First, on the comparison between NY on 9/11 and NO today:
The attack on NY took out several buildings, but was essentially
contained in a small area. Virtually all of the infrastructure remained
intact and working. There was plenty of geographically local help
at hand to coordinate and man rescue and remediation missions.
In NO the devastation is widespread. Infrastructure is gone.
Even basic infrastructure such as roads and clean water are
gone. There is no geographically local aid possible, except on
the edges of the affected area, and they are not the areas which
really need it.
In short, there really is no comparison. So pointing to NY as a
shining example of how catastrophies should be handled is simply
ignorant, or even worse, part of the urban NE biggotry that seens
to be so prevelant.
What is evident, and a learning experience if someone wants to
admit to it is that too much of the government infrastructure
depends upon a functioning hierarchy, and that in turn depends
upon fully functioning infrastructure.
Perhaps the most evident illustration of this is the police.
Although the NO police are widely recognised as being a bunch
of corrupt thugs, that is not the core problem. The core problem
is that the policing system depends upon (as mentioned before)
a functioning hierarchy. There are no standing orders which take
over when the hierarchy is unavailable. The police do what they are
told and no more. They do not have the authority or the inclination
to take any initiative. In fact, they are programmed not to do so.
The police system depends not upon having on the ground presense
in areas where trouble is endemic, but in treating these areas as occupied
territory. Patrolling the area from the safety of bases well ourside those
areas, and relying upon perfect communications to shift resources
around to provide backup and respond to reported problems - as opposed
to being a deterrent to those problems occuring in the first place.
All urban police depend upon a highly complex communications sysems
to "command and control". They want to know where each officer is, to
have them where they want them, doing what they want them to do. This
of course is not traditional policing, it has much more to do with suppression
of an occupied city.
The communications systems require high bandwidth to allow for the
amount of information required to implement the full command and
control upon which policing is based. If the network of trunked repeaters
fails (as it is pretty much guaranteed to in even minor SHTF scenarios)
the command and contro,system fails with it. The police radios are useless.
The older car-to-base systems would still be working, but the newer systems
depend much too much upon fragile infrastructure.
Without the radio communication, the head is effectively cut off
and the police end up running arounf like headless chickens, not
knowing what to do, and not feeling empowered to do it. A recipe
for the lawlesness so apparent in NO today.
NO is a warning of just how fragile the urban society is in large cities.
Its like building a city below sea level in a hurrican area - only a matter
of time before total collapse.
Hopefully, the lesson will be learned.