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Jason van  Steenwyk is a Florida Army National Guardsman who has been

mobilized six  times for hurricane relief. He notes that: 'The federal government

pretty much  met its standard time lines, but the volume of support ... was

unprecedented.  The federal response here was faster  than Hugo (5 days) , faster than

Andrew, faster  than Iniki, faster than Francine and Jeanne.'

 

"For  instance, it took five days for National Guard troops to arrive in

strength on  the scene in Homestead, Fla. after Hurricane Andrew hit in 2002. But

after  Katrina, there was a significant National Guard presence in the

afflicted  region in three [days].

"Journalists who are long  on opinions and short on knowledge have no idea

what is involved in moving  hundreds of tons of relief supplies into an area the

size of England in which  power lines are down, telecommunications are out,

no gasoline is available,  bridges are damaged, roads and airports are covered

with debris, and  apparently have little interest in finding out.  

"So they libel as a 'national disgrace' the most  monumental and successful

disaster relief operation in world history."  

 

FEMA is another area people need to look at , they ARE NOT FIRST REPONDERS! You need to repeat this often so you can figure this out , FEMA is

basically a tiny little agency that has been kept weak. And  you know why it's been

kept weak? The governors want it that way. In each of  these operations, it's

always FEMA's job to work through the state and local  government --

particularly the state government.  

"And it's a telling fact of all this that, even as  we sit here speaking, the

control of Louisiana National Guard and the other  state National Guardsmen

who are in there ... has not been relinquished to the  federal government

because the governor didn't want to do it. And that is a  telling fact in all this.

"Look, FEMA's job is  just beginning. And what FEMA is, is an agency with

supplies and a lot of  money. And we're going to see that money spread around --

though I guess we  can talk about that in the next segment. But it's important

to remember what  FEMA is [and] what FEMA isn't."

 

Here's the part thats really interesting (and sickening/ but true!)

Politicizing  Katrina

"In trashing President Bush,  Democrats have overplayed their hand as never

before," the Weekly Standard's  Fred Barnes writes, referring to Hurricane

Katrina.  

"Their criticism of Bush began soon after the  levees broke in New Orleans

and picked up steam once it became clear that  thousands of people were stranded

in New Orleans without food, medicine, or  imminent prospects of being

rescued. And the media, more hostile to Bush than  ever, adopted the Democratic line

that the slowness of rescue and recovery  efforts was the fault of Bush and

[Federal Emergency Management Agency  Director Michael D.] Brown," Mr. Barnes

said.  

"Now, after politicizing Katrina and dividing the  country, Democrats insist,

disingenuously, that Bush depoliticize the issue  and unify the country. He

should go about this, Democrats argue, by choosing a  'unity' nominee for the

second Supreme Court vacancy. Unity in this case means  a candidate Democrats

like. And he should jettison his domestic agenda,  especially tax cuts. If Bush

falls for this, he deserves to have his job  rating drop (I suspect he

won't).

"There's a good  test of whether criticism of Bush is purely partisan. If the

accuser also  directs blame at Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, who froze in

reaction  to Katrina, and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, so overwhelmed by the  

hurricane that he didn't carry out the city's emergency plan, then the  

criticism might have some merit. Another test is whether a critic cites real  

examples where FEMA failed to carry out one of its missions. Rescuing people  from

roofs isn't one of them. Most critics, like [House Minority Leader Nancy]  

Pelosi, fail to offer any specifics."

 

And for the really "WISHY-WASHY" (Democrats)

 

Tag team

"Some  senior Democratic strategists are starting to sound like bitter

Republicans  when it comes to grumbling about President Bush's teaming of his dad  

with Bill Clinton to raise Katrina aid," Paul Bedard writes in  the Washington

Whispers column of U.S. News & World Report.  

"Republicans whined first when the tag team was  formed after the tsunami.

Their worry: Bush's move was helping to rehabilitate  Clinton's image among his

critics. Now Democrats believe Clinton's help on  Katrina is a de facto

endorsement of Bush's handling of the crisis. 'It's  killing us,' said a

consultant."

 

I guess as a Republican Bill Clinton is my friend (I dont think so ) , But I do believe Bill Clinton and George Senior truly care about the American people , I think both of these world leaders care about people in general!

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I used to say that I was not a member of any organized political party, that I was a Democrat.  Now I say that I am not a member of ANY policitcal party - organized or not, that I'm a realist.

 

The reality of the Katrina disaster is that it was the biggest bi-partisan, multi-agency cluster fuck that I can remember.  I don't think those who were stranded in New Orleans - and there were those who were truly stranded because they lacked the ability to leave - really give a rats about political party designation.

 

That's not to say there shouldn't be accountability, as I wonder what the hell Blanco was thinking when she said she needed twenty-four hours to make a decision about whether to Federalize the National Guard troops just as much as I wonder about how a guy whose previous job was as a lawyer for the International Arabian Hourse Association got put in charge of FEMA and how - even as television broadcast the pictures - the head of Homeland Security was "not aware" that there were people without food at the stadium.

 

What I like to see is how we react as Amercians - opening our homes to those in need, offers of jobs - and we have some members on this site who have done just that.

 

Time will tell where the accountability lies and it will spread across all political party lines.

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I agree with you , it was a political quagmire , however, just as the FEMA is an agency that is not a first responder , the Homeland Security Agency isnt an agency that deals with food distribution either , I think alot of people have drawn conclusions about what agency does what , the media would have you believe that FEMA should have been there saving lives from the treetops , that is not there fuction , just as Homeland Security is a security agency, The FBI is an Investigation agency , they are not cops that patrol the streets, DEA has nothing to do with police street level work they to are a specialized investigations agency!

 

There several agencies that have been called into play over this disaster , of which none have a specific funtion having to do with the local levels , Local cops and firefighters are FIRST RESPONDERS! I'd like to think they did there job , however , the police department is so corrupt it makes you wonder whether the Fire guys walked away from there responsibility as well!

 

I hope not!

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I agree with you , it was a political quagmire , however, just as the FEMA is an agency that is not a first responder , the Homeland Security Agency isnt an agency that deals with food distribution either , I think alot of people have drawn conclusions about what agency does what , the media would have you believe that FEMA should have been there saving lives from the treetops , that is not there fuction , just as Homeland Security is a security agency, The FBI is an Investigation agency , they are not cops that patrol the streets, DEA has nothing to do with police street level work they to are a specialized investigations agency!

 

There several agencies that have been called into play over this disaster , of which none have a specific funtion having to do with the local levels , Local cops and firefighters are FIRST RESPONDERS! I'd like to think they did there job , however , the police department is so corrupt it makes you wonder whether the Fire guys walked away from there responsibility as well!

 

I hope not!

You said quagmire.  :bvictory:

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He also said there when he meant their.  While I agree that the blame is being laid in the wrong places, one bandwagon I'm not going to jump in on is whether all firefighters or police in a particular town are corrupt.

You look at any organization you can find bad apples, doesn't mean it is condoned.

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Well ,Brownie just tendered his resignation. That's the way it's supposed to work. These orgs, feds on down and regardless of their specialties and the niches they fill in the moment, they all share the mandate to protect the country.

 

He turned in his papers and that says two things loud and clear.

FEMA fucked up.

FEMA is taking steps to correct that and the fixing starts at the top.

 

Somebody is showing the kind of guts it takes to make the hard calls. If it's Brown, thanks. It takes a man to fall on his sword in front of God and everybody. If it was somebody else up front showed him the door, it's about time that someone in leadership said that if you want to be the big dog you better know how to pee in the high grass.

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Everyone knows what political favors are? Brown was owed a favor and he got his , didnt learn a thing while he was in office . Thats part of the political problem , not hiring people that should be hired , hiring people based on promises!

 

I work in the government and see it all the time , (in law enforcement) , yes I agree the firefighters and cops are the guys WE HAVE TO BELIEVE IN! Small percentages are always bad apples , goes back to the political favoritism issue! Hiring the Captains sons and daughters when they have no business being cops!

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i rarely read these threads any longer..but...i've got some questions...

i'm still trying to figure out why you guys don't want to accept that there were failures at ALL levels of government...now and in the past.

i'm not trying to change any minds...if you like bush..like republicans..then, you blame it all on the local and state gov's..

if you don't like bush, like democrats, like nagin or like blanco...then it's all the fed's fault...

how is that not partisan? how is that not politicizing? how is that one side-and only one side-making it a political issue?

then throw in your views on race, welfare, certain politicians and preachers, etc. and you've got all sorts of other useless rhetoric that enters the deal.

i think most of you know that your mind is closed...your side is right and the other side sux...why keep arguing and starting new threads to keep the shit rolling?

the country is hopelessly divided already, and this will make it worse..watch and see.

i still don't think most of you realize just how big this really is..it's something far away (you think) and doesn't affect you...it does...

i know people directly affected in all states along the gulf that this storm hit...i guarantee right now, none of them that lost everything, including family members, homes, clothing, cars, indian motorcycles,  businesses, jobs, etc. care who's fault the slow response in aid was...they just NEED aid...these are houses that were $10k, and those that were $10M gone!  and also, this is MILLIONS of people and entire cities destroyed for a long time to come...New orleans and louisiana will actually recover quicker than some other areas, but we're still talking years for a full recovery.  there's years ( or till the next elections) to play the blame game...

i guess my most important question is how would you react and what would you expect from your country if everyone and everything you know in your city's day to day life was gone in an instant? ??? and now does politics matter?

eric

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:I-Agree[1]:

 

I am a republican (much to the consternation of my union dues paying father) and I wrote 2 letters early on in this disaster.

