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Re: Katrina emergency response

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You can read more about what FEMA USAR does at:

You can call it whatever you want, but we are on the scene as soon as humanly possible. Hurricanes are tracked, and we can be more proactive than other disasters. The response model was created at first to dig Californians out of earthquake damaged buildings. It evolved later to dig victims out of bomb damaged buildings like Oklahoma City. It evolved again resulting from the WTC terrorist attacks.

The FEMA USAR plan will evolve again for the lessons of Katrina.

Whether you call it first responders, or rescuing liberals or conservatives, it really doesn't matter. We even dig lawyers out. The blame game will happen. That is for politicians. I am an engineer and Structural Specialist with FEMA USAR MO TF-1. When it comes to things like this, I respond. I may be the first, second, or the last responder.

Harold Sprague

From: Bill Polhemus <bill(--nospam--at)>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Katrina emergency response
Date: Tue, 06 Sep 2005 16:43:54 -0500

Harold Sprague wrote:


On 2 different hurricanes this year (one in July in Florida and for Katrina) FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Missouri Task Force 1 deployed well in advance of landfall to a position within about 6 or 8 hour driving range PRIOR to landfall. The Florida hurricane did not amount to much and after landfall, FEMA demobilized the task force and they returned to Missouri.

I don't consider this "first response" because you're not RESPONDING to anything.

By that definition, it is "first response" to build a fire station near a housing development.

"First response" is defined, as I recall, as responding to an actual disaster.

I think it's great that FEMA tried to be ready to go when it looked certain this might happen. I don't really fault FEMA or the great majority of folks who tried to anticipate and since have worked to alleviate this disaster.

Who I FAULT is the local and state officials in LA whose immediate first impulse was to read talking points sent them from the DNC's fax machines rather than just get to work. At least they're consistent: The Left's continued insistence that the Federal gub'mint is the answer to any, every and all problems is nauseatingly familiar. One woman on a discussion list I monitor (on the subject of acoustic guitar music, as it happens) summed it all up: "People are suffering and dying in the N.O. Superdome! Please alert your congressperson as soon as you read this!"

The FACT is, that the CONO's own Emergency Plan for forced evacuation of citizens using city-owned mass transport was IGNORED, but the city officials then chimed in with the "blame Bush" chorus. This is criminal behavior, IMO.

More than anything else, the FACT that this "debate" began not twenty-four hours after the storm came ashore is the most sickening thing I have ever beheld in my entire life.

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