Setting The Record Straight
-FEMA had deployed 39 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams from all across the United States to staging areas in Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and Louisiana, and then began to move them into impacted areas to provide emergency medical assistance.
-FEMA also provided moving supplies and equipment into the hardest hit areas as quickly as possible -- truckloads of water, ice, meals, medical supplies, generators, tents and tarps.
- over 1,700 trailer trucks which had been mobilized to move these supplies into position.
-The Coast Guard had worked heroically for 48 hours rescuing or assisting well more than 1,000 people who were in distress and held high and dry above the flood waters.
-In addition, Coast Guard ships, boats and aircraft continue to support FEMA, state and local authorities, with rescue and recovery efforts which are continuing to go on. The Coast Guard has activated three National Strike Teams to help in the removal of hazardous material. Ships and boats continue to support the national relief effort.
-Within 72 hours,( by Sept 3) we anticipate another ten of the shelters will be stood up and will be operational. We're focusing first on military facilities that we'll be able to detail later this afternoon.
-Within 100 hours(by Sept 4) of the first ten being done, we will follow with a second ten and so forth. Patients that are requiring additional treatment beyond that which will be available at these medical shelters will be transported to hospitals throughout the country. We've identified 2,600 beds in hospitals in the 12 state area. In addition to that, we've identified 40,000 beds nationwide, should they be needed.
-We continue to ship pallets of basic first aid material and medical supplies to the area. The Center for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration are assembling public health teams. We are gravely concerned about the potential for cholera, typhoid and dehydrating diseases that could come as a result of the stagnant water and the conditions.
-The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration will be focusing on chemical and toxicology matters. We'll be also working with local officials on sanitation and on food safety. We're concerned about mosquito abatement, and our teams will be focused to assist local officials on those points.
The Department of Transportation(DOT) had in place a three fold objective:
- First, as an immediate and urgent matter, they were working with their colleagues at the federal Cabinet level to move emergency supplies into the region and assist with the evacuation.
-By August 31w5, they had shipped 13.4 million liters of water, 10,000 tarps, 3.4 million pounds of ice and 144 generators, among other essential supplies.
-Secondly, the DOT was working to restore at least minimal transportation infrastructure in the region. That includes highways, airports, seaports, and oil pipelines.
-They had deployed teams from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to the region, and were working closely with Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama state officials to clear roads and inspect bridges, establish communications and increase operations at major airports, and to move generators to pipeline pumping stations to restore the flow of petroleum products to the Southeast.
-The DOT was also looking at maritime assets to deploy to New Orleans to reestablish port operations.
-And finally, they were beginning the process of evaluating the total damage and needs for long-term rebuilding.
Now remember all the above had been IN PLACE prior to and by August 31st.
Let that sink into the minds of all those left wing liberals and dumocrats, INCLUDING Katie Couric, that bitch Soledad OBrien and her partner in crime Miles OBrien both at CNN, who spent hours pushing forth their "Bush Bashing Agenda" by attempting to paint the Bush administration as uncaring and incompetant during all their newscasts. The stories they produced were so obviously biased and filled with non- facts, hyperbole, and twisted truths, aimed at deliberately deceiving viewers!
And if THAT wasn't enough..... Soledad took things one step farther by verbally assaulting Mike Brown, the Director of FEMA, in one of the most unprofessional, over emotional and down right rude interviews I've ever seen.
No wonder Bill Hemmer LEFT and JOINED FOX NEWS!
CNN's Soledad, Miles, and their homeboy, Jack Cafferty, as well as NBC's Katie Couric- DISFUCKINGUSTING!
If doctors or lawyers acted in that manner - lying, deliberately deceiving people, twisting truths, breaking the rules of professionalism required by their industry - they would no longer be allowed to practice their professions. I think that should happen with journalists - especially these four!
Now here is what the Department of Defense have been doing, not only over the past several days, but, in fact, over the past several weeks as they anticipated Katrina's impact.
-Admiral Tim Keating - the Combatant Commander of the United States Northern Command- formed - at the direction of the Secretary of Defense, - a joint task force, JTF Katrina. It is commanded by Lieutenant General Honore, United States Army, ordinarily the commander of the First Army, now commanding, for the time being, the JTF that has been formed specifically for the tactical response, regarding this relief effort.
Lieutenant General Honore (by August 31st) had already been at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for several days, and remains there now, where he is closely coordinating with his FEMA counterparts.
Here is a very succinct summary of some of the kinds of capabilities that by August 31st had been provided, or were in the process of being provided:
- fleet of approximately 50 helicopters to support FEMA's operations. That would include aerial assessment of damage, movement of FEMA personnel and other interagency partners who, for reasons that are obvious, had difficulty achieving ground transportation.
- from California eight civilian swift water rescue teams had been transported to assist those civilians who were/are still trapped by the collected water. We anticipate providing from the Department of Defense a 500-bed mobile hospital. That will be deployed in the New Orleans area. We may provide -- it's under active consideration -- as many as 800 personnel to assist the American Red Cross with shelter support.
-Some of you may have seen media broadcasts that relate to the movement of United States Naval Forces. That reflected again the proactive, very aggressive message given by the Secretary of Defense that JTF Katrina are not to merely be passive in our response to FEMA requests for assistance, but as a fully cooperating partner to anticipate the kinds of needs that FEMA may bring to our attention, and to put in place in a forward-deployed status those kinds of DOD capabilities that will likely be called upon.
-by August 31st JTF Katrina had begun moving to the area approximately eight ships that have various competencies in terms of medical support, humanitarian relief, transportation in a maritime environment and had been " forward-deploying everything that we think might be required by FEMA. And we'll be fully prepared to respond to FEMA's request for assistance when they inevitably are forthcoming."
