Shelter in the Storm

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Writes Hunt Tooley:

An LA Times article on New Orleans and the approach of the Isaac storm assures us the Gulf Coast that FEMA is “deploying” for action. FEMA has been filling up warehouses in Jacksonville, Florida, and Montgomery, Alabama with quantities of water, etc. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate has issued a statement urging locals to obey: “As Tropical Storm Isaac continues towards Florida and the Gulf States, local residents need to monitor storm conditions and follow the direction of local officials.” No doubt, FEMA is thinking the local officials will be following its direction.

Yet there is hope. It is called “the market.” API-Marketplace reported yesterday that Walmart and Home Depot have stocked up to the max. Their trucks will run “at least until winds hit the tropical storm level.” Home Depot has set up command center in Atlanta to coordinate deliveries. For days, Home Depot trucks have been packing their stores with goods likely to be needed right now—today (plywood, coolers, bottled water, etc.). And Home Depot trucks are waiting on the periphery, loaded with goods which will probably be needed in the immediate wake of the storm. No doubt other companies have responded in similar fashion.

Before us, two models.

The statist, lumbering FEMA, a bureaucracy well proven to be fully capable of turning hardship into disaster—but it is all OK as long as folks do what they are told.

And the market. Forward thinking, responsive, flexible. Rational. And, well…kind of heroic.

All good thoughts and wishes for the folks on the Gulf Coast!

4:27 pm on August 28, 2012