re: "It could be said that FEMA made things worse."
...and it could be said that we don't know *why* FEMA requested that
the fire crews stay home.
I've worked on volunteer projects where we had 4 electricians and no
plumbers. With only enough work for 2 electricians, 2 of them were
standing around wanting to help but having no place to use their
skills. Sure, you could turn them into manual laborers for a short
period, but eventually they will get board and go home. They want to
use their skill sets to help people and gain some personal
satisfaction that they made a difference doing what they do best.
Meanwhile, the organizers were spending valuable time on the phone
trying to locate a qualified plumber.
I read a report on Sandy where the relief organizations were getting
overwhelmed with items that well-meaning people from around the world
had sent, but that they had no use for. Here's an article about the
Newtown tragedy. 21 little ones killed, over 7000 Teddy Bears sent.
Well meaning people offering the wrong kind of aid.
I'm not defending FEMA's handling of the Katrina situation, I'm simply
saying that unless we know *why* they didn't want the Rochester fire
boats, we can't say that they mishandled that offering. For all we
know, they already had more fire boats from other areas than they
needed. Trying to coordinate the assets they needed was hard enough,
trying to coordinate unneeded assets just adds to the burden.
I doubt the blackout was caused by a blown transformer. You don't get one of
those 20-ton beasts out of a closet and screw it in place of the failed
More likely a cascade of overload interlocks that have to be switched back
on the proper order...
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