Wednesday, September 14, 2005

What happened to the Red Cross?

Why did the Red Cross not enter New Orleans?

While many were outraged that the Red Cross failed to enter New Orleans, unsafe conditions and reports of shootings and lootings may have informed the decision. The Red Cross is not chartered to conduct search and rescue operations.

We "will not put [our] own workers in harm's way," Red Cross spokesperson Renita Hosler told RAW STORY.

Hosler explained that the Red Cross was "at the table" with "Emergency Management" numerous times while conditions deteriorated in New Orleans and that a decision was reached that if the group set up shop within the city, it might encourage others to come back, creating a secondary crisis.

Hosler confirmed that authorities turned down repeated offers by the Red Cross to enter New Orleans with supplies. New Orleans, she asserted, was considered too unsafe for the Red Cross to enter.

The Emergency Management Team, Hosler says, was comprised of city, state, and federal officials.

The Associated Press reported Sept. 8 that Col. Jay Mayeaux, deputy director of the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security asked the Red Cross not to enter the city at least for the first 24 hours after the storm in order to have to time to "set up a feeding station to feed a large number of people." By Saturday, there was a large-scale evacuation under way.

Raw Story

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