Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

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voxpopuluxe
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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#426

Post by voxpopuluxe » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:51 pm

I've been trying to convince myself that Trump got elected because of a perfect storm of circumstances, and that he did not represent our country. But I'm starting to have some doubts.
FWIW, I think both statements are true. Donnie was elected in perfect storm of events. He also represents the desires and beliefs of a significant fraction of the US population. He always has to a greater or lesser degree.

(I guess he's about as bad as I feared he'd be. Open civil war hasn't broken out and he hasn't launched a nuke ... yet, so we've got that going for us.)


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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#427

Post by RVInit » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:00 pm

I am pretty sure the reason only half the country is mad about it is because the other half has been fully and completely conditioned on "they don't pay taxes", which is BS. If they are not US government employees and have income from Puerto Rico sources they pay most federal taxes, including social security, but they don't pay federal income tax, they pay a commonwealth tax instead. When I brought up something in conversation with my mother this is the first thing she said - "they don't pay taxes" - so apparently that is why it's OK for the US government to ignore their plight. I'm sure if this is my mother's reason, it's because that is what Breitbart and other far right sites are telling their readers. She got this from my sister who has discovered Breitbart after getting knee deep into Trumpism.


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RTH10260
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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#428

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:01 pm

Volkonski wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:52 pm
The Trump Administration Is Still Playing Defense on Hurricane Maria

http://time.com/4978461/puerto-rico-hur ... picks=true
:snippity:
“FEMA is not a first responder,” he told reporters in the conference room of the National Response Coordination Center, where he leads daily coordination meetings on emergency response. “We’re not designed to be a first responder.”
Excuses, excuses.
Just how many months behind an event does he think to spring to action?



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RTH10260
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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#429

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:17 pm

MsDaisy wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:11 am
Trump: We can't keep FEMA, military in Puerto Rico forever

:snippity:
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/1 ... 5?lo=ap_b1
Can anyone recall how long FEMA was in action during and after Katrina?



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#430

Post by Kendra » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:01 pm


New York Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez tells Housing Secretary Ben Carson to pass on some words from her, demanding the president get a history lesson U.S.-Puerto Rico relations.



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#431

Post by TexasFilly » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:05 pm

I wish she'd have told Carson to wipe the freaking smirk off of his face. I would have.


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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#432

Post by Kendra » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:15 pm

TexasFilly wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:05 pm
I wish she'd have told Carson to wipe the freaking smirk off of his face. I would have.
:yeah:



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#433

Post by arock » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:42 pm

RTH10260 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:17 pm

Can anyone recall how long FEMA was in action during and after Katrina?
From transcript of ABC World News Tonight, October 12:
Three weeks after the storm, there are nearly 17,000 FEMA workers in Puerto Rico, but there are also nearly 4,000 in Texas seven weeks after hurricane Harvey, and nearly 3,000 in Florida five weeks after Irma. Does president trump believe that the people of Puerto Rico are American citizens -- Yes. Reporter: -- Who deserve the same access to federal aid as the people who live in Texas and Florida? Yes. Reporter: What is his tweet about then? Our country will stand with those American citizens in Puerto Rico until the job is done. But they're not going to be there forever. Cecilia, after that warning that FEMA can't be in Puerto Rico forever from the president today, you learned that FEMA workers spend years helping Americans rebuild, in fact, they're still working on the recovery efforts after hurricane Katrina, 12 years ago. Reporter: They are, David. 165 FEMA workers still on the ground there in Louisiana,
http://abcnews.go.com/WNT /video/trump-tweets-fema-military-responders-stay-puerto-rico-50448770

From the same report, a $365 billion disaster relief bill passed the House today and now goes to the Senate.



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#434

Post by Estiveo » Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:49 pm

RTH10260 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:17 pm
Can anyone recall how long FEMA was in action during and after Katrina?
Per Chris Hayes on MSNBC earlier this evening: 6 years.


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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#435

Post by Lani » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:43 am

Rachel Maddow reported on Puerto Rico again tonight. While people are going without food and are drinking polluted water, the USS Comfort has taken on only 8 patients. And a medical field operation decided to have a spa day instead of providing care. Meanwhile, people sicken by bacterial infections die.


