benefit of time. We may not have that time in an earthquake scenario or similar incident,” White said.
“With a national plan, we’ll have a quick jump-start and an opportunity to save more people,” White said.
Makes sense. But… don’t we have one of those already? Because I seem to recall writing about it:
Last December the Bush administration unveiled its all-singing, all-dancing National Response Plan—“a true ‘national’ framework in terms of both product and process:”[The President] directed the development of a new National Response Plan (NRP) to align Federal coordination structures, capabilities, and resources into a unified, all discipline, and all-hazards approach to domestic incident management. This approach is unique and far reaching in that it, for the first time, eliminates critical seams and ties together a complete spectrum of incident management activities to include the prevention of, preparedness for, response to, and recovery from terrorism, major natural disasters, and other major emergencies. The end result is vastly improved coordination among Federal, State, local, and tribal organizations to help save lives and protect America's communities by increasing the speed, effectiveness, and efficiency of incident management.
And where exactly did that plan—which admittedly failed in every respect following Katrina—go?
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Actually, there is a National Response Plan, which was finalized just last December. Of course, evidently no one bothered to read the damn thing after they put it together, much less implementing it.
Why break a perfect record of total incompetence?
Posted by: Jim at September 26, 2005 8:29 PM