September 13, 2005
Following my article on logistics in general, via the Rottweiler here it comes a post with a more detailed discussion of the specific logistics for the Katrina relief operations:
Guardsmen need to receive mobilization orders; report to their armories; draw equipment; receive orders and convoy to the disaster area. Guardsmen driving down from Pennsylvania or Navy ships sailing from Norfolk can't be on the scene immediately.This is the unavoidable, unmodifiable reality of relief operations after natural disasters. Trying to do differently would very probably end up being useless if not counterproductive and endangering the rescuers themselves.
Relief efforts must be planned. Other than prepositioning
supplies near the area likely to be afflicted (which was done quite efficiently), this cannot be done until the hurricane has struck and a damage assessment can be made. There must be a route reconnaissance to determine if roads are open, and bridges along the way can bear the weight of heavily laden trucks.
And federal troops and Guardsmen from other states cannot be sent to a disaster area until their presence has been requested by the governors of the afflicted states.
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