 

The first one was to President Bush telling him to get off his ass and do something. That his effort to date was a fully qualified "F".

 

and the second to the National Repulican Congressional Commmitee, telling them to forget about any more donations until Michael Brown was fired.

 

Everyone failed and FEMA most of all. I figured there is a lot of blame to go around.  May as well work at fixing my house and let the Dems fix there own.

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i rarely read these threads any longer..but...i've got some questions...

i'm still trying to figure out why you guys don't want to accept that there were failures at ALL levels of government...now and in the past.

i'm not trying to change any minds...if you like bush..like republicans..then, you blame it all on the local and state gov's..

if you don't like bush, like democrats, like nagin or like blanco...then it's all the fed's fault...

how is that not partisan? how is that not politicizing? how is that one side-and only one side-making it a political issue?

then throw in your views on race, welfare, certain politicians and preachers, etc. and you've got all sorts of other useless rhetoric that enters the deal.

i think most of you know that your mind is closed...your side is right and the other side sux...why keep arguing and starting new threads to keep the shit rolling?

the country is hopelessly divided already, and this will make it worse..watch and see.

i still don't think most of you realize just how big this really is..it's something far away (you think) and doesn't affect you...it does...

i know people directly affected in all states along the gulf that this storm hit...i guarantee right now, none of them that lost everything, including family members, homes, clothing, cars, indian motorcycles,  businesses, jobs, etc. care who's fault the slow response in aid was...they just NEED aid...these are houses that were $10k, and those that were $10M gone!  and also, this is MILLIONS of people and entire cities destroyed for a long time to come...New orleans and louisiana will actually recover quicker than some other areas, but we're still talking years for a full recovery.  there's years ( or till the next elections) to play the blame game...

i guess my most important question is how would you react and what would you expect from your country if everyone and everything you know in your city's day to day life was gone in an instant? ??? and now does politics matter?

eric

Why because its healthy and productive to have these discussions, believe it or not. People can change each others minds sometimes and reinforce or discount beliefs. You obviously have your opinion on the situation. People of different backgrounds have a different take on things.It's real hard to feel compassion for those scum stealing,shooting,etc;. Its always the same people doing it. Oh well thats the way it is. The Govt. gets the blame for people who dont want to help themselves. All this being said the powerplus chiefs really do suck.

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i rarely read these threads any longer..but...i've got some questions...

i'm still trying to figure out why you guys don't want to accept that there were failures at ALL levels of government...now and in the past.

i'm not trying to change any minds...if you like bush..like republicans..then, you blame it all on the local and state gov's..

if you don't like bush, like democrats, like nagin or like blanco...then it's all the fed's fault...

how is that not partisan? how is that not politicizing? how is that one side-and only one side-making it a political issue?

then throw in your views on race, welfare, certain politicians and preachers, etc. and you've got all sorts of other useless rhetoric that enters the deal.

i think most of you know that your mind is closed...your side is right and the other side sux...why keep arguing and starting new threads to keep the shit rolling?

the country is hopelessly divided already, and this will make it worse..watch and see.

i still don't think most of you realize just how big this really is..it's something far away (you think) and doesn't affect you...it does...

i know people directly affected in all states along the gulf that this storm hit...i guarantee right now, none of them that lost everything, including family members, homes, clothing, cars, indian motorcycles,  businesses, jobs, etc. care who's fault the slow response in aid was...they just NEED aid...these are houses that were $10k, and those that were $10M gone!  and also, this is MILLIONS of people and entire cities destroyed for a long time to come...New orleans and louisiana will actually recover quicker than some other areas, but we're still talking years for a full recovery.  there's years ( or till the next elections) to play the blame game...

i guess my most important question is how would you react and what would you expect from your country if everyone and everything you know in your city's day to day life was gone in an instant? ??? and now does politics matter?

eric

Why because its healthy and productive to have these discussions, believe it or not. People can change each others minds sometimes and reinforce or discount beliefs. You obviously have your opinion on the situation. People of different backgrounds have a different take on things.It's real hard to feel compassion for those scum stealing,shooting,etc;. Its always the same people doing it. Oh well thats the way it is. The Govt. gets the blame for people who dont want to help themselves. All this being said the powerplus chiefs really do suck.

All this being said the powerplus chiefs really do suck.

 

 

 

 

uhhhh,,,,, I guess thats Bush's fault too..................

if only congress would have jumped in and made IMC build them right from the get go ..... :bomb:

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When you see hundreds of busses still parked at the depot, instead of using them to evacuate the poor and infirm, you know that it is the fault of the local government that is to blame. There is no way to get around it, the local government fucked up first, instead of being the first to respond correctly. If the locals can't, or won't, take care of the local citizenry, how can anyone expect the state or the feds to respond fast?

 

depot.jpg

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RCH, I'm not aware of any local government that uses buses or any other means to evacuate the poor or infirm in case of impending hurricane.

 

The problem with hurricanes is that they are erratic in where they go, and what their final strength is upon finally making landfall.  

 

Here in our county in Florida, which was hit by 3 hurricanes last year,  no government, local or state, evacuated anyone.

 

They did issue mandatory evacuation orders, and then immediately set up shelters for those that didn't evacuate. They did use public transportation to take people to the shelters, but didn't make any special arrangements for the infirm:

 

from the Volusia County Disaster Preparedness website:

 

Transportation

The Volusia County School Board and Votran will provide free rides to general public shelters. Pick up will be made at all regular Votran bus stops.

 

I am not aware nor have I found any information about nursing homes or hospitals or colleges being evacuated with local government assistance.

 

I agree that the busses should have been used to evacuate the poor and infirm, because it's easy to say so in hindsight....but in actual practice, that isn't done anywhere, for several reasons:

 

1) The cost, imagine the public outcry of tax dollars spent if cities all along a coastline evacuated millions of people, and the hurricane didn't cause any damage.

 

2) There is no where to take all these people

 

3) As in the case of Hurricane Ophelia, currently off the coast of SC, where would you have evacuated people from, and for how long? At one time the entire east coast of Florida, Georgia, and now South and North Carolina have been under watches/warnings for this hurricane, and here we are over a week later, and it's still out there.

 

4) How many infirm people in hospitals and nursing homes will die or have their condition worsen from the stress of travel and evacuation?

 

One more thing, the Volusia County Disaster Preparedness website states the following:

 

Failure to obey an evacuation order is a violation of Florida law.

 

I have been unable to find any information so far showing where anyone was prosecuted last year for violating that law.

 

It seems like we have too high expectations about New Orleans government's lack of evacuation assistance, when they followed the exact same "program" that all the other local governments follow, "order them out, then provide shelter for those that don't go"

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But if we believe the major TV networks, George Bush, FEMA and the Republicans in Congress are all to blame for the current nightmare.

 

 

Let's remember that FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was created only in 1979. It was formed to coordinate and focus federal response to major disasters – to "assist" local and state governments.

 

 

Common sense suggests that local and state governments are best able to prepare and plan for local disasters.

 

 

Is a Washington bureaucrat better suited to prepare for an earthquake in San Francisco, a hurricane in Florida, or a terrorist act in New York?

 

 

After the Sept. 11 attacks against the World Trade Center, no one suggested that the Bush administration should have been responsible for New York's disaster response or that federal agents should have been involved in the rescue of those trapped in the buildings.

 

 

Last year, four major hurricanes slammed into Florida. Governor Jeb Bush led the disaster response and did a remarkable job, with nothing happening like what we have seen in New Orleans.

 

 

The primary response in disasters has always come from local communities and state governments.

 

 

First responders and the manpower to deal with emergencies come from local communities: police, fire and medical. Under our federal system, these local departments answer to local authorities, not those in Washington. These first responders are not even under federal control, nor do they have to follow federal orders.

 

 

In addition to local responders, every state in the Union has a National Guard.

 

 

State National Guards answer first to the governor of each state, not to the president. The National Guard exists not to defend one state from an invasion by another state, but primarily for emergencies like the one we have witnessed in New Orleans and in other areas impacted by Katrina. (See:

 

http://www.arng.army.mil/about_u....RL]

 

This fact – which needs to be repeated and remembered – is that in our country, state and local governments have primary responsibility in dealing with local disasters.

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Common sense suggests that local and state governments are best able to prepare and plan for local disasters.

yup, and common sense also tells you that this is not a "local disaster".

