In June 2004, FEMA ran a hurricane scenario
in the area Katrina hit. Shallwe take a look at what they knew, what they concluded, and how they did using all that info in this crisis? As the New Republic comments:
President Bush was on ABC's "Good Morning America" this morning talking about the devastation from Katrina. I caught only part of the interview, but at one point Diane Sawyer asked him to respond to the frustration people were feeling with the apparently slow and disorganized federal response to the crisis. After promising that help was on the way, Bush explained that a faster response was not possible because it was not possible to imagine this kind of catastrophe. Sorry, but that just isn't true. Not only has the prospect of a hurricane breaking through the levees and flooding the entire city been the subject of widespread media coverage, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) actually practiced for precisely this scenario just over a year ago.
I heard journalist Tom Foreman talk about this earlier on CNN. He said they knew the city would flood and knew many, many people wouldn't leave. They knew it a year ago. We can all read the scenario they predicted and the response they felt was needed.
We also know that it was long known that the levees could break. This article
may make a good companion piece to what those in charge knew ahead of time and should have prepared for.
said (to Larry King Wednesday night) of the Hurricane Pam drill:
"Hurricane Katrina caused the same kind of damage that we anticipated," Brown said Wednesday. "So we planned for it two years ago. Last year, we exercised it. And unfortunately this year, we're implementing it."
So, a lot of people say none of this could have been predicted, but Michael Brown says it was and that they had planned for it. We have their preliminary, partial plan to refer to.
So, how'd they do?