Katrina Lessons
 
 
 
By the morning of August 30, 2005, the world awoke to find New Orleans was flooding. News anchors didn’t learn about it until they stepped out of their hotels and into rapidly rising water. The city had not notified the media or its residents, even though the flooding began 24 hours before. The evening before, they all were saying, “New Orleans has dodged the bullet.”
 
By this time 2 years ago hundreds had already drowned.
 
Let me say this again – hundreds – nearly 1,000 had drowned in the past 24 hours and the city was notifying no one; not the media and not the residents. No one.
 
Next the ugly images would begin to unfold. Looters took to the streets stealing anything they could. Many residents were sent to their rooftops to await rescue by boat or helicopter.
 
It was hell on earth.
 
New Orleans had not planned for what would happen. They were unprepared. They acted as though flooding, looting and anarchy had never crossed their minds.
 
Truth is, I don’t think it had because they had never stopped to plan.
 
What is it like where you work?
What is it like where you live?
Do you think your leaders have planned?
Most haven’t, but should.
 
Today a new report is critical of Virginia Tech officials for not communicating. I’ve got a lot to say about that on the www.schoolcrisisplan.com website. I posted my thoughts there the day of the shooting. I didn’t need an official 4 month investigation.
 
What you witnessed in New Orleans and at Virginia Tech was the personification of Katrina Lesson #1 discussed on August 27, 2007.  All that happened was the personification of denial.
 
Is your company or community poised for failure because of denial?
 
 
Yesterday, on the Hurricane Katrina Anniversary I took this photo in the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans. These two houses floated together during the flooding. A refrigerated floated on to the roof of one of the houses.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Rude Awakening