It's Like Night and DayAs I have watched the news over the last day or so, the one thing that jumps out at me, is the dramatic difference in the effective way Galveston is handling preparation for Hurricane Rita and the almost total lack of Hurricane Katrina preparation, in New Orleans.
But, here's the really interesting part. Galveston has made no changes to their hurricane emergency plan, since Katrina. They had a good plan to begin with and they are simply following it.
They have announced pick-up points all over Galveston, where those without transportation may board busses, provided by the city, to help those people evacuate. Staged evacuations were planned long since and they are moving forward with those evacuations. That includes the mandatory evacuation of nursing homes. Each area of Galveston County already have specific roads identified for evacuation and pre-arranged shelters are in place in three interior cities.
Governor Perry already ordered the Texas National Guard troops back from Louisiana and has them in place to help, as soon as the storm passes and has also called President Bush, to coordinate the federal response.
It's like watching a well oiled machine function. But, that's what you should expect when you have a good plan, prepared years in advance and follow through with it. Remember that nothing in their plan has changed since Katrina.
The sad to realize that New Orleans and the state of Louisiana had good plans in place, as well, but both the mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of Louisiana delayed implementing their parts until far too late.
Even as we prepare for Rita's approach, watching the news about those preparations makes me proud that I live in Texas.