-JTF Katrina anticipated the movement of the hospital ship USNS Comfort from Baltimore, Maryland to the Gulf region. It departed September 2nd, and likely arrive in the Gulf region on the 8th of September.
- As of August 31st, there were more than 11,000 National Guard in state status deployed in and around the affected area providing humanitarian relief, assistance in maintaining civil order. Those Guard personnel are currently under the command and control of the governors of the affected states.
- By August 31st - JTF Katrina had already been identifying medical specialties that FEMA may have needed.
- Prior to Katrina hitting Th Gulf, JTF Katrina had in excess of 1.5 million cases of pre-packaged MREs in the event that that food was required..
"But those are the three tiers -- civilian law enforcement, the National Guard in state status, and then ultimately, under extraordinary circumstances, active duty military forces, as we have used those military forces -- rarely -- but have used them in the past"
Question: What's your assessment of the status of the National Guard in that region, though? We've been hearing so much about the deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan -- do you have a deep enough bench to also do this domestic function?
Assistant Secretary McHale: The simple answer to that question is, yes, we do have a deep enough bench. I looked at the figures this morning and as of late this morning,(August 31st) 60 percent of the Louisiana and Mississippi members of the Guard, between 60 and 65 percent, would be available for state active duty under command and control of the Governor.
So despite the fact that significant portions of these Guard units are currently deployed overseas, a very robust capability remains within the affected states, and in fact, as I said, we're now using more than 11,000 of those forces for missions to include security and law enforcement in those areas. But again, I emphasize, that's under command and control of the Governor, not the Secretary of Defense.
Let me invite General Scherling up here, who can comment upon the availability, the training and the authorities of the National Guard in these areas.
General Scherling: Yes, the National Guard would be able to assist the states at the Governor's request. I would also add that the active duty military and the National Guard provide a deep bench for any of the missions that are requested by FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. And so we are prepared to anticipate those requests.
Question: Secretary Chertoff, will you walk us through some specifics in terms of the types of housing that might be made available? You're talking about a whole city, essentially, that's been evacuated. Where are those people going to go, and how do they go about getting the resources?
Secretary Chertoff: That's, obviously, a huge challenge. It's going to be addressed in a number of ways. First of all, there were people who obeyed the instruction to evacuate, which was issued on Sunday, or who perhaps anticipated the news. They got out; they found themselves hotel rooms, maybe they moved in with family. We have teams that are assembling that will give them what they need in terms of assistance for temporary rental housing, things of that sort.
Then there are people who we had to evacuate after the storm. Those people will be -- their needs will be addressed in a number of ways. Those in the Superdome are going to be going to the Astrodome, and we're going to be standing up facilities there to take care of their needs. Others may, in fact, go to trailers that are assembled. I spoke with the Governor of Alabama; he offered -- they have state park cabins that are -- can be made available for people who need places to stay.
We have a housing task force which is in the process of identifying all the locations and different kinds of housing assets we can bring to bear. We recognize that this is a two-step process. There's the immediate process of moving people and sheltering them for a relatively brief period of time. Then, given the nature of the damage, we anticipate there will be somewhat more intermediate or semi-permanent housing that will have to be available, and I think that is a process we're deeply engaged in with the other departments of government and taking a look at.
Question: Can you explain the chain of command in this first use of the law? Are you in charge of local and state officials? And if there's any conflict between you and the locals and state, how does that get worked out? Also, what's your relationship to the Defense Department in this --
Secretary Chertoff: Let me try to explain this -- and this is -- this shouldn't be news because it's been a plan that's been public for many months. First of all, we come in to assist state and local authorities. Under the Constitution, state and local authorities have the principal, first-line response obligation with respect to a disaster of this kind. Obviously, the law recognizes they can't do it themselves, so we have a very detailed system of plans that allow us to work with them. We coordinate our response at DHS through FEMA.
Under the National Response Plan, all the departments of government play a role in the federal response to a disaster.So it's a team effort. And like any team, everybody has a position to play, and the head of the team is the President. And the President has, of course, the ultimate responsibility for all of the federal effort here. I can tell you the President is very deeply and personally involved in the details of what we're doing. We're going to be meeting with him later today. And, of course, again, I want to emphasize, the federal government does not supersede the state and local government, we fit with the state and local government in a comprehensive, response plan.
I hope that this post has CLEARLY proven that the responsibility fell SQARELY on the shoulders of the Mayor of New Orleans and The Governer of Louisianna when it came to making key decisions, and mobilizing the National Guard. As soon as they were aware of the looting and lawlessness both in New Orleans and the horrific conditions inside the Superdome, both of them had the responsibility and POWER to mobilize more National Guard, and to work with FEMA and DHS, in getting ALL the help they required!
All the BUSH BLAMING and BUSH BASHING done by the liberal Media, the Mayor of New Orleans, and indulged in by democrats across the country, was a blantant attempt at once again trying to discredit this President in the eyes of Americans and the world. The Mayor knew what needed to be done..and he failed at his responsibility! Several days prior to Katrina hitting, the President declared a State Of Emergency so as to sent into motion the necessary resources!
I am appalled that these sad excuses for human beings would use this horrific catastrophe to play politics and further their careers at the expense of the victims!!!. This is a NEW LOW even for Liberals, Dumocrats, and the MSM! Its vile, its wretched, and its speaks to the pond scum mentality of people, who have let their personal hatred for this President fester so deeply into their hearts that they will use ANY opportunity, including this unprecedented natural disastor, to spew forth their hate filled agenda based on lies they create, as they deliberately overlook the truth, in an attempt to deceive their viewers! DISFUCKINGUSTING!!!
You can read the entire transcript of the DHS(Dept of Homeland Security) Press Conference,which took place August 31st, here .