While my thoughts on how we as Americans should deal with disasters may differ from others thoughts, I present them here:
1. Our Government was instituted to provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and instill the blessings of liberty to ourselves and out posterity.....Job 1 is to take care of our own. I get angry when I see little kids crying in America because they are terrified, or starving. In fact, I become near-violent.
2. I believe that our Navy should maintain more than two "Ships of Mercy". It took more than three weeks before the USNS Comfort arrived to support the disaster following Katrina: Comfort deployed on September 2, 2005, after only a two-day preparation, to assist in Gulf Coast recovery efforts after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Starting in Pascagoula, Mississippi and then sailing to New Orleans, Comfort personnel saw 1,956 patients total. USNS Comfort returned on October 13, 2005 after its 7 week deployment. Katrina hit on August the 29th.
3. I believe that our Army and Air Force should maintain the ability to airlift, convoy or otherwise transport any amount of food, water, and relief supplies to any point on the map of the United States; for however long that it may be needed.
4. I believe that the States should be the first responders, but that the Feds should be ready to reinforce the states as needed.
5. The whole Katrina bullshit incident. The State and local Gov. failing as it did, and the Feds not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings should have been treated as a high crime, and the perpetrators should have been tried in a Court of Law. Fucking reporters were able to get in. They fed and watered themselves. What stopped the State of Louisiana from staging an Airborne assault of first responders? What stopped the surrounding states from doing the same???? And why did the Feds not go to that measure after day two?
6. New Orleans is unique among American cities. It's populace is unique, and every other thing about it is unique. Mississippi did not have these same issues, nor did Alabama or Texas or Florida. One big reason is that the density of the citizens in those other areas was nothing close to New Orleans. Another reason is that New Orleans had a large population who were dependent on the Government for their very welfare. The majority of the victims in New Orleans were those who depend on the Government for damn near everything. They did not want to leave for fear that they might somehow lose their benefits for a few weeks or a month. How many died due to that calculus?
My bottom line: When disaster strikes, our National Guard, supported by our Federal Forces should descend upon the scene with such overwhelming force that no child is left in fear. No mother will need worry about food or water. No Father will need fear for his family's safety.
It is a high standard, but I believe that this is the standard that we should expect from our collective Government.
Just my $0.02