 

for disasters of this magnitude, involving multiple states, hundreds of mayors, and millions of people, then the federal agency that gets $40.2 billion dollars a year for responding to major disasters, should be leading the rescue and recovery...which they are doing, now that someone woke up and realized that is was a major disaster.

 

In the town of Hopewell, LA, SE of New Orleans, all buildings in town were demolished, leaving 66,000 people without homes, or jobs, or anything else.

 

As Homer has stated, it seems that many are still unaware of the magnitude of this distaster. It's not just New Orleans. As a matter of fact, the federal government itself has now backpedaled and said this is not a "local distaster" but a

"major national disaster" per FEMA Directive 1603-1.

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Last year, four major hurricanes slammed into Florida. Governor Jeb Bush led the disaster response and did a remarkable job, with nothing happening like what we have seen in New Orleans.

Yup, amazingly enough, there was very little politics and finger pointing in this state.... :eyebrow:

 

And also amazingly enough, the federal government didn't request that Jeb Bush give up his state authority as a prerequisite to obtaining federal assistance. Guess Jeb would have had to go tell Daddy what his big brother was trying to do to him.

 

Here again, the "disasters" are not comparable. In the Florida hurricanes, infrastructure was still there, most people could still live in their homes, with minor to moderate damage, the local and state governments were still in "business", since we didn't have total devastation of every single building in town, like some Louisiana and Mississippi communities, nor did we have any large Florida city that was 80% engulfed in flood waters.

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RCH, I'm not aware of any local government that uses buses or any other means to evacuate the poor or infirm in case of impending hurricane.

I have posted links to this before but it seems no one cares to read the facts of how the city of NO planned to prepare for this exact situation which everyone knew was comming, from the time the city was built over 300 years ago.

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ANNEX I: HURRICANES

 

PREPAREDNESS (PHASE I: TRAINING, EXERCISES AND EDUCATION)

 

City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

 

Part 1: TRAINING

 

I. GENERAL

 

Training and education on Disaster Preparedness are essential to local government and non?government disaster agencies, in order to mitigate the loss of life and property in the event of a peacetime emergency. An understanding of emergency operations, plus recurring education and training in emergency response and disaster operations, is the basis of response effectiveness. Individuals with assigned tasks must receive preparatory training to maximize operations. The goal of emergency preparedness training is the preparation of individuals and organizations for effective and coordinated response to emergencies.

 

Likewise, increasing the public's awareness of the various hazards which may threaten them, and the available methods of protection is the essence of emergency preparedness. In addition, during periods of emergency and disaster it will be necessary for the citizenry to be informed and educated concerning any action that may be required of them to save lives and property. A mechanism must be in place to inform the public as to particulars of evacuation, health care, shelter, transportation and all other directions of which they should be informed.

 

II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS

 

Under the direction of the Mayor, the Office of Emergency Preparedness will coordinate activities in accordance with the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan to assure the coordination of training programs for all planning, support, and response agencies. Departments, authorities, agencies, municipalities, and all private response organizations bear the responsibility of ensuring their personnel are sufficiently trained.

 

The Office of Emergency Preparedness will coordinate training provided by the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Schedules of state emergency management training will be provided to all appropriate agencies. Applications for LOEP/FEMA courses will be submitted to the Director, Office of Emergency Preparedness for approval and submittal to LOEP.

 

III. TASKS

 

A. Director, Office of Emergency Preparedness

 

1. Coordination of all training activities of the various services of the Emergency Preparedness organization so as to obtain the highest degree of effectiveness in individual training, team or unit training, collective training, combined training and mock or practice emergency preparedness alerts.

 

The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall endeavor to take full advantage of courses offered by the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness (LOEP), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association (LEPA) and other agencies, as well as conferences, seminars and workshops that may from time to time be available, most notably state hurricane conferences and workshops and the National Hurricane Conference. The Director will also establish procedures for the notification of available training opportunities to other City agencies and other governmental and private emergency response organizations. Specific duties to coordinate and monitor available training and educational opportunities shall be an operational task of the Administrative and Training Officer (ATO) of the Office of Emergency Preparedness. The ATO shall maintain close communication with the State Training Officer of the LOEP as to the availability of training opportunities, coordinate classes for local personnel and maintain tracking of courses taken, develop methods of sharing to information with other emergency management personnel within the jurisdiction, as well as arrange training and educational opportunities for non?emergency management personnel, particularly local elected and appointed officials. The ATO, conducts on an annual basis, training and information sharing workshops with all EOC representatives from various agencies. These workshops are conducted at the Emergency Support Function (ESF) level. Workshops include the review of existing EOC/ESF standard operating procedures, review of organization changes that affects EOC or field disaster response operations, updates key personnel lists and identifies training needs of new personnel, and orientation to improvements or changes to EOC/ESF resources or materials. From time to time, the ATO may undertake more intensive work sessions with elements of the emergency response organizations in order to enhance unified disaster planning.

 

2. Develops and conducts disaster exercises.

 

The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall continue to exercise all levels of the City government in emergency preparedness and response operations. Annually, a minimum of one full?scale functional exercise that utilizes all levels of City government shall be conducted. This functional exercise shall include the Mayor, elected and appointed officials, independent authorities, and such non?governmental agencies as shall be determined appropriate.

 

The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall participate in the development and execution of annual Mass Casualty Incidents. This participation may include scenario development, site selection, and recruitment of resources and personnel.

 

The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall continue to provide assistance to private industry, non?profit organizations, and community organizations through the offering of training, joint drills and exercises, response and recovery plan development, and information sharing. Included in this effort are the following organizations:

 

* Association of Contingency Planners (ACP)

* New Orleans Tourist and Information Bureau

* New Orleans Hospital Association

 

The Director shall also develop evaluation procedures either independently or in conjunction with other participants, in order to evaluate exercises and to incorporate necessary changes into the disaster response organization.

 

3. Coordinates, facilitates and encourages other elements of city government in emergency preparedness and response planning efforts.

 

The Director shall continue ongoing programs of directing and facilitating City agencies in the improvement of service providing during disasters through the development of emergency response self?assessments, long?term action plans, agency contingency plans, ESF standard operating procedures, and other mechanisms that may be identified.

 

The City of New Orleans requires every agency of the City government to perform emergency response self?assessments of their abilities to continue to provide essential services during and following a major emergency or disaster. The City further requires that corresponding long?term action plans to address identified short?comings be developed by each agency of the City and submitted to the Office of Emergency Preparedness for review and inclusion in coordinated action activities.

 

4. Participates in state level exercises.

 

Annually, in conjunction with the Louisiana Statewide Hurricane Exercise, the Office of Emergency Preparedness will sponsor and coordinate a Parish wide exercise of the local government's emergency management organization. To enhance the State's exercise, the OEP Director shall develop scenarios based upon expected local impacts of the exercise storm. If local impacts from the exercise storm are deemed less than needed to exercise the full emergency response organization, than the OEP may independently develop scenarios that would allow for the exercise of all city/parish resources.

 

5. Coordinates disaster preparedness training activities with others in such areas as shelter operations, transportation, hospitals and nursing homes, hurricane evacuation and recovery, etc. The OEP shall work in conjunction with all elements of the disaster response organization to enhance emergency response training. Activities shall include identification of School Board and Dept. Of Health staffs to be trained in shelter management operations, providing educational workshops and seminars to public and private entities, develop and direct committees assembled to address critical issues of emergency response, develop specialized informational brochures directed at select elements of the community, and other activities as may be identified.

 

B. City Departments, Constitutional Authorities, and All Emergency Response Agencies.

 

1. Ensure personnel are trained in appropriate plans and standard operating procedures (SOP's) for disaster operations.

 

The City of New Orleans requires that every City/Parish agency prepare an Agency Disaster Report assessing their ability to respond to any disaster or emergency that may either affect their agency or which may call upon that agency to perform response or relief efforts. Each agency, as part of the assessment process , is required to address numerous issues, including the disaster role of the agency, the validity of existing plans and procedures, the training of employees in their disaster response roles, family preparedness, and emergency use and acquisition of resources.

 

Once the self?assessment is completed, each agency is then required to develop and implement, with the assistance of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, a Long Term Action Plan which will enhance their emergency preparedness and disaster response.

 

2. Attend, or provide senior staff as representatives to disaster training exercises.

 

The City of New Orleans, in order to develop a citywide awareness of disaster response functions, requires that each agency designate an Emergency Coordinating Officer (ECO). The ECO is responsible for the preparing and maintaining of emergency preparedness and disaster response plans and procedures for their agency. Part of this responsibility includes participation in disaster training exercises and drills as may be available.

 

C. OEP Shelter Coordinator

 

1. Provides shelter management training program to designated shelter managers and disaster services personnel.

 

2. Maintain trained volunteer cadre for disaster response in areas of mass feeding, damage assessment, etc.

 

3. Participate in disaster exercises when requested.

 

4. Develop recruitment programs that will provide the additional manpower required to respond to a major emergency such as a hurricane.

