Monday, September 05, 2005

Creativity During Crisis

This man is blogging from downtown New Orleans, using power from a generator and jury-rigged communication channels... It amazes how quick creativity takes an exponential leap during a moment of crisis or life/death emergency. People used any means neccessary to get from one place to another - converting shopping carts into wagons and tubs into rafts... call it creativity, ingenuity or neccessity... When communication was at a standstill due to flooding why didn't someone drop ship several hundred cheap FM radios (and MREs) into the flood zones for stranded people to listen in on what was being said/done in the outside world... to notify people not to bother and hike their way to the stadium because they would be better off on their own... to let them know that people were actually concerned and that they weren't forgotten. I understand time, money, politics and logistics are all an issue but it still amazes me that we can fedex items overnight and get Japanese camera crew into the center of the flood zone but we couldn't somehow manage some local or federal coordination of resources - what if it had been a terrorist attack on the levy system!? It seemed an awful shame that civic groups have been much more creative in their efforts to get organized, take the lead and do something. It looks like following the straight and narrow standard operating procedures (if any) put in place by a bureaucratic system doesn't necessarily work in real-time or under intense pressure and public scrutiny.

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