The Plan Unfolds

A brief history in headlines. As you read these, think about whether FEMA has a coherent plan to deal with evacuees from any American city, much less New Orleans. I mean, just in case anything should happen anywhere.

Oregon gears up to take in 1,000 Katrina evacuees (Sunday 9.04.2005)
As many as 1,000 victims left homeless by Hurricane Katrina could start arriving in Oregon as soon as today, but probably later in the week as the state answers a federal call to provide shelter for storm evacuees in need of food, water and shelter.

Oregon assistance not needed so quickly, federal officials say (Wednesday. 9/07/2005)
Federal officials notified Gov. Ted Kulongoski on Tuesday evening that Hurricane Katrina evacuees won’t be arriving in Oregon immediately “due to changing circumstances in the Gulf Coast region.” But state and local officials were advised to remain prepared to offer shelter as needed.

FEMA asks Oregon to be ready for up to 500 Katrina evacuees (Friday, 9/09/2005)
The federal government has asked Oregon to be prepared to receive as many as 500 Hurricane Katrina evacuees on Saturday. Word came Thursday morning, a day after the Federal Emergency Management Agency had asked Oregon and other states to put preparations to shelter storm survivors on hold.

Without evacuees, Oregon shifts gears (Sunday, 9/11/2005)
Beeeeeep! This was a test, and only a test, of the Oregon emergency response system. If this had been an actual emergency…. After twice being told in recent days that evacuees — as many as 1,000 — would arrive in Oregon from the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, those scrambling to welcome them got a definite answer Saturday as to whether they would come: no.