 

D. Chief Administrative Officer

 

1. Ensure training programs are conducted for municipal personnel with disaster responsibilities.

 

2. Ensure participation of key emergency response personnel in City disaster exercises.

 

3. Conduct local emergency exercises.

 

E. Orleans Parish School Board.

 

1. Ensure identification and training of shelter personnel for public shelters utilizing public school locations.

 

2. Conduct disaster education programs and staff training.

 

F. Emergency Medical Service

 

1. Conduct annual mass casualty exercise in order to test response capabilities of emergency response agencies and medical facilities.

 

2. Conduct oral critique and written after?action reports for the mass casualty exercises.

 

IV. DRILLS, EXERCISES TRAINING SESSIONS

 

The City of New Orleans government will conduct at least one functional or full scale training exercise annually, which will test the response capabilities of all functions of city government, as well as the private organizations, Parish school system and other agencies required to respond to disasters.

 

These tests will be conducted by the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and will be reviewed and assessed as to readiness by participants. Qualified observers may assist Emergency Preparedness personnel in evaluating the drills.

 

Private organizations, such as nursing homes, will be assisted by Emergency Preparedness personnel in conducting disaster drills as requested, and when required by State Law.

 

On a rotating basis in accordance with the schedule developed with the State Division of Emergency Management, the City shall conduct natural hazard, national security and technological exercises.

 

The Office of Emergency Preparedness shall conduct hurricane briefings and training sessions with the Mayor and his staff, Department Heads, municipal officials and all other governmental and private emergency response agencies.

 

On request, the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall brief elected officials on emergency management activities and hurricane preparedness.

 

The Office of Emergency Preparedness shall conduct hurricane and emergency management seminars when requested.

 

The Office of Emergency Preparedness shall participate in regional emergency preparedness planning sessions with other parishes and municipalities.

 

Part 2: PUBLIC AWARENESS and EDUCATION

 

I. GENERAL

 

One of the principal goals of the Office of Emergency Preparedness is the education of residents and visitors towards the natural and manmade hazards that do or may threaten our community. Many of the emergency preparedness and management functions directed at informing the public of events or rapidly developing situations is detailed in ESF?14, Public Information.

 

II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS

 

The coordination of public information activities is a shared responsibility of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and the Office of Communications. Public information procedures are divided into three phases: continuing education, pre?disaster preparation, and post?disaster recovery. Continuing education is intended to increase awareness of disaster potential, improve education on ways to protect life and property, and expand information on the availability of assistance and services. Pre?disaster preparation briefs the public on imminent danger, and provides details about evacuation and sheltering procedures. During the post?disaster phase, the public is informed on such matters as disaster assistance, health precautions, long term sheltering, and other important issues involving the community's recovery operations.

 

Specific tasks include the development and delivery of pre?disaster information and education programs, the coordination of all City Public Information Officers, the initiation of the proper news releases, announcements, etc., and the making of arrangements for printing adequate literature to facilitate the goal of educating and informing the public. The Office of Emergency Preparedness and Office of Communications shall also devise a mechanism whereby the largest possible segment of the population can be sufficiently educated in disaster events to minimize panic and misunderstanding, including elderly and special needs population.

 

III. TASKS

 

A. Office of Emergency Preparedness

 

1. The preparation and dissemination of a general public education program in order to attain high public morale, minimize fear and panic and obtain full individual participation in Emergency Preparedness activities and maximum public support of the emergency management plan.

 

Public education is the focus of the activities of the OEP Administration and Training Officer (ATO). Although all members of the OEP staff participate in public education, it is primarily the ATO who is responsible for the development of education programs. The ATO shall either utilize materials prepared by other agencies such as the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), or shall develop materials directed at the specific needs or concerns of our local population.

 

The ATO participates with other organizations in the presentation of disaster preparedness materials and programs. Such programs include corporate emergency preparedness/disaster presentations, presentations to civic and professional organizations, annual hurricane awareness seminars, and special event presentations.

 

The ATO is the OEP staff member who coordinates and facilitates required family preparedness seminars for City government employees. They are designed to educate employees to their families' needs in anticipation that the employee will not be available to assist in family disaster preparedness and response activities, and to educate families whose City employee spouse, parent, or guardian may not be available for an extended time following a disaster. The seminars discuss potential hazards to the City, evacuation options, job responsibilities, and other subjects.

 

2. To conduct public information programs providing regular reports to the public on Emergency Preparedness activities. The public information programs include news features on television and radio. Public forums, joint presentations, and speaking engagements will also be conducted.

 

3. Annually, assist business and media with publication of disaster preparedness and evacuation information.

 

4. In times of disaster, advise the public of developments and procedures for locating emergency services. During a disaster, the OEP directs calls to the Office of Public Advocacy. Public Advocacy provides current and accurate information to the public.

 

5. Develop procedures and mechanisms for the notification of persons who can not rely on traditional media sources.

 

The OEP works closely with the Human Relations Commission to identify and explore the feasibility of alternative notification methods, including new technology designed to assist the hearing and sight impaired.

 

Local television stations can also use header and footer scrolls across their programming in order to notify the hearing impaired of emergency situations.

 

The OEP works with the home health care industry to provide emergency preparedness information and educational materials. The EOC also, through ESF?8, Health and Medical, provides status reports of approaching tropical storms to home health providers to assist them in preparing their clients for severe weather.

 

6. The OEP shall maintain a working relation with the electronic media for the prompt dissemination of emergency related information.

 

In times of concern for developing events, or actual emergency, local media organizations will participate in the dissemination of public emergency information. Major local television stations will be present in the EOC upon clearance from the Office of Communications, and provide information from the EOC.

 

During an emergency, the OEP will utilize Cox Cable to facilitate information dissemination. 8. Following a major disaster such as a hurricane, coordinate with State and Federal agencies on news releases and other information being made available to the public. Areas within ESF?14 are designated for State and Federal agencies, where they will be provided work space in close proximity to media briefing and work areas. They will be joined by City public information officers (PIOs) who are trained in EOC public information procedures (See ESF?14, Public Information).

 

9. Develop procedures and mechanisms to provide proper identification for key response and recovery personnel, for governmental, private relief, and corporate entities.

 

10. Develop procedures for public identification of shelters, critical recovery services and centers prior to and immediately following a major disaster when all normal public information systems may be inoperable.

 

The OEP will, via ESF?6, Mass Care, and ESF?14, Public Information, issue constantly updated information on available shelters prior to and during disaster operations, and will utilize extraordinary means when called upon following a disaster to provide updated information.

 

11. The OEP shall develop procedures for providing information to transient and homeless populations through the procedures as outlined in the Severe Weather Shelter Program.

 

B. Office of Communications

 

1. Develop adequate educational materials for dissemination to the public prior to the disaster.

 

2. Coordinate and develop all news releases to be delivered by elected officials, and consult with other city departments and agencies in development of appropriate bulletins affecting their activities in which the public must be informed.

 

3. Literature in the form of pamphlets, flyers, circulars, etc., will be made available for public distribution. The literature will cover all aspects of emergency and disaster response.

 

4. Develop educational and informational literature that will be disseminated to the public concerning disasters. Information from private relief agencies will be included.

 

5. Prepare and disseminate information to tourists and transient populations as to conditions and best actions to take, time permitting.

 

6. City officials will be made aware of procedures to be followed in disseminating material and information to the public to avoid confusion.

 

7. In the event of a major emergency, activate and man the ESF?14, Public Information, and its media?center within the Emergency Operations Center, and operate it under protocols to be established in conjunction with the Mayor's Office and the Office of Emergency Preparedness.

 

8. Prior to hurricane season, assist in the establishment of ESF?14 procedures and operational guidelines, and conduct media orientations to EOC facilities and procedures.

 

9. Assist the Office of Public Advocacy in operating EOC Citizen Information Center, and for the coordination of information to be given out and in following up reports received by this hotline.

 

10. Provide technical assistance in developing public service announcements that can be prepared before hurricane season for later broadcast, when circumstances may not allow adequate preparation time.

 

Public service announcements are developed jointly between the OEP and Office of Communications. Prior to each hurricane season, the representatives of the OEP shall meet with the Office of Communications to evaluate the need for the development of public service announcements that can be made and stored until needed. Although such "canned" announcements may be developed, live announcements from the EOC shall remain the preferred method. Scripts that reflect numerous contingencies are developed and on file within the OEP, and allow for the editing of information for specific events.

 

11. Encourage local television and radio stations in development of special programs on hurricanes and other possible disasters.

 

C. Other Departments and Agencies

 

1. Other departments/divisions of the City will coordinate efforts with the OEP in the development of educational tools to be distributed to the public.

 

2. Other agencies will assure that their personnel are aware of procedures for disseminating information during an emergency or during the recovery from a disaster, and that these procedures include not giving out information that has not been cleared by the Emergency Operations Center.

 

ANNEX I: HURRICANES

 

RESPONSE (PHASE II: WARNING, EVACUATION, AND SHELTERING)

 

City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.

