Urbin Report

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

When is the governments response to a natural disaster not racism?

Obviously when a democrat is in the White House.
Thomas Galvin reminds us of the "Forgotten National Tragedy: Bill Clinton and 1,000 Deaths in the "Chicago Heat Wave" of 1995"

Hillary Clinton has called for a "Katrina Commission." How come she never called for a commission to investigate why at least 1,000 Americans died in a 1995 heat wave when her husband was president?

The "Chicago heat wave" killed more people than Hurricane Andrew, TWA Flight 800, the Oklahoma City bombing and the Northridge, CA earthquake, combined.

Hillary Clinton made sure she did the rounds of the morning network chat shows on Wednesday. She told ABC, CBS and NBC that "FEMA worked very well during the Clinton administration." And, criticizing FEMA director Michael Brown she said, "I would never have appointed such a person", a statement that sounds to me like it was the first salvo in the 2008 presidential election.

Curiously, Hillary Clinton did not point out what her husband and administration did to prevent widespread suffering as a result of the massive heat wave that struck the Midwest in 1995 and was particularly devastating to the city of Chicago.

Let's review the facts:
During July 12-16, 1995, Chicago experienced unusually high maximum daily temperatures, ranging from 93 F to 104 F (33.9C to 40.0C). On July 13, the heat index* peaked at 119 F (48.3C) -- a record high for the city.
-CDC Report

Mr. Galvin points out:
However, a five day period of an unfolding natural disaster was not enough to merit any federal attention or direct help from President Clinton. Perhaps it is necessary for the federal government to step in the aftermath of a hurricane but not a widespread heat wave?

According to the NOAA:
The [NOAA] report also recommends that emergency response organizations at the federal, state and local levels recognize severe heat waves as potential natural disasters, and that areas at risk should be prompted to develop emergency response plans for severe heat waves.

Mr. Galvin then points out:
Okay, so there was a call for better federal help in the future when it comes to helping local authorities deal with heat waves. After all, it should very easy for the federal government, "the cavalry", to come in because there are no physical limitations in entering a stricken city. The city of Chicago was not flooded, buildings were not destroyed, bridges were not taken out, and trees were not blocking roads. How hard was it for Bill Clinton to make sure that FEMA was rushed to Chicago to prevent thousands of poor and urban residents from dying of heat stroke? That's a question that could have been answered by a "Heat Wave Commission."

There's more.