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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#436

Post by Turtle » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:17 am

wow this idiot, he says great success and accuses Cuomo of making stuff up, if half the people in Puerto Rico had no food or water, then they would be dying:




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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#437

Post by Turtle » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:30 pm




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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#438

Post by Maybenaut » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:17 pm

Here’s an article from the Department of Defense describing some if the things it is doing in PR:

https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Ar ... ef-effort/
About 13,700 Defense Department personnel are now in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria ravaged the region three weeks ago, Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis said today.

DoD, supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is focused on temporary power restoration; food, water, fuel and power generator distribution; medical support; route clearance; aviation support and repair of the fragile Guajataca Dam, he said.

U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has the DoD lead in disaster response and relief efforts in both U.S. territories. Davis said the command has deployed food, water and key DoD capabilities, including elements of the 633rd Expeditionary Medical Support hospital to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

The number of aircraft deployed to the U.S. territories totals 92 rotary-wing and 19 fixed-wing airplanes, he noted. A key incident support base distribution hub for the western region of Puerto Rico also has been set up in Aguadilla, the spokesman said.

The hospital ship USNS Comfort is providing medical support operations in Aguadilla. Elements of the 14th Combat Support Hospital are arriving in Humacao, where the hospital is scheduled to open tomorrow, Davis said.
More at the link.



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#439

Post by Volkonski » Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:29 am

http://abcnews.go.com/US/soldiers-bring ... d=50468810
Media reports led crews to the village of San Lorenzo, which had received no federal assistance since the hurricane. Dozens of people pressed against a fence to watch helicopters land, anxiously awaiting food and water. Crews are also transporting people to emergency centers and mapping open roads so trucks can make deliveries.

Rooftop messages like one near Humacao come through loud and clear. "HELP USA PLEASE P.R." Near Ciales, as Blackhawks from the 1st Armored Division flew over, people on a rooftop reached toward the sky to signal they needed water. As helicopters scouted the island's mountainous interior one recent Saturday a woman held a jug in the air.

They circled above houses built on top of mountains to find a level field to unload their precious cargo. One field looked open and a Blackhawk came within 8 feet of the ground, but it could not land. Loaded with 100 cases of water, the helicopter flew off, leaving behind thirst and desperation. The crew soon found another needy community, Verde de Comerío, where it was able to land.

:snippity:

This village also needed medicine and families with babies had no way of getting basics. Diapers and formula have become luxury goods. But every village asks for water. The lack of potable water is slowly choking these villages and helicopters can only carry so much. Every trip leaves some who get nothing.


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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#440

Post by Maybenaut » Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:48 pm

Volkonski wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:29 am
http://abcnews.go.com/US/soldiers-bring ... d=50468810
:snippity:

This village also needed medicine and families with babies had no way of getting basics. Diapers and formula have become luxury goods. But every village asks for water. The lack of potable water is slowly choking these villages and helicopters can only carry so much. Every trip leaves some who get nothing.
If this could all be done with a click of a mouse, it would’ve been done already.



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#441

Post by RTH10260 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:28 pm

Maybenaut wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:48 pm
Volkonski wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:29 am
http://abcnews.go.com/US/soldiers-bring ... d=50468810
:snippity:

This village also needed medicine and families with babies had no way of getting basics. Diapers and formula have become luxury goods. But every village asks for water. The lack of potable water is slowly choking these villages and helicopters can only carry so much. Every trip leaves some who get nothing.
If this could all be done with a click of a mouse, it would’ve been done already.
Teh Donald has already done it with a splash of ink on some paper and delcared the war is over.
► Show Spoiler
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#442

Post by MsDaisy » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:18 am

Puerto Ricans pump drinking water from hazardous-waste: report
:snippity:
More than three weeks after Hurricane Maria tore across the island, many residents – U.S. citizens – remain without access to clean drinking water. As of Saturday evening, service had been restored to about 64 percent of the island.

But according to a CNN report, some residents are seeking water from potentially risky sources. That includes the Dorado Groundwater Contamination Site, an area designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a so-called Superfund site.
:snippity:
According to the EPA, groundwater at the Dorado site is "contaminated with organic based solvents, primarily tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE), which are commonly used in commercial and industrial operations such as dry cleaning and metal degreasing.

Exposure to PCE and TCE carry the risk of health problems, including liver damage and an increased risk of cancer, according to the EPA.
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing- ... ste-report

:evil:


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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#443

Post by pipistrelle » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:27 am

"We have the best cancers."



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#444

Post by Maybenaut » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:51 pm

Former FEMA Administrator James Lee Witt thinks administration should get an “A+” for the response. Trump obviously agrees.