 

PART 1: WARNING

 

I. GENERAL

 

Evacuation planning and actual implementation has to be based upon certain assumptions. It must be understood that the need to evacuate elements of the population can occur at any time, events resulting in evacuations occur with various amounts of lead time and every evacuation will be unique and offer unexpected challenges to those conducting the evacuation. Evacuations in response to hazardous material spills or sudden severe weather are provided with little or no warning, and often have to be accomplished after the fact, and in a disaster response environment. Throughout the Parish persons with special needs, require special consideration regarding notification, transportation, and sheltering. Resources of equipment, facilities and personnel are more difficult to locate and coordinate when an evacuation is required during late night or early morning hours. If possible, advance warning should be given so an evacuation can be coordinated. Adequate provisions should be maintained at all times in order to conduct a warning or alert of an area.

 

Certain hazards, such as a hurricane, provide some lead time for coordinating an evacuation. However, this can not be considered a certainty. Plus, the sheer size of an evacuation in response to an approaching hurricane creates the need for the use of community-wide warning resources, which cannot be limited to our City's geographical boundaries. Evacuation of major portions of our population, either in response to localized or citywide disasters, can only be accomplished if the citizens and visitors are kept informed of approaching threats on a timely schedule, and if they are notified of the need to evacuate in a timely and organized manner. If an evacuation order is issued without the mechanisms needed to disseminate the information to the affected persons, then we face the possibility of having large numbers of people either stranded and left to the mercy of a storm, or left in an area impacted by toxic materials.

 

In this day of high-speed communication and wide-spread availability of information, mechanisms do exist to transmit emergency related information to the vast majority of the community. For our most serious threat, hurricanes, information from the National Hurricane Center in Miami and our local office of the National Weather Service, can reach the general population through local governments and mass media outlets. It is the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Preparedness to guarantee that not only is the public alerted, but that other emergency response organizations and personnel are alert and in position to meet the real or potential threat.

 

Warning for an emergency requires notification at two levels: notification of public officials and response organizations and the warning of the general public. The mechanisms chosen to accomplish these critical events must be rapid in execution and comprehensive in application. This annex outlines the procedures which will be implemented for notifying the emergency response network of its activation, and of informing the general public of the potential or actual occurrence of life threatening events and hazards.

 

The extent and methods of warnings issued will be determined by the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and are based upon the geographic area impacted. When events necessitate the immediate evacuation of threatened individuals, these decisions may be made by the on scene Incident Commander. Decisions affecting larger geographic areas will be made by the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness in conjunction with the Superintendent of Fire and Superintendent of Police.

 

General evacuations that may result from an approaching hurricane will be ordered by the Mayor of the City, upon the recommendation of the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness. The area affected by the warning may range from blocks and portions of neighborhoods, to the entire city.

 

II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS

 

The Office of Emergency Preparedness has the overall responsibility for reception and dissemination of warning information through the city.

 

If the EOC is rendered unusable, the City of New Orleans Mobile Command Center can be utilized to serve as a temporary Emergency Operations Center. Warnings of potential or actual emergencies can be received at the Parish Warning Point from the following sources:

 

1. National Weather Service (NWS) maintains its office in Slidell, LA. The NWS forecasts weather conditions and originates severe weather bulletins concerning the area. This information is received at the OEP via weather teletype, NOAA radio, and telephone.

 

2. Emergency Alert System - Replacing the former Emergency Broadcast System (EBS), the EAS can be used by numerous agencies not only to warn the public, but to receive information from other emergency warning and response organizations.

 

A. Types of Warnings

 

1. Severe Weather: Severe Weather warnings are issued by the National Weather Service when severe thunderstorms are expected to affect an area producing winds in excess of 57 mph, or hail 3/4-inch or greater.

 

2. Tornado Watches and Warnings: Tornado Watches and Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop or one has been sighted/reported respectively.

 

3. Marine Advisories: Marine Advisories are issued on a regular basis by the National Weather Service. Those related to tropical weather systems are issued every 6 hours to report the location and strength of a tropical depression, tropical storm or hurricane. In addition to this information, the Marine Advisory provides predicted strength and forecast positions of the storm at 12, 24, 36, 48 and 72 hours.

 

4. Tropical Storm/Hurricane Watches and Warnings: Tropical Storm/Hurricane Watches and Warnings are issued as part of the Marine Advisory when a storm may, or is expected to affect a land mass. A Watch is generally issued when a storm might affect an area within 36 hours, while a Warning is issued when a storm is expected to affect an area within 24 hours. Since Hurricanes contain both hurricane force winds (74 mph or greater) and Tropical Storm force winds (40-74 mph), both may be established for a coastal area. The Hurricane Watch/Warning will be issued for the area where the hurricane force winds are expected or are possible, whereas the Tropical Storm Watch/Warning will be issued for areas on either side of the Hurricane Watch/Warning.

 

5. Localized Evacuations: Localized Evacuations may be ordered or recommended when an emergency occurs, which affects a relatively small area, such as a Hazardous Materials release or a large fire. Localized Evacuation would also include river or lake flooding caused by strong, sustained easterly winds in low lying areas outside the levee protection system.

 

B. Methods of Notification

 

1. Officials and Organizations: The notification of key officials and organizations in the City can be accomplished by several means. Upon notification of an emergency, the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness will determine who is to be notified based upon the severity, type, and location of the occurring emergency.

 

a. Emergency Hotline Telephone System: The "Mayor's Hotline" is a pre-programmed telephone system which connects the EOC.

 

b. Emergency Preparedness FAX: Situational updates and messages of a non-immediate nature can be transmitted to city/parish agencies, other municipalities, emergency operations centers, and the State EOC.

 

c. Landline and Mobile Telephone Systems: EOC keeps a comprehensive listing of telephone numbers to be called for varying situations. Key officials and personnel are listed by business phone, home phone, mobile phone, and electronic pager number. The general public will be notified of emergencies by all means possible when it is determined to be necessary by the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness. Warning bulletins will be disseminated by the Office of Emergency Preparedness, coordinated with the Office of Communications. Warnings will generally include areas affected and precautions to be taken.

 

d. Emergency Alert System (EAS): The Emergency Alert System is the primary means of advising the public of a localized emergency. The primary EAS stations for New Orleans are WWL (870 AM) and WLMG (101.9 FM). The EAS can be contacted by telephone and radio.

 

2. Media: The broadcast media provide a major part of the city's capability to warn the public in a timely manner.

 

a. A combination of Live Media Statements and Pre-recorded Messages will be used as a disaster situation develops. Once the Emergency Operations Center is activated, the task of updating the media falls to the Office of Communications.

 

b. Mobile Public Address Systems: New Orleans Police Department personnel can be called upon to use the public address systems built into their vehicles.

 

PART 2: EVACUATION

 

I. GENERAL

 

The safe evacuation of threatened populations when endangered by a major catastrophic event is one of the principle reasons for developing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. The thorough identification of at-risk populations, transportation and sheltering resources, evacuation routes and potential bottlenecks and choke points, and the establishment of the management team that will coordinate not only the evacuation but which will monitor and direct the sheltering and return of affected populations, are the primary tasks of evacuation planning. Due to the geography of New Orleans and the varying scales of potential disasters and their resulting emergency evacuations, different plans are in place for small-scale evacuations and for citywide relocations of whole populations.

 

Authority to issue evacuations of elements of the population is vested in the Mayor. By Executive Order, the chief elected official, the Mayor of the City of New Orleans, has the authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane.

 

Evacuation procedures for special needs persons with either physical or mental handicaps, including registration of disabled persons, is covered in the SOP for Evacuation of Special Needs Persons.

 

Major population relocations resulting from an approaching hurricane or similar anticipated disaster, caused the City of New Orleans Office of Emergency Preparedness to develop a specific Hurricane Emergency Evacuation Standard Operating Procedures, which are appended to the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.

 

The SOP is developed to provide for an orderly and coordinated evacuation intended to minimize the hazardous effects of flooding, wind, and rain on the residents and visitors in New Orleans. The SOP provides for the evacuation of the public from danger areas and the designations of shelters for evacuees.

 

II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS

 

The Hurricane Emergency Evacuation Standard Operating Procedure is designed to deal with all case scenarios of an evacuation in response to the approach of a major hurricane towards New Orleans. It is designed to deal with the anticipation of a direct hit from a major hurricane. This includes identifying the city's present population, its projected population, identification of at-risk populations (those living outside levee protection or in storm-surge areas, floodplains, mobile homes, etc.), in order to understand the evacuation requirements. It includes identifying the transportation network, especially the carrying-capacity of proposed evacuation routes and existing or potential traffic bottlenecks or blockages, caused either by traffic congestion or natural occurrences such as rising waters. Identification of sheltering resources and the establishment of shelters and the training of shelter staff is important, as is the provision for food and other necessities to the sheltered. This preparation function is the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Preparedness.

 

Conduct of an actual evacuation will be the responsibility of the Mayor of New Orleans in coordination with the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and the OEP Shelter Coordinator.

