Tuesday, September 6

Disaster Relief 2004 vs 2005

Here then, are some of the highlights from last year's relief efforts in Florida:

Gov. Jeb Bush sought federal help Friday while [Hurricane] Charley was still in the Gulf of Mexico. President Bush approved the aid about an hour after the hurricane made landfall.

By Monday afternoon, the cavalry seemed to be in place . . . Cargo planes were shuttling FEMA supplies from a Georgia Air Force base to a staging area in Lakeland, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had shipped 11 truckloads of water and 14 truckloads of ice. The first assistance checks to victims were to be shipped Monday night.

St. Petersberg Times
Unlike Andrew, aid's right on Charley's heels
August 17, 2004

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Just weeks after Hurricane Charley tore through Florida, Hurricane Frances aimed for the Sunshine State Saturday morning [September 4, 2004] packing winds of 105 mph and bringing the potential for up to 20 inches of rain.

CNN
Hurricane Frances weakens slightly
September 4, 2004
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As of noon Monday [two days after Frances made landfall] FEMA and other Federal response agencies have taken the following actions:

* About one hundred trucks of water and 280 trucks of ice are present or will arrive in the Jacksonville staging area today.

* 900,000 Meals-Ready-to-Eat are on site in Jacksonville, ready to be distributed.

* Over 7,000 cases of food (e.g., vegetables, fruits, cheese, ham, and turkey) are scheduled to arrive in Winter Haven today.

* Disaster medical assistance teams (DMAT) are on the ground and setting up comfort stations. FEMA community relations personnel will coordinate with DMATs to assist victims.

* Urban search and rescue teams are completing reconnaissance missions in coordination with state officials.

* FEMA is coordinating with the Department of Energy and the state to ensure that necessary fuel supplies can be distributed throughout the state, with a special focus on hospitals and other emergency facilities that are running on generators.

* The Army Corps of Engineers will soon begin its efforts to provide tarps to tens of thousands of owners of homes and buildings that have seen damage to their roofs . . .

* The Departments of Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and Defense together have organized 300 medical personnel to be on standby. Medical personnel will begin deployment to Florida tomorrow . . .

White House
Responding to Hurricanes Charley and Frances
September 6, 2004

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Here's the kicker:

FEMA officials must have been deeply gratified to see the effect their heroic efforts had in the place where they were most desperately needed -- Bush's poll numbers:

Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan may count as some of the biggest political contributors to President Bush's reelection campaign, according to a poll.

The post-hurricane survey shows Bush surging ahead of his Democratic challenger by 49 to 41 percent -- an about-face from August, when Bush trailed Sen. John Kerry 41-47 percent, Quinnipiac University reported Thursday.

''The ill winds of the hurricanes have blown some political goodwill for President Bush,'' said Clay F. Richards, a pollster for the independent Connecticut university.

Miami Herald
Bush bypasses Kerry in polls
Sept. 24, 2004

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