I’m not sure I’d go that far, but this Washington Post article discusses the response and says what I’ve believed to be true based on conversations with my husband — that while the response hasn’t been perfect, they really are doing the best they can under the circumstances.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/pow ... d9036a8393



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#445

Post by maydijo » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:02 pm

Maybenaut wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:51 pm
Former FEMA Administrator James Lee Witt thinks administration should get an “A+” for the response. Trump obviously agrees.

I’m not sure I’d go that far, but this Washington Post article discusses the response and says what I’ve believed to be true based on conversations with my husband — that while the response hasn’t been perfect, they really are doing the best they can under the circumstances.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/pow ... d9036a8393
I don't think anyone blames FEMA for the response - heaven knows they're stretched too thin as it is, and they are the gold standard for disaster relief. But surely the POTUS could have done more, for instance, he could've mobilised the military sooner. FEMA can't do it all on their own, and their ability to function will no doubt he further impaired by the current political climate - the organisation has always been a favourite punching bag of the ultra-conservatives. If Trump was a tea partier he would've hobbled them in Puerto Rico and then called them incompetant and used it as an excuse to slash the organisation to the bare bones. Because Trump is a political novice in over his head, this is going to rest firmly on his shoulders, not on FEMA's, which is as it should be.



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#446

Post by Maybenaut » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:26 pm

maydijo wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:02 pm
Maybenaut wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:51 pm
Former FEMA Administrator James Lee Witt thinks administration should get an “A+” for the response. Trump obviously agrees.

I’m not sure I’d go that far, but this Washington Post article discusses the response and says what I’ve believed to be true based on conversations with my husband — that while the response hasn’t been perfect, they really are doing the best they can under the circumstances.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/pow ... d9036a8393
I don't think anyone blames FEMA for the response - heaven knows they're stretched too thin as it is, and they are the gold standard for disaster relief. But surely the POTUS could have done more, for instance, he could've mobilised the military sooner. FEMA can't do it all on their own, and their ability to function will no doubt he further impaired by the current political climate - the organisation has always been a favourite punching bag of the ultra-conservatives. If Trump was a tea partier he would've hobbled them in Puerto Rico and then called them incompetant and used it as an excuse to slash the organisation to the bare bones. Because Trump is a political novice in over his head, this is going to rest firmly on his shoulders, not on FEMA's, which is as it should be.
I'm not sure he could have mobilized the military much sooner than he did. Whether, when, and which components of the military can be mobilized to respond to a natural disaster is extraordinarily complicated. After Katrina there were some changes to the Stafford Act (that's the law that establishes and authorizes FEMA) and to Title 10 (governs the Department of Defense) to provide the DOD more authority than it did have, but it still isn't as simple as picking up the phone. Here's an article about it by Richard J. Hayes, a Brig. Gen. in the Illinois National Guard that explains the law as well as the short-comings.

http://ndupress.ndu.edu/Portals/68/Docu ... _Hayes.pdf



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#447

Post by RTH10260 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:01 pm

Maybenaut wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:26 pm
:snippity:
► Show Spoiler
I'm not sure he could have mobilized the military much sooner than he did. Whether, when, and which components of the military can be mobilized to respond to a natural disaster is extraordinarily complicated. After Katrina there were some changes to the Stafford Act (that's the law that establishes and authorizes FEMA) and to Title 10 (governs the Department of Defense) to provide the DOD more authority than it did have, but it still isn't as simple as picking up the phone. Here's an article about it by Richard J. Hayes, a Brig. Gen. in the Illinois National Guard that explains the law as well as the short-comings.

http://ndupress.ndu.edu/Portals/68/Docu ... _Hayes.pdf
Apart from the legalities, how much leeway do the commanders in HQ of the forces have to "play" planning exercises out of the blue if they feel they may be pushed into action? Are they permitted to preplan a disater relief obviously in making, or would they have to plan an "invasion" of native territory, perhaps disguised as a landing exercise?



