From today's New York Times a pressing question:
Some questioned whether the federal government's intense focus on terrorism had distracted from planning practical steps to cope with a major natural disaster.The Coast Guard remains primarily in rescue mode. Your Coasties know they will continue to save lives.
Disaster experts acknowledged that the impact of Hurricane Katrina posed unprecedented difficulties. "There are amazing challenges and obstacles," said Joe Becker, the top disaster response official at the American Red Cross.
Under the circumstances, Mr. Becker said, the government response "has been nothing short of heroic."
But he added that the first, life-saving phase of hurricane response, which usually lasts a matter of hours, in this case was stretching over days.