Rita: Watch This Blog

Defense Tech pal Kris Alexander works for Texas' homeland security department. Which makes his blog absolutely essentially reading, now that a category 5 killer hurricane is about to put the whomp on the Lone Stars.Rita3.JPGHe runs down the reasons to hope and the potential "friction points" as the state gets ready for a rumble -- from Texas' 375,000 Katrina refugees to the hospitals that have already cleared out. Bottom line:

All of this is happening without one bit of federal resources being committed. FEMA is at the state operations center, but its a state and local show right now. We never planned on FEMA saving our bacon. And no this plan didn't happen overnight. It has taken years of detailed planning to reach this point. Will there be screw-ups? Yes. Will we do better than LA and NOLA? Probably.This isn't meant as hubris. I feel that too many people, especially in the left side of the blogosphere, have rushed to defend the LA state and local governments. I disagree. I think they screwed up regardless of whether or not FEMA/DHS was slow on the draw. I don't think, knock on wood, that anyone is going to drown and die in a nursing home on the Texas Coast.
THERE'S MORE: Kris reassures us that the big hospital on Galveston Island is being evacuated. But what about the "hot zone" biodefense lab there?AND MORE: The Journal runs down the gagdets you need to make it through an emergency (too bad they didn't do it before I re-stocked my disaster kit). And Xeni has pics of the sonic blaster we've discussed here before.AND MORE: "Is it my imagination," asks Kathryn Cramer, "or isn't the use of sonic blasters as weapons to deliberately inflict pain on crowds 'torture' as defined in article 1 of the UN Convention Against Torture?"AND MORE: John Little, from Blogs of War, works in downtown Houston. "I have a window office on the eight floor of a building in the Texas Medical Center. I have to assume that in a couple of days I'll have a windowless office on the eight floor of a building in the Texas Medical Center." He's got a great list of resources for folks looking to track the storm.
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