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#448

Post by Maybenaut » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:49 pm

RTH10260 wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:01 pm
Maybenaut wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:26 pm
:snippity:
► Show Spoiler
I'm not sure he could have mobilized the military much sooner than he did. Whether, when, and which components of the military can be mobilized to respond to a natural disaster is extraordinarily complicated. After Katrina there were some changes to the Stafford Act (that's the law that establishes and authorizes FEMA) and to Title 10 (governs the Department of Defense) to provide the DOD more authority than it did have, but it still isn't as simple as picking up the phone. Here's an article about it by Richard J. Hayes, a Brig. Gen. in the Illinois National Guard that explains the law as well as the short-comings.

http://ndupress.ndu.edu/Portals/68/Docu ... _Hayes.pdf
Apart from the legalities, how much leeway do the commanders in HQ of the forces have to "play" planning exercises out of the blue if they feel they may be pushed into action? Are they permitted to preplan a disater relief obviously in making, or would they have to plan an "invasion" of native territory, perhaps disguised as a landing exercise?
I don't think they can. Federal forces must, at a minimum, be invited in by the governor.

But, respectfully, there is no "apart from the legalities." There are a bunch of hoops that all federal agencies, including the military, have to jump through -- including declaring a disaster (who gets to declare, when the declaration can take place, whether it's a "major" disaster, etc. -- all of which are triggering events and come with specific authorities and limitations); coordinating officials have to be named; cost-shares have to be determined; there's a lot to it -- a lot more than I just described.

It may seem like these laws are arcane, but they're rooted in the constitutional concerns of federalism vs. states' rights, civilian control over the military, and avoiding using the military for law enforcement. So it's unlikely that Congress is ever going to give the President the power to "just do whatever you think you need to do to make it better."



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#449

Post by maydijo » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:18 pm

Maybenaut wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:26 pm
maydijo wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:02 pm
Maybenaut wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:51 pm
Former FEMA Administrator James Lee Witt thinks administration should get an “A+” for the response. Trump obviously agrees.

I’m not sure I’d go that far, but this Washington Post article discusses the response and says what I’ve believed to be true based on conversations with my husband — that while the response hasn’t been perfect, they really are doing the best they can under the circumstances.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/pow ... d9036a8393
I don't think anyone blames FEMA for the response - heaven knows they're stretched too thin as it is, and they are the gold standard for disaster relief. But surely the POTUS could have done more, for instance, he could've mobilised the military sooner. FEMA can't do it all on their own, and their ability to function will no doubt he further impaired by the current political climate - the organisation has always been a favourite punching bag of the ultra-conservatives. If Trump was a tea partier he would've hobbled them in Puerto Rico and then called them incompetant and used it as an excuse to slash the organisation to the bare bones. Because Trump is a political novice in over his head, this is going to rest firmly on his shoulders, not on FEMA's, which is as it should be.
I'm not sure he could have mobilized the military much sooner than he did. Whether, when, and which components of the military can be mobilized to respond to a natural disaster is extraordinarily complicated. After Katrina there were some changes to the Stafford Act (that's the law that establishes and authorizes FEMA) and to Title 10 (governs the Department of Defense) to provide the DOD more authority than it did have, but it still isn't as simple as picking up the phone. Here's an article about it by Richard J. Hayes, a Brig. Gen. in the Illinois National Guard that explains the law as well as the short-comings.

http://ndupress.ndu.edu/Portals/68/Docu ... _Hayes.pdf
Thank you for that, Maybenaut.

So, as someone who has arguably the most expertise on FEMA on this board, do you think there are steps the POTUS could have taken that weren't taken to lessen the impact, or do you think that he honestly and legitimately did the best he could with the set of circumstances he had?

I don't think any of us are Trump fans; but I think we are all fair-minded enough to not hold him accountable for things beyond his control. After all there is enough that he IS responsible that there are really no shortage of reasons to hate the man.



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Re: Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands Hurricane Recovery

#450

Post by Maybenaut » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:25 pm

I’m no FEMA expert, and I I can’t say categorically that there is nothing the government could’ve done that it didn’t do. As I’m sure we’re all going to discover with hindsight, there were likely missteps in this recovery effort just like there have been in every other one. But the issues involved are extraordinarily complex, and I really do believe that everyone involved was trying to do everything they could.

I admit to getting a little frustrated with the armchair quarterbacking of the response. Trump was stupid with his “it’s a big ocean“ statement, but the fact that it’s an island does present logistical problems that didn’t exist for previousrecovery efforts. That means, necessarily, that it’s going to take longer, it’s going to be more logistically difficult, and it’s going to cost more. And it came at a time when our resources were already stretched to the max.

As far as Trump the individual goes, I think his biggest problem is one of optics and public relations. For a guy who likes to communicate via Twitter, one would think that he would be a little more judicious in how he uses it. And I certainly understand why people thought that he was uncaring given what he said (and didn’t say) on Twitter. He’s just a jerk.



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