Lost and Found in New Mexico

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Why evacuation orders should be heeded!

This in from MSNBC:
Game wardens and other emergency workers used boats, airboats and helicopters to try to rescue about 600 people who defied evacuation orders and stayed behind only to be trapped by floods in the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun country, in Abbeville, Pecan Island and Lafitte. Several were plucked from the rooftops of their submerged homes.
High winds continued to push high water inland, making rescue attempts by boat or helicopter perilous, Vermilion Parish Sheriff Mike Couvillan said.
“We’re risking lives to save their lives when they had an opportunity to leave,” he said.

I think that says it all!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A Serious Storm!

I can't say it any better than some of the news reports. Click here to see an updated report. Take heed of evacuation orders. Don't play games with your life! Texas officials are ordering people to leave. Do so! If you don't leave, you are on your own! Yes, help will come, but don't expect it immediately. Louisana is also telling people to leave. Do it, now! Don't blame the Feds if you stay and get into trouble. You have been warned!

Stubborn people

Again, people are refusing to evacuate. Click here for link.
First Responders can only do so much. If someone refuses to evacuate in any disaster, they shouldn't expect an inmediate rescue. That's why you are asked to leave in the first place, so you don't become a victim. If you think that a helicopter will come to rescue you if you're in trouble, think again! Rescuers will try, but it really isn't that simple to get a helicopter up in the air. And, it isn't as safe as many people seem to think. Helicopters crash and people die being hoisted. The best bet for everyone in the path of Hurricane Rita is to leave now!!! Take a neighbor with you and take action to save yourself! You can replace things, but not your life!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


The mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, can't make up his mind!
On one hand Mayor Nagin has said the federal presence proves how safe the city is after widespread looting and violence in the first days after Hurricane Katrina. And on his plan to bring back over 100,000 people this week he said "My thought has always been that if we have this many resources in the city working cooperatively, then we could correct just about any situation that was out there."
But noting that FEMA Director, Admiral Allen, had urged residents not to return, the mayor said: "The admiral's a good man. I respect him. But when he starts talking to the citizens of New Orleans, that's kind of out of his lane. There's only one mayor of New Orleans and I'm it."

What about his tearful plea for help from the Federal government when HIS city was flooding? Where are the resources working in HIS city from? And who does he think is making HIS city safe? And now there is another threat to Louisana and Mayor Nagin has called another MANDATORY evacuation. WHAT? It worked well the last time, didn't it?
You can't have your cake and eat it too!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Update from the Gulf Coast

It will indeed be as bad as many of us feared. Long laid plans did not work as intended and many are hurting. And yes, there were mistakes but the time for handing out guilty verdicts is not upon us yet. There is much work to be done and many people to take care of. New Mexico is receiving up to 6000 evacuees and many of our Emergency Service people are in the affected areas. Thankfully we heard from our friend, Peter, a New Orleans firefighter. It was a horrendous couple of days for him and other N.O. firefighters as they were often besieged by gunfire when trying to do their job. He is on his way to Gallup, along with his parents - Doc and Simone, who evacuated to Texas before Katrina hit. All we know now is that he'll be here for a few days of R&R. He sounded tired and very grateful to be getting a break. We are so excited to see all three of them and know they are safe and sound.
Our family will continue to pray and support people in the affected areas as we are able.
God bless you all!

Update: Peter and his family are in Gallup. We saw him at 1:00 am, NM time. He looks beat, but it was wonderful to see him.Tomorrow we'll spend more time, but for now the need for sleep overtakes all other needs.

(This is posted on my other blog too, so you aren't going nuts if you think you've read it before).

Saturday, September 03, 2005

N.M. Team Rolls Into Destruction

Members of New Mexico Task Force 1, an urban search and rescue team, assist a woman from a nursing home in New Orleans on Friday.
Richard Pipes/Journal

This is the link to the story in the Albq. Journal about the New Mexico Task Force 1, an Urban SAR team.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Nightmare along the Gulf Coast

My heart goes out to the people along the Gulf Coast. It is a horrible situation and unfortunately not one that will quickly go away. As a member of the Search and Rescue/EMS community I have a feel for what's going on out there and it's not an easy job. It takes a terrible mental and physical toil on the victims and the rescue teams.
The first precept of emergency services; EMS, Firefighters, Police, SAR: Is the scene safe? Well, obviously with flooding, contaminated water and unknown wild creatures the scene isn't really safe. But Emergency workers can deal with much of that. The problem comes when thugs with guns start causing trouble. As a Field Commander, I would never send teams out with shooting going on. I don't feel like the media is reporting about this fairly. The rescuers there are willing and able to do what they are trained to do to save as many people as possible, but it is not fair to ask them to risk sacrificing their lives to thugs who sit on roof tops and fire at them as they try to help. It's also not fair to the different agencies involved for the media to report that they are not doing enough. This is an event of catastrophic proportions. As prepared as these agencies are, and I know the preparations and have been involved in mass casualty training, no one can be completely prepared for something this big.
As tragic as it is, sometimes Americans require a wake up call. Many of us rely on the government or other organizations to take care of us. It's a nice idea, but in the end, there is really only one person you can rely on and that is yourself. Perhaps not everyone heard the call to evacuate, that's an area to work on. And we know for sure that many decided to ride out the storm, some because of past false alarms. The complacency of these people might have caused their deaths. When word is sent to evacuate or you see or hear weather reports and warnings of such a huge storm or any type of potential disaster, do what you have been told to do. Evacuate; leave town or take shelter, but get out of harms way.
And before the shelter you are using starts becoming inhabitable maybe some of the able bodied sheltered people could also lend a hand and help to keep it as clean as possible. This is a crisis, everyone - victim, rescuer and all Americans have to work together to resolve this terrible event.
Today my prayers are with everyone involved in this tragedy, but most especially with my brothers and sisters in the Emergency Service fields (and a special prayer for the New Mexico DMAT and Urban SAR and my friend, Peter, a young New Orleans firefighter) who are risking their own lives to save the lives of countless others.
God bless you!