 

The SOP, in unison with other elements of the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, is designed for use in all hazard situations, including citywide evacuations in response to hurricane situations and addresses three elements of emergency response: warning, evacuation, and sheltering.

 

1. Warning: Formulates a comprehensive system for public information, early recognition of impending storms, and dissemination of emergency warning.

 

2. Evacuation: Formulates an effective procedure for orderly evacuation of residents and visitors within available warning time.

 

3. Sheltering: Formulates a comprehensive system of accessible shelters of adequate size.

 

The SOP is limited as it is not designed to address the protection of personal and real property, yet is developed to cover the total New Orleans geographic area. The timely issuance of evacuation orders critically impacts upon the successful evacuation of all citizens from high-risk areas. In determining the proper time to issue evacuation orders, there is no substitute for human judgement based upon all known circumstances surrounding local conditions and storm characteristics.

 

Information received from the National Hurricane Center concerning the storm's tract will allow the focusing on either a landfall, paralleling or exiting storm scenario. Information involving local conditions such as pre-hurricane rainfall, tide schedules, and the amount of pre-storm publicity, must be taken into account, as are the various known circumstances that are explained in the information summary portion of the Hurricane Evacuation Plan, in determining when an evacuation order should be issued. Any assumption regarding where and how the storm will likely make landfall involves clear and constant communication with the National Hurricane Center, the local office of the National Weather Service, State OEP and various local agencies that are monitoring either the storm's progress or other elements of the city's preparedness to weather the storm's passage.

 

The City of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Those evacuated will be directed to temporary sheltering and feeding facilities as needed. When specific routes of progress are required, evacuees will be directed to those routes. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed.

 

Slow developing weather conditions (primarily hurricane) will create increased readiness culminating in an evacuation order 24 hours (12 daylight hours) prior to predicted landfall. Disabled vehicles and debris will be removed from highways so as not to impede evacuation. In local evacuations involving more than fifty (50) families (i.e. 50 single dwelling units), staging areas may be established at the closest available public area outside the threatened area. Upon arrival at the staging area, evacuees will be directed to the appropriate shelter facility. Evacuees will be encouraged to stay with friends or relatives in non-threatened areas whenever possible. Security measures will be employed to protect the evacuated area(s) in accordance with established procedures and situations.

 

The use of travel-trailers, campers, motorcycles, bicycles, etc., during the evacuation will be allowed so long as the situation permits it. Public information broadcasts will include any prohibitions on their use. Transportation will be provided to those persons requiring public transportation from the area. (See Special Needs Transportation, ESF-1). An orderly return to the evacuated areas will be provided after the Mayor determines the threat to be terminated. Transportation back to the evacuated area after threat termination will be provided as available.

 

III. EVACUATION ORDER

 

A. Authority

 

As established by the City of New Orleans Charter, the government has jurisdiction and responsibility in disaster response. City government shall coordinate its efforts through the Office of Emergency Preparedness

 

The authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane is conferred to the Governor by Louisiana Statute. The Governor is granted the power to direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from a stricken or threatened area within the State, if he deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response or recovery. The same power to order an evacuation conferred upon the Governor is also delegated to each political subdivision of the State by Executive Order. This authority empowers the chief elected official of New Orleans, the Mayor of New Orleans, to order the evacuation of the parish residents threatened by an approaching hurricane.

 

B. Issuance of Evacuation Orders

 

The person responsible for recognition of hurricane related preparation needs and for the issuance of an evacuation order is the Mayor of the City of New Orleans. Concerning preparation needs and the issuance of an evacuation order, The Office of Emergency Preparedness should keep the Mayor advised.

 

IV: HURRICANE EVACUATION PROCEDURES

 

It must be understood that this Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan is an all-hazard response plan, and is applicable to events of all sizes, affecting even the smallest segments of the community. Evacuation procedures for small scale and localized evacuations are conducted per the SOPs of the New Orleans Fire Department and the New Orleans Police Department. However, due to the sheer size and number of persons to be evacuated, should a major tropical weather system or other catastrophic event threaten or impact the area, specifically directed long range planning and coordination of resources and responsibilities efforts must be undertaken.

 

A. Evacuation Time Requirements

 

Using information developed as part of the Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Task Force and other research, the City of New Orleans has established a maximum acceptable hurricane evacuation time standard for a Category 3 storm event of 72 hours. This is based on clearance time or is the time required to clear all vehicles evacuating in response to a hurricane situation from area roadways. Clearance time begins when the first evacuating vehicle enters the road network and ends when the last evacuating vehicle reaches its destination.

 

Clearance time also includes the time required by evacuees to secure their homes and prepare to leave (mobilization time); the time spent by evacuees traveling along the road network (travel time); and the time spent by evacuees waiting along the road network due to traffic congestion (delay time). Clearance time does not refer to the time a single vehicle spends traveling on the road network. Evacuation notices or orders will be issued during three stages prior to gale force winds making landfall.

 

> Precautionary Evacuation Notice: 72 hours or less

 

> Special Needs Evacuation Order: 8-12 hours after Precautionary Evacuation Notice issued

 

> General Evacuation Notice: 48 hours or less

 

B. Evacuation Zones

 

Evacuation (vulnerability) zones provide a base to model traffic movements from one geographic area to another. It is necessary to revise the evacuation zones from time to time due to data generated by new generations of storm-surge modeling .

 

Evacuation zones are designed to meet several functions: (1) In coastal areas they must reflect the areas in each storm scenario which will need to be evacuated due to storm-surge inundation; (2) They should relate as closely as possible to available population data information, such as enumeration districts, census tracts, zip code areas, transportation analysis zones, etc.; and (3) They need to be describable in a manner that persons in the area will be able to understand.

 

Evacuation zones will be developed pending further study.

 

C. Evacuation Routing and Traffic Control

 

New Orleans is surrounded by water. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway leads to the north, the I-10 twin spans head east, I-10 runs east-west and the Crescent City Connection and the Huey P. Long bridges cross over the Mississippi River. Evacuation presents unique and distinct challenges.

 

Principle traffic control is provided by the New Orleans Police Department. The movement of evacuating vehicles during a hurricane evacuation requires specific traffic control efforts to insure the maximum roadway capacity and to expedite safe escape from hurricane hazards.

 

1. Bridge closures will be announced as necessary.

 

2. NOPD officers will be stationed at critical intersections and roadway segments

 

3. All available tow trucks shall be positioned along key roadway segments, and disabled vehicles will be removed from traffic lanes. No repairs will be done to vehicles along the evacuation routes.

 

4. Manual direction of traffic will be supplemented by physical barriers that are adequately weighted and which are placed to channel traffic and prevent unnecessary turning and merging conflicts.

 

5. The movement of mobile homes and campers along evacuation routes will be banned after a hurricane warning is issued. A disabled mobile home could block the only escape route available. Such vehicles are difficult to handle late in an evacuation due to sporadic wind conditions.

 

6. Boat owners must be made aware of time requirements for moving or securing vessels. Optimally, industrial and recreational vessels should be moved to safe harbor during or before a hurricane watch.

 

7. Emergency Response to Accidents/Breakdowns - The intensity of traffic during a hurricane evacuation will always be accompanied by a certain number of traffic accidents and breakdowns. Although roadway shoulders are available for vehicles in distress, the movement of such vehicles to these areas is often difficult and disruptive. It is recommended that at least two traffic control personnel be positioned at each key roadway link/intersection so that one can assist disabled vehicles as needed. Two vehicles should also be positioned at each critical link to facilitate the removal of immobilized vehicles, however, as resources (two vehicles) are available.

 

8. Safe evacuation is predicated upon the movement of vehicles over critically low points on evacuation routes prior to the occurrence of flooding. Route blockages can happen prior to the arrival of a hurricane. Those roadways that historically experience flooding due to rainfall alone should be monitored for vehicle distress and help.

 

D. Evacuation Clearance Times

 

Clearance time is the time required to clear the roadways of all vehicles evacuating in response to a hurricane situation. Clearance time begins when the first evacuating vehicle (as defined by a hurricane evacuation behavioral response curve) enters the road network and ends when the last evacuating vehicle reaches an assumed point of safety. Clearance time includes the time required by evacuees to secure their homes and prepare to leave (referred to as mobilization time). Clearance time DOES NOT RELATE to the time any one vehicle spends traveling on the road network. Clearance time allows for the last vehicle leaving to reach its destination or the parish line, whichever comes first.

 

Assumptions - Clearance time is based on a set of assumed conditions and behavioral responses. It is likely that an actual storm will differ from a simulated storm for which clearance times are calculated in this report. Key assumptions guiding the analysis are grouped into five areas: 1. Population Data

 

2. Storm Scenarios

 

3. Behavioral Characteristic of the Evacuating Population

 

4. Roadway Network and Traffic Control Assumptions

 

5. Evacuation Zones

 

 

 

The clearance times facing Orleans Parish for a severe hurricane will necessitate proper traffic control and early evacuating decision making. The evacuation must be completed before the arrival of gale force winds. Evacuation should also start when school is not in session and when there is at least eight (8) hours of daylight included in the evacuation time allowed. Provisions must be made for the removal of disabled vehicles. Flooding of roadways due to rainfall before a hurricane arrives could close off critical evacuation routes rendering evacuation impossible.

