NEW YORK — Emergency officials who prepared Louisiana’s plan for responding to a major hurricane never guessed that one of their duties would be to protect aid workers from gunmen, one of the state’s senior disaster officials said Monday.
Speaking at a symposium in New York, Arthur Jones, chief of disaster recovery for Louisiana’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said he was caught off guard by the violence in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina….
“That’s never been in any plan,” Jones said in an interview following his speech to the emergency response officials at the symposium. “Unfortunately, in the future, it will have a place at the table.”
Jones took time off from his disaster recovery duties Monday to participate in the symposium on emergency preparedness sponsored by New York Downtown Hospital. The event was planned months before Katrina hit.
Good to know that things are under sufficient control in Louisiana that the state’s chief of disaster recovery has time to appear at a symposium in New York. If his judgment is so faulty as to think it made sense to leave the state to attend a panel discussion, is it any wonder that the preparedness effort was so, well, unprepared?