MOSAIC NOLA:The Gentilly Project

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hurricane Rita

Communication to establish human connections - either personal or communal - plays a key theme in this project, but the approaching Hurricane Rita brings up the issue of communication for the allocation of resources.

Apparently FEMA didn't deploy many of its emergency relief assets to the Gulf until *after* Hurricane Katrina hit ground. A former official of the agency has said that these assets should be deployed *before* - so that they are readily available if needed. This time with Hurricane Rita, apparently most of the needed relief assets have already been deployed.

Even in relief efforts, the timeliness and accuracy of communication plays a major role in whether the rights things get to the right people when needed. By the time a concerned person in Pennsylvania or Oregon hears about a Gulf-Coast need, the lag time of collecting donations and transporting them could mean that much too much of the needed item gets to the Gulf Coast, particularly if a lot of people from Pennsylvania and Oregon answer the call for help.

The major focus of this project is something different than the technical problem of allocating goods that I just described. Nevertheless, to the extent that personal and community connections are (re)established for New Orleans, I suspect that the technical problem of "getting the right goods to the right people when needed" would be addressed better too, because faster and more accurate information is getting disseminated.

I lived in Houston for a time, and my concern goes out to all those evacuating now in Texas.


Post a Comment

<< Home