Governor Warner Steps Up

When we have a natural disaster, it’s easy to see why being a governor is the best steppingstone to being president. Governors face real crisises and can’t just talk about solutions or assign blame. They have to act and act quickly. Governors Blanco and Barbour are distinguishing themselves in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and we should be proud that our governor is stepping up to help them.

Governor Warner is taking a variety steps to help with the devastation on the Gulf Coast. From a just issued comprehensive press release, he’s “activated the Virginia Emergency Operations Center to track relief efforts and offers of assistance from Virginia state agencies, other entities, and citizens.” A number of state assets, including equipment from the State Police, VDOT, and the Department of Forestry are being considered for deployment to the Gulf region. Virginia’s manufactured housing industry has been asked to ramp up production. He’s asked Virginians to conserve. It’s an impressive list of potential ways Virginia can help Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, as we would hope they would help us if the situation were reversed.

As a state employee, I’m proud of my colleagues who are shouldering the hard work of providing assistance. I only wish that I was being called upon to do something, but I will have to be content with helping privately. If I could make one suggestion to Governor Warner, it would be to figure out a way to have more state employees in non-critical jobs trained to help in some capacity when a national disaster occurs. I could man a phone, load a truck, or do any number of things to relieve/augment emergency management personnel.

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  1. Anonymous Avatar

    this a test

  2. James Atticus Bowden Avatar
    James Atticus Bowden

    Will: There is a back up to the VA National Guard – more relaxed age and fitness standards – forgot the name. You can volunteer for that militia.

  3. Excellent commentary and excellent blog. You do a great service by bringing information to the fore.


  4. Before anything else, don’t become a liability yourself. Have three days of food, flashlights and a portable radio (with fresh batteries), a good first-aid kit, and bedding ready for emergencies. Have plans, including pets etc etc
    [/end of canned rant]

    The Virginia Defense Force (Snoopy’s post) is a backup to the Guard. More personpower means more Guard units available for emergencies.
    Become an Amateur Radio operator. Virginia ‘hams’ –sitting on their bums in Virginia– are helping at this moment.
    Volunteer for your local fire or medical squad. Many members are on their way to MS and LA; they need replacements here.
    Help at your local hospital, to fill in for those who’ve gone to the scene.
    Donate till it causes pain, not just inconvenience. We are blessedly prosperous; the flood’s victims have nothing.

    Will – You could informally start prepping your contacts to take on ‘extra’ employees. Some can’t, some won’t, some will; but there’s hundreds of thousands from the flood without employment. Probably many (para 6, the Governor’s article) will end up here.

    Nose around for forecasts of medium or long-range plans. If you can get any information on numbers, ask Mike if you all can make a team effort, perhaps just as an “exercise”. Find out if any federal (FEMA) pipelines are available and the paperwork required.

    The state can’t take but so many refugees, but it’d be so much better if the capital access, placements, training, startup packages were emplaced before they arrived and you got overwhelmed. It’s even conceivable that good planning be a blessing both to the displaced and dispossessed, and a blessing to the state.

    At minimum, ensure those industries affected (para 7) aren’t lacking assistance for immediate needs.

    [Will – Forgive me if it sounds too preachy or bossy. Just trying to show that, many times, your ‘day job’ is very important to us.]

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Maybe a little early, but the manner in with Gov. Blanco is “distiniguishing herself” may not be a good model for others.

    Half of New Orleans would have been still populated if the President hadn’t forced her (and the mayor’s) hand to call for evacuations.

    Then she has no idea what is going on, and only sounds credible when she is being played like a sock-puppet by Senator Landrieu.

    Governor Barber, on the other hand, seems to be fully in control, whether he really is or not.

    Watching those two, I know that having Barber running things would comfort me, having Blanco would make me thankful I was being evacuated to Texas.

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