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A Tale of Two Cities
Author: Raine    Date: 10/25/2007 12:21:07

When hundreds of thousands of Southern California residents were evacuated from their homes in the wake of this week's devastating fires, memories of Hurricane Katrina couldn't help but surface as scores of evacuees ended up taking refuge in the city's Qualcomm Stadium.

But after two days, what has developed here in Qualcomm could hardly stand in sharper contrast to the spectacle of Katrina, especially the chaos in Louisiana's Superdome.

Qualcomm is clean. It is organized. It is, in many regards, at times even festive, with clowns to entertain children who are wearing dust-particle masks to protect their lungs from the hanging smoke and blowing ash.
Compare and contrast...Qualcomm has about 20,000 evacuess and the Superdome had about 25,000
After five days managing near riots, medical horrors and unspeakable living conditions inside the Superdome, Louisiana National Guard Col. Thomas Beron prepared to hand over the dead to representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Following days of internationally reported murders, rapes and gang violence inside the stadium, the doctor from FEMA — Beron doesn't remember his name — came prepared for a grisly scene: He brought a refrigerated 18-wheeler and three doctors to process bodies.[...]

Just to put this in proportion:
San Diego County Sheriff Bill Kolender says more people have been evacuated because the county's wildfires than were evacuated from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

He urged residents to remain patient until they can safely be allowed to return to their homes.
more than Katrina. Stunning how well government can work. Kudos to California.

And finally, in case anyone needs assistance in disaster management, I found this press release, yes, it is real:
Former FEMA Director and Director of Corporate Strategy for Cotton Companies Michael D. Brown Available for Interviews Regarding California Wild Fires

NEW YORK, Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Michael D. Brown, Former FEMA Director and Current Director of Cotton Companies, one of the leading disaster preparedness and restoration organizations in the nation, is available for comment regarding the wild fires that are devastating Southern California.

Currently, the brush fires are affecting hundreds of local businesses and have forced more than 500,000 people out of their homes. Of these 500,000 people, an estimated 10,000 of them have taken shelter at the local NFL stadium, Qualcomm, vaguely reminiscent of circumstances of Hurricane Katrina evacuees two years ago.

"The agency has learned some hard lessons regarding the handling of mass evacuations especially in regard to the bureaucratic red tape that is involved in such a process," said Mr. Brown. "This is a tragic time for many of the people of California, and Cotton Companies is working to ensure that normalcy is restored and that businesses and organizations are back up and running as soon as possible."

Cotton has already deployed a team to San Diego to prepare recovery efforts and has a Community Assessment Team in full force.

Mr. Brown can speak to the turmoil being caused by the California wild fires as well as to some of the new processes in disaster relief efforts that will help to restore California communities. He can offer advice to residents and businesses on proper relief and recovery efforts and provide suggestions for future disaster preparedness.

Since its inception in 1996, Cotton Companies, the nation's leading provider of disaster recovery services, has been coming to the aid of businesses and communities coast to coast with its ability to react, take charge, mobilize and execute on the spot crisis management. Cotton has responded to such high-alert disasters as Hurricane Katrina and the tragedy of 9/11 in New York City.

:rofl: you can't make this stuff up!

Finally, Here Are numbers to help those who could use it in California.

See you inside. Coffee is ready to go!
:peace: and rain.

175 comments (Latest Comment: 10/25/2007 23:10:30 by livingonli)
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