It also was no surprise that Joe let him slide.
I had MSNBC on earlier today and Mika did a rare thing and asked Rudy Giulianiif he wanted to walk back his whining about FEMA's response to NYC's Sandy troubles. He declined. He was full of crap as usual. Considering the devastation that happened to the greater NYC area and seeing the functionality going on via the network station feeds successfully coming out of NYC, I gotta say, Giuliani is full of it. Comparing FEMA's response to Sandy to the way it was to Katrina is utterly ....indescribable for polite conversation. To complain about the government's response to Sandy by saying Giuliani was terrific post 9/11 was galling. How many first responders have respiratory problems because of Giuliani's "excellent" emergency management skills? 9/11 isn't the point Giuliani, post Sandy is. Sandy isn't about you, it's about Staten Island, Breezy Point and lower Manhattan. Rudy, you are one, 1 person living amongst 19 million others. If you can't say something helpful, then shut up.
Giuliani's delusions start at 8 minutes into this clip and his FEMA slam is at 9:50 (there is no transcript).
Sandy is a "first" of her kind.
In 1992 Andrew was a "first". It was a "first" like Katrina was a "first" like Wilma was an undercovered "first". Sandy is a "first" of her kind in that she was 900 miles wide (triple the width of a typical storm today). Sandy pounded on the most populous region of the United States for 18 hours. NYC is an area that doesn't typically get hurricanes and when they do, they are typically weaker (Irene was a fluke too). The most notable difference between Sandy and most hurricanes is that the weather post storm was cold not hot. Watching Sandy in this slideshow is a fascinating horror. Giuliani is not just delusional, he's making political hay at the expense of people who need real help, not his lip service.
Do the math.
A typical storm is 300-350 miles wide and from the first feeder bands going over your head to the last leaving you behind is about 12-14 hours. Sandy at 3 times the size, took 2 days to clear. NJ got the storm's eye and NYC got the nastier side of the storm (Northeast). The remnants of Sandy stalled over the entire Northeast and here's what it looked like on Friday - 3 days post storm.
Thankfully, Sandy didn't get it's spin speed much above 85 miles per hour at landfall. Can you imagine what a cat 5 (winds greater than 157 miles per hour) would do to NYC? Not a pretty thought. Unfortunately Sandy illustrated why no one should ever underestimate a category 1 storm. It's the storm surge. High tide plus storm surge equals a world of hurt.
Living in the Hurricane Zone "Club"
I wrote about Hurricane Ike back in 2008 and should have reposted it with updated info about smartphones. Too late now, but you can go read it - it's still relevant.
I live in a hurricane zone. I'm watching MSNBC at 30Rock and they don't appear to be having any trouble at all (they probably have a lot of unseen work arounds). Sure, Staten Island is a mess. So is Breezy Point - what's left of it. There are areas of devastation and whoever is sitting in the middle of no home, no work and no supplies is going to be mad if their situation isn't much better more than a week post storm. That's what living in a hurricane zone means. Some neighborhoods take it on the chin and others go nearly untouched. People go without power for 3 weeks while the people across the street are out for 1 day. Some people go without power for 6 months or more. Some people go without potable water for 2 or more weeks while people on the other side of a main drag not be inconvenienced at all. Then again, I've met people who had NO Running Water at all for 6 months (Andrew).
Honestly, when it comes to hurricane damage; if you think you got it bad or had it bad, you'll easily find someone who had it worse. I once had my shed blow away, a shutter break loose mid storm and had one storm do $20,000 in damage. I know a guy who survived Andrew in Country Walk in a bathtub with his wife, dog and a mattress over their heads. When it was over, all that was left of his house was the bathroom. It all comes down to perspective.
You get through a hurricane by leaning on your neighbors and in turn, helping out your neighbors the best that you can.
The FEMA Role
It was obvious to me that Rudy Giuliani misses being the mayor of NYC. Bloomberg isn't making use of him, so Giuliani is out there stirring the shit pot, complaining about FEMA's response to Sandy. He needs to Shut His Front Door.
It is not up to FEMA to tell NYC's hospitals where they need to place their generators (which is neither the roof of the top floor nor the basement - try a vented 2nd or 3rd floor).
It's not up to FEMA to dictate where generator fuel is to be stored (try near the generators - just saying)
It's not up to FEMA to tell Mayor Bloomberg what he needs (Bloomberg refused FEMA suggestions).
It's not up to FEMA to write building codes for buildings in storm surge areas.
It's not up to FEMA to regulate and require tree trimming around electrical power lines (that is up to your State and Local governments). BTW, that is 90% of power disruption - downed trees downing power lines.
There's a reason people are told to have enough supplies to survive 72 hours on their own. It's because no one knows if there will be an airport able to take C-130 transports. We don't know if the bridges or tunnels will be functional (well, most people knew the tunnels would be completely flooded). We don't know what the harbor will look like post storm (actually we do know, but we're trying to be positive here). We don't know what condition the train tracks and train signals will be. No planes, trains or trucks will reliably make it in for 2-3 days. I find it interesting that GOP front man, Rudy Giuliani, who usually touts the GOP line of "personal responsibility" chose a different message today.
From Florida, it looks like FEMA is doing a good job. They have 2,200 staff in NYC. The National Guard arrived 2 days post storm. One week post storm and 80% of the power has been restored. That is really good considering it's an area that has over 9 million customers.
Hurricane Sandy is in the Record Books
The deadliness of Sandy will be spoken of for years. Sandy killed 69 people in the Caribbean 54 in Haiti alone. She's killed close to 100 people in the states. The outer bands of Sandy covered Florida for two days as she went by and she caused a surprising amount of flooding and beach erosion. She sunk a replica of the HMS Bounty in North Carolina. She trashed our Eastern Shore before she made landfall in our country's most populous region. The government's preplanning for this storm's landfall was good, but individual people living in New York didn't quite get it together this go round.
Helping or Hindering
Giuliani could be part of the solution to Sandy. If he had such a great relationship with General Electric over 10 years ago, why doesn't he pick up the phone and make some calls and get real help today, where it's needed? I guess that doesn't meet his political needs. He's being a jerk instead.