CREW: FEMA’s best laid plans ignored

Back in Sept 2005, CREW filed FOIA’s seeking records on the federal government’s plans for a Gulf Coast hurricane. Today CREW has released a new report:“The Best Laid Plans: The Story of How the Government Ignored Its Own Gulf Coast Hurricane Plans.” From CREW’s website we learn…

Critically, CREW found that FEMA had created a “Southeast Louisiana
Catastrophic Hurricane Plan” (SLCHP), which forecast a range of
specific consequences, including:

* New Orleans would be flooded with 14-17 feet of water, the levee
system inundated with at least 10 feet of water and the hurricane would
move into Mississippi;

* One million people would evacuate, but flooding would trap at least 250-350,000; and

* Each hurricane victim would require a minimum of two Meals Ready to
Eat, one gallon of water and eight pounds of ice per day.


The SLCHP included plans to:


* Evacuate residents and position resources pre-hurricane;

* Provide power, water and ice to hurricane victims; and

* Provide short-term shelter and longer-term temporary housing.


Nevertheless, despite the comprehensive SLCHP, post-Katrina FEMA
documents demonstrate that that the plan was never implemented. On
August 28, 2005, the day before Katrina hit, FEMA Deputy Director
Patrick Rhode sent an email to Deputy Chief of Staff Brooks Altshuler
and Michael Heath, Special Assistant to FEMA Director Michael Brown,
with the subject line, “copy of New Orleans cat plan” stating, “I never
got one ā€“ I think Brown got my copy ā€“ did you get one?”


2 thoughts on “CREW: FEMA’s best laid plans ignored

  1. Am I correct in remembering that the statements from the government after Katrina were along the lines of, “Who could have known?” “Nobody could have forseen…” etc?

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