September 02, 2005
Getting one's head around the Katrina disaster is bad enough from a remote perspective, but anyone who has ever been involved in logistics knows, the sad fact is response takes time. I've been in Logistics and Purchasing for far too long, and my mind just thinks in terms of lead times and supply chain. Trust me, if there was some way to just click your heels together three times, and just have everything in place, it would have been done.

Here's a great post touching on the topics of logistics that are involved here. Not only is it extremely difficult to have a large enough response in place quickly, the danger is balancing all this in such a way not to deterioriate an already difficult situation by burdening the local area. Imagine in all this tragedy having thousands upon thousands of helpers descend into the scene, without proper backup. These people also need to eat, they also need to have a place to do their 'business'. Yes, people are dying and that is what makes this just so incredibly heart wrenching but I have to believe that absolutely everything that can be done is being done, and as quickly as possible. We see only such a small snippet of things on the news - no one would ever want to watch hours of the planning sessions, paperwork, requisitioning, vendor placements that are definitely occurring. It's a reality that with anything of this magnitude that there is an administration aspect too.

Since there is much in the news and other blogs about response, I would like to highlight some of the local stories.

The Vancouver Urban Search and Rescue arrived in Louisiana and has a little bit of a mini-blog happening here. They report from St. Bernard's Parish that "e want to assure everyone back home that we are safe, and in good spirits. It's a dangerous situation, but that's why we were deployed here, and that's what we train for ..."

Canada is also sending three warships and a coast guard vessel, leaving Tuesday.

The Canadian Red Cross is on it's way. And even more agencies and organizations that are on their way are listed here.

This will be an excruciatingly long process. The most articulate planning could never have foreseen this and I think that any armchair commenting about what's going wrong is just far too early. There will be plenty of time for much assistance and labour required in the rebuilding, but for now, it should be left to the experts to get things stablized.

Part of it is a 'Chicken Little' situation in that there have been so many warnings before that did not come to fruition.

But seriously, last weekend, when the reports started saying this hurricane had the ability to obliterate the coast, with all the sensationalism in the news, who really believed it? We all have a strong sense of 'It won't happen to me'. Unfortunately, for the people of the Gulf Coast, it did.

Vancouver, British Columbia
A patriotic Canadian full of visions of a better Canada, random thoughts and a lot of hot air. Who am I? A struggling writer and photographer, who looks forward to a better Canada. I read. A lot. I learn. A lot. I push myself. A lot. The world is a small place, and getting smaller every day. I'm proud to have friends in every corner of the earth, and abide by the old adage that there are no strangers, only friends we haven't met yet.
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Turning thirty and a half
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