This past week I sat stunned watching the coverage of Hurricane Katrina. I know big storms happen and people suffer as a result.
But, what really shook me to my core was the apparent lack of response by the federal government to the needs of the people trapped in the New Orleans Convention Center and in the Superdome.
Let me be clear. I'm a lifelong conservative Republican and I feel good about President Bush for the most part, but I'm unsure about his response to the hurricane.
I watched CNN and its reports reports from the chaos of the convention center and then I saw the smiling reports from the FEMA director who gushed about how help was coming. And it didn't. People waited. They suffered and they died. It would be easy to come to the conclusion that they were being ignored.
This brings me to Michigan and the upcoming local elections and the state elections next year.
As a citizen, I want to know how our State Capital city of Lansing is prepared for an emergency.
- Is there a plan?
- What is the emergency plan?
- Who has local responsibility for carrying out the plan?
- When will you start publicizing this plan?
- Have you practiced the plan?
Next year, we have a gubernatorial election in Michigan. I have the same questions for the candidates. Republican candidate for the nomination, Dick Devos, says the problem in Michigan is not enough jobs. We need to know from him and the incumbent governor about emergency service plans and preparations.
In another month or two, it will start getting colder in Michigan. We have had snow and cold emergencies in the past. Will we experience a power outage that could cripple the state and take lives? What's the plan?
These questions need to be asked and answered before we get to that point.