Be prepared

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New Orleans

Each morning I step into the kitchen and check a daily Bushism calendar that sits on top of the microwave oven. Here’s today’s entry –

“Home is important. It’s important to have a home.”—Crawford, Texas, Feb. 18, 2001

Hurricane Katrina has left thousands of area residents homeless. If you live within 300 miles of the devastated area and are able to provide a warm bed or shelter, please log on to hurricanehousing.org  to offer free housing.

Due to our president’s single-mindedness in the war against terror and his optimism that hurricane season would be a walk in the park, millions of dollars in budget cuts to disaster relief have been diverted to Homeland Security.

Meanwhile, thousands of people are stranded without food and water and basic sanitation as looters continue to ransack the city, afforded free reign.

Knight Ridder Newspapers –

“We’re not getting any help yet,” said Biloxi Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Boney. “We need water. We need ice. I’ve been told it’s coming, but we’ve got people in shelters who haven’t had a drink since the storm.”

The slow response to Katrina and poor federal leadership is a replay of 1992’s mishandling of Hurricane Andrew, said former FEMA chief of staff Jane Bullock, a 22-year veteran of the agency.

The slowness is all too familiar to Kate Hale. As Miami’s disaster chief during Hurricane Andrew, Hale asked: “Where the hell’s the cavalry?”

May help soon arrive to the survivors in Katrina’s wake. And here’s to hope that our leaders are capable of learning from their mistakes.

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