Tag Archives: Hurricane Harvey

How will Trump respond to this latest disaster?

Donald John Trump made a serious mess of the presidential response to a manmade tragedy, the one that occurred Charlottesville, Va.

He now faces another task: responding to Mother Nature’s disaster that is going to take a dramatic toll on residents of the Texas Gulf Coast.

The president has yet to visit Charlottesville. In the interest of offering constructive advice to a man I’ve been bashing repeatedly since he declared his presidential candidacy, I want to offer this piece of advice. None of this is terribly original, but I offer it to provide some evidence that I’m not just a naysaying critic.


Mr. President, be sure you take time to visit the places that are certain to be devastated by the storm’s rage. Don’t wait too long. Don’t dawdle. Don’t let too much time pass before the pain subsides.

Hurricane Harvey is going to blast the living daylights out of the Gulf Coast, most likely near Corpus Christi. It’ll move inland and pour a lot of water on places such as San Antonio and Austin. Flood warnings are out. Texas emergency response officials are doing what they can to get people out of harm’s way.

But this, sir, is the moment for which you must be prepared.

Once the storm clears out of the coastal area, there will be plenty of pain. You’re going to see a lot of Americans picking up the pieces of their shattered lives. They want to know their president cares enough about them to venture into the rubble, to stand with them, to embrace them, to listen to their concerns and to share in their heartache.

You need to bring the entire weight of the federal government to bear in helping these communities repair themselves, That’s what presidents do in times of peril. And take my word for it, Mr. President, this hurricane is going to bring a lot of misery to many thousands of your fellow Americans.

You have to respond to this disaster, sir, in a demonstrable way.

Go to the storm site and tell Hurricane Harvey’s victims that you are with them — all the way!

Stand by, NOAA and FEMA … oh, wait!

Texas is about to get pummeled by the worst Gulf Coast hurricane in a dozen years. The state is mobilizing its substantial emergency management force now to prepare for the worst. Gov. Greg Abbott is firing off advisories left and right to warn residents to move as rapidly as possible out of Hurricane Harvey’s destructive path.

Meanwhile, at the federal level, we learn that two key agencies charged with coordinating the national response to these disasters are without administrative heads.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration do not have people sitting at the top of their respective chains of command.

Why the delay in finding FEMA and NOAA bosses? Oh, wait! It must be that the president of the United States has become fixated, consumed and swallowed up by the “Russia thing.” Or it might be that Donald John Trump Sr. has been too worried about planning for his campaign stops where he takes plenty of time to rail against his foes. Or perhaps it’s because the personnel management office that helps the president fill these spots has gotten zero guidance on who to place in these key emergency response posts.

I have no clue, quite obviously.

However, I do have plenty of worry to spread to our many friends who live along the huge swath of the Texas coast from Beaumont to Corpus Christi, where Hurricane Harvey is projected to make landfall early Saturday.

I will do so with this blog. I’ll express my worry for them. I also am going to send as many good wishes, good karma and positive thoughts their way as they prepare for the worst.

The good news, if you want to call it that, is that Texas emergency management officials have these response routines down pat. They’ve all been through hurricane preparedness and have had to enact their best-laid plans for previous events.

Let’s hope and pray they get this right — and that our fellow Texans along the coast heed the warnings they are receiving. Hurricane Harvey figures to bring a lot of destruction as it levels its Category 3-force wind and rain onto the Gulf Coast.

Let’s also hope — and pray — that any possible lack of federal coordination doesn’t impede the state’s emergency response.