Security

Katrina Speech: Emergency Planning a Low Priority

CREDIT:

Bush said: “I consider detailed emergency planning to be a national security priority.”

FACT — FOUR YEARS AFTER 9/11, STILL NO NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS GOALS: On August 30, “as New Orleans was drowning and DHS officials were still hours away from invoking the department’s highest crisis status for the catastrophe,” department contractors were emailed the planned “national preparedness goal.” “The checklist, called a Universal Task List, appeared to cover every eventuality in a disaster, from the need to handle evacuations to speedy urban search and rescue to circulating ‘prompt, accurate and useful’ emergency information. … But the documents were not a menu for action in the devastated Gulf Coast. They were drafts, not slated for approval and release until October, more than four years after 9/11.” [Washington Post, 9/3/05]