Texas is about to get pummeled by the worst Gulf Coast hurricane in a dozen years. The state is mobilizing its substantial emergency management force now to prepare for the worst. Gov. Greg Abbott is firing off advisories left and right to warn residents to move as rapidly as possible out of Hurricane Harvey’s destructive path.
Meanwhile, at the federal level, we learn that two key agencies charged with coordinating the national response to these disasters are without administrative heads.
The Federal Emergency Management Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration do not have people sitting at the top of their respective chains of command.
Why the delay in finding FEMA and NOAA bosses? Oh, wait! It must be that the president of the United States has become fixated, consumed and swallowed up by the “Russia thing.” Or it might be that Donald John Trump Sr. has been too worried about planning for his campaign stops where he takes plenty of time to rail against his foes. Or perhaps it’s because the personnel management office that helps the president fill these spots has gotten zero guidance on who to place in these key emergency response posts.
I have no clue, quite obviously.
However, I do have plenty of worry to spread to our many friends who live along the huge swath of the Texas coast from Beaumont to Corpus Christi, where Hurricane Harvey is projected to make landfall early Saturday.
I will do so with this blog. I’ll express my worry for them. I also am going to send as many good wishes, good karma and positive thoughts their way as they prepare for the worst.
The good news, if you want to call it that, is that Texas emergency management officials have these response routines down pat. They’ve all been through hurricane preparedness and have had to enact their best-laid plans for previous events.
Let’s hope and pray they get this right — and that our fellow Texans along the coast heed the warnings they are receiving. Hurricane Harvey figures to bring a lot of destruction as it levels its Category 3-force wind and rain onto the Gulf Coast.
Let’s also hope — and pray — that any possible lack of federal coordination doesn’t impede the state’s emergency response.
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