 

V. TASKS

 

 

 

A. Mayor

 

* Initiate the evacuation.

 

* Retain overall control of all evacuation procedures via EOC operations.

 

* Authorize return to evacuated areas.

 

B. Office of Emergency Preparedness

 

* Activate EOC and notify all support agencies to this plan.

 

* Coordinate with State OEP on elements of evacuation.

 

* Assist in directing the transportation of evacuees to staging areas.

 

* Assist ESF-8, Health and Medical, in the evacuation of persons with special needs, nursing home, and hospital patients in accordance with established procedures.

 

* Coordinate the release of all public information through ESF-14, Public Information.

 

* Use EAS, television, cable and other public broadcast means as needed and in accordance with established procedure.

 

* Request additional law enforcement/traffic control (State Police, La. National Guard) from State OEP.

 

C. New Orleans Police Department

 

* Ensure orderly traffic flow.

 

* Assist in removing disabled vehicles from roadways as needed.

 

* Direct the management of transportation of seriously injured persons to hospitals as needed.

 

* Direct evacuees to proper shelters and/or staging areas once they have departed the threatened area.

 

* Release all public information through the ESF-14, Public Information.

 

D. Regional Transit Authority

 

* Supply transportation as needed in accordance with the current Standard Operating Procedures.

 

* Place special vehicles on alert to be utilized if needed.

 

* Position supervisors and dispatch evacuation buses.

 

* If warranted by scope of evacuation, implement additional service.

 

E. Louisiana National Guard

 

* Provide assistance as needed in accordance with current State guidelines.

 

F. Animal Care and Control

 

* Coordinate animal rescue operations with the New Orleans SPCA.

 

G. Public Works

 

* Make emergency road repairs as needed.

 

H. Office of Communications

 

* Release all public information relating to the evacuation.

 

PART 3: SHELTERING

 

(See ESF-6, Mass Care)

 

Emergency shelter operations are the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Preparedness Shelter Coordinator. Shelters are provided by the Orleans Parish School Board, while manager training and support activities and supplies are provided by the Office of Emergency Preparedness.

 

Reassessment of facilities is an on-going process conducted jointly by the School Board, and Emergency Preparedness Division. The shelter activation list is updated yearly, and takes into consideration new school construction, school closings and renovations.

 

A. Shelter Demand

 

Shelter demand is currently under review by the Shelter Coordinator. Approximately 100,000 Citizens of New Orleans do not have means of personal transportation. Shelter assessment is an ongoing project of the Office of Emergency Preparedness through the Shelter Coordinator.

 

The following schools have been inspected and approved as Hurricane Evacuation Shelters for the City of New Orleans: Laurel Elementary School

 

Walter S. Cohen High School

 

Medard Nelson Elementary School

 

Sarah T. Reed High School

 

Southern University Multi Purpose Center

 

Southern University New Science Building

 

O. Perry Walker High School

 

Albert Wicker Elementary School

 

It should not be assumed that all of the approved shelters listed above will be opened in the event of a hurricane or other major tropical storm. The names and locations of open shelters will be announced when an evacuation order is issued. This list is not for public information and should not be duplicated and distributed. In the event that shelters are opened, people who go to their nearest listed location may find, for one reason or another, that the facility is not open as a shelter, forcing them to seek an alternate location. It is also possible that people anticipating the opening of shelters may arrive before shelters are set-up and ready to receive them. For these and other reasons, shelters which are to be used will not be identified until they are ready to open and not until an evacuation order, related public announcement is made.

 

Last Resort Refuges and Super Shelters are described in specific SOPs covering their applications.

 

NEX I: HURRICANES

 

RECOVERY (PHASE III)

 

City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

 

I. GENERAL

 

Following a disaster, once the principal threat has passed and the primary concern of protection of citizens from harm has been addressed, it becomes critical to public safety to ensure the speedy yet orderly recovery of the community. Recovery functions include continued, potentially long?term response operations (such as debris removal and disposal, infrastructure repair, etc.), liaison with State and Federal response and recovery agencies, damage assessment, response to basic needs of citizens whom may have lost their homes, possessions, businesses, or jobs. Emergency management has to be prepared to address the long?term operations needed to return the community to normalcy.

 

II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS

 

The lead agency responsible for coordinating recovery operations following a natural or man made disaster is the Office of Emergency Preparedness. The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall serve as the initial contact with the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness for the coordination of recovery efforts. In the event of a major or catastrophic event, the activated ESFs within the EOC shall provide liaison services to their corresponding State and Federal ESFs and related agencies. Following the establishment of a local Disaster Field Office (DFO), the Director of Emergency Preparedness shall designate the person(s) to serve as local liaison with the DFO. For certain hazard or incident specific incidents, the lead response agency may continue to be the City's principle coordinating representative.

 

Once into the recovery phase of a major disaster, ESF?5, Planning and Information, shall assume the liaison function with the State recovery staff, as will appropriate representatives of the various activated City agencies involved in recovery operations. Coordination for the establishment of Disaster Relief Centers, additional staging areas, and other sites that may be needed for coordinated assistance will primarily be the responsibility of ESF?7, Resource Support, and its support agency.

 

A. Damage Assessment

 

The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall designate a Damage Assessment Officer to supervise assigned persons in a Damage Assessment Unit (DAU). This unit will have three functional components:

 

1. Public Sector Damage Assessment Team(s), which will be responsible for assessing the damage inflicted upon publicly?owned property.

 

2. Private Sector Damage Assessment Team(s), which will be responsible for collecting information on housing and business losses.

 

3. Human Needs Assessment Team(s), are persons assigned to collect field information on the needs of the community following a disaster that has severely impacted facilities and other community assets that are depended upon for daily living, and to report back to the EOC.

 

Specific damage assessment procedures and responsibilities can be found in Standard Operating Procedure for Damage Assessment. Impact to the local economy shall be ascertained however possible, but will rely on the following organizations for preliminary information and periodically revised data:

 

1. Property Appraiser's Office (value of damaged or destroyed properties)

 

2. City Planning Commission (impact on jobs, etc.)

 

3. ESF?18, Business and Industry (business specific losses)

 

Information gathered shall be monitored for inclusion in Situation Reports by ESF?5, Information and Planning. Initial damage assessments shall be accomplished by participation in flyovers conducted by the Louisiana National Guard. City representatives will participate in the flyover. Flyovers will also be used to initially develop a needs assessment for goods and services needed by the community as a result of the disaster. Needs assessment data and information will be tracked by ESF?5, Information and Planning, and distributed to human service response agencies. Other methods used to assess physical damages and develop needs and services estimates include:

 

1. Additional flyovers.

 

2. City vehicles, such as trucks, automobiles, off?road vehicles, etc.

 

3. Riverside damage assessment shall be conducted by the Harbor Police.

 

4. Where damage is extensive, and roads may not be passable, damage assessment teams may resort to foot patrols.

 

B. Human Services

 

Location of Disaster Relief Centers and other recovery operation sites shall be the joint responsibility of ESF?7, Resource Support, and the Damage Assessment Teams, which will scout undamaged or lightly damaged facilities while conducting field surveys. Prior to hurricane season, a list of potential buildings should be compiled that meet the criteria for a Disaster Relief Center or other recovery function. These facilities shall then be checked by damage assessment teams for potential use following a disaster. An inventory of city owned properties will also be available in the EOC and certain facilities, such as large community centers, shall be reviewed for use at the time.

 

Multiple sites shall be identified and geographically positioned to serve the impacted populations without placing burdens upon those who may have lost their private transportation resources as a result of the disaster. Regional Transit Authority may be called upon to provide free transit to recovery centers located along existing bus routes. Recovery center staffing patterns shall be developed along accepted state and federal guidelines and provided from city, state and private agencies.

 

Feeding and food and supply distribution sites shall be established following a disaster in geographically distributed sites across the Parish. Feeding sites shall be established by ESF?6, Mass Care, in conjunction with ESF?11, Food and Water. The Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army shall provide the lead in establishing and operating these sites. The Second Harvest Food Bank shall provide leadership in the acquiring and distribution of food and water. ESF?15, Volunteers and Donations, shall direct outside resources to the appropriate sites where these volunteer services can best be used. Temporary living areas shall be established when possible on city owned property. ESF?7, Resource Support, shall assist in the location and acquisition of non city owned property. The New Orleans Housing Authority shall be called upon to assist with public housing for the temporarily displaced.

 

C. Infrastructure

 

Following a disaster of such magnitude that far exceeds the City's and State's ability to meet the needs of the community and results in the requesting and granting of a Presidential Disaster Declaration, the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall, as previously described, at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency or Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness, establish Disaster Relief Centers for individuals seeking recovery assistance. These sites shall be established at geographically strategic sites, providing all affected citizens with access to available programs, and shall provide representatives from numerous federal, state, local, and private relief agencies. Locations of the centers, as well as information on FEMA's teleregistration program, shall be made known via ESF?14, Public Information, and all other available information outlets (see ESF?14, Public Information).

 

For affected governments and qualified not?for?profit organizations, a Public Officials Briefing shall be held. At the briefing, public officials shall be oriented on available assistance and procedures, and shall receive "Notice Of Interest" forms to be filed with state and federal officials. Subsequent "Project Applications" shall be filed with FEMA for further processing. State and federal authorities will evaluate the project applications and determine justification for assistance.

 

City of New Orleans Department personnel shall serve as the City's principal representatives in preparation of disaster application forms, monitoring of projects to completion and certification, and disbursement of relief funds. The City shall also coordinate the development of Disaster Survey Reports and review and represent the City in negotiations for restitution of losses with federal and state officials.

 

Debris removal shall be coordinated and executed by ESF?3, Public Works and Engineering. Fallen trees and similar debris shall be disposed of to the extent possible. Methods for disposal of non?mulchable debris shall be determined by ESF?3, in conjunction with local and state environmental officials. Administrative procedures for financial transactions, cost accounting, grants management, document tracking and payroll processing will be implemented by ESF?7, Resource Support. Following deactivation of the EOC, these functions shall be continued by those agencies that staff ESF?7. Procedures and instructions for preparing Disaster Survey Reports and tracking disaster costs have been developed by the City. The City also provides training and instruction on these procedures.

 

ANNEX I: HURRICANES

 

MITIGATION (PHASE IV)

 

City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

 

I. GENERAL

 

Mitigation includes those activities, policies or programs developed and adopted by government officials which will reduce, eliminate, or alleviate damage caused by disasters. Proper and coordinated planning is a prerequisite to effective and efficient procedural changes required in addressing hazard mitigation. The City of New Orleans currently participates in, or has commenced the initial stages of several programs intended to reduce the risk to lives and to minimize damage to public and private properties.

 

II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS

 

Mitigation programs include coordinated city, state and federal efforts that are currently in place, such as the National Flood Insurance Program, or future actions designed to reduce the loss of life and extensive property damage.

 

A. National Flood Insuran

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Yup, I've read it...and as I've said, I have not been able to find any town, city, or community along the US coastline that evacuates the citizens by public transportation means, no matter what their individual disaster plan says.

 

When the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans was issued, one nursing home in the city did evacuate it's residents, and 3 of the elderly residents died while evacuating.

 

Just think of the lawsuits that would have been filed if New Orleans have emerged from the hurricane unscathed?

 

A lot of focus has been on New Orleans, but N.O. was only 1/6 or so of the population affected, and a small portion of the geographic area.  Should we read the disaster preparedness plan of the hundreds of towns that were destroyed? and disect each one to see where they went wrong? or should we recognize the fact that in rare large-scale disasters such as this, the big boys with the money and the experience should be "stepping in"....after all, that IS what they did...eventually.

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George Bush is good

George Bush is great

Hail the Chief!

Now, I won't go that far. The guy won't use his veto pen and I know there have been a few times he should have. He won't protect our border and that pisses me off to no end.

 

But to blame him for what happened in New Orleans is ignorant at best.

 

That would be like blaming the center fielder for an out of the park homerun and not even looking at the pitch that was thrown.

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Yup, I've read it...and as I've said, I have not been able to find any town, city, or community along the US coastline that evacuates the citizens by public transportation means, no matter what their individual disaster plan says.

OK, now I understand you now. It doesn’t matter what their plan is, it doesn’t matter what the city trains for, the city has no responsibility to implant their own procedures. The federal government should have plans for every city across the country and should be ready to implement those procedures at the drop of a hat.

 

That makes sense

 

I guess they should have been out here in LA when the power went out. For 2-1/2 hours no one knew what happened. It could have spread across the western region as the power outage did a few years back in the northeast.

 

Why were they not the first responders? Why did they not have their teams ready to go at a moments notice?

 

How about during the earthquakes, wildfires and landslides? Why are they always a week late on getting here? Maybe because they are not supposed to do that type of work. Maybe that is why cities, counties and state have their organizations set up for the initial response.

 

You sure have strange ideas for a libertarian; sounds a bit more Socialistic to me. Reliance on Big Government

 

 

A big storm approaches. The weatherman urges everyone to get out of town. The man says "I won't worry, the Feds will save me". The morning of the storm, the police go through the neighborhood with a sound truck telling everyone to evacuate. The man says "I won't worry, the Feds will save me". The storm drains back up and there is an inch of water standing in the street. A fire truck comes by to pick up the man. He tells them "Don't worry, the Feds will save me." The water rises another foot. A national guard truck comes by to rescue the man. He tells them "Don't worry, the Feds will save me." The water rises some more. The man is forced up to his roof. A boat comes by to rescue the man. He tells them "Don't worry, the Feds will save me." The water rises higher. The man is forced up to the very top of his roof. A helicopter comes to rescue the man. He shouts up at them "Don't worry, the Feds will save me." The water rises above his house, and the man drowns. When he gets up to heaven he says to God (Who, of course, he never belived in.) "I've been on welfare ever since I was born! Why didn't the Feds save me?" God replies "First the city sent you a fire truck, then the Governor sent the national guard, then a friend came by on a boat, and then the coast guard sent a helicopter. What more do you want!!??"
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I put this in another topic in the forum also.  Guess it fits here too.  Again, didnt research the truth of all this, so read at your own discretion:

 

Lets hope all of this comes out in a true investigation of the damage in New

Orleans due to the hurricane.

It's time for the Louisiana folks to clean house on the Governors office and

ALL New Orleans politicians!

Please send this email to all you know - and - don't let anybody  tell you

it's all Bush's fault!!!

 

 Subject: The battle over New Orleans

 

On Friday night before the storm hit, Max  Mayfield of the National

Hurricane Center took the unprecedented action

of calling Nagin and  Blanco personally to plead with them to begin

MANDATORY evacuation of New Orleans

and they said they'd take it under consideration. This was after the New

Orleans AA buoy 240  miles south had recorded

68' waves before it was destroyed.

 

President  Bush spent Friday afternoon and evening in meetings with his

advisors and administrators drafting all of the

paperwork required for a state to Comitatus Act or having to enact the

Insurgency Act.

 

Just before midnight Friday evening the President called Governor Blanco

and pleaded with her to sign the request papers so

the federal government and the military could legally begin mobilization

and call up. He was told that they didn't think it         necessary for the

federal government to be involved yet.

 

After the President's final call to the governor she held meetings with her

staff to discuss the political ramifications of

bringing federal  forces. It was decided that if they allowed federal

assistance it would make it look as if they had failed

so it was agreed upon that the feds would not be invited in.

 

Saturday before the storm hit the President again called Blanco and Nagin

requesting they please sign the papers

requesting federal assistance that they declare the state an emergency

area, and begin mandatory evacuation.

After a personal plea from the  President Nagin agreed to order an

evacuation, but it would not be a full  mandatory

evacuation, and the governor still refused to sign the papers requesting

and authorizing federal action.

 

In frustration the President  declared the area a national disaster area

before the state of Louisiana did so he could

legally begin some advanced preparations. Rumor has it that the President's

legal advisers were looking into the ramifications

of using the insurgency act to bypass the Constitutional requirement that a

state request federal aid before the federal

government can move into a state with troops - but that had not been done

since 1906 and the Constitutionality of it was called into question to use

before the disaster. Throw in that over half the federal aid of the past

decade to

New Orleans for levee construction, maintenance, and repair was diverted to

fund a marina and support the gambling ships.

 

Toss in the investigation that will look into why the emergency

preparedness plan submitted to the federal

government for funding and published on the city's website was  never

implemented and in fact may have been bogus for the purpose of gaining

additional federal funding as we now learn that the organizations identified

in the plan were never contacted or coordinating into any planning - though

the document implies that they were.

 

The suffering  people of New Orleans need to be asking some hard questions

as do we all, but they better start with why Blanco refused to even sign the

multi-state mutual aid pack activation documents until Wednesday which

further delayed the legal deployment of National Guard  from adjoining

states. Or maybe ask why Nagin keeps harping that the President should have

commandeere! d 500 Greyhound busses to help him when according to his own

emergency plan and documents

he claimed to have over 500 busses at his disposal to use between the local

school busses and the city transportation busses - but he never raised a

finger to prepare them or activate them.

 

This is a sad time for all of us to see that a major city has all but been

destroyed and thousands of people have died with hundreds of thousands more

suffering, but it's certainly not a time for people to be pointing fingers

and trying to find a bigger dog to blame for local corruption and

incompetence. Pray to God for the survivors that they can start their lives

anew as fast as possible and we learn from all the mistakes to avoid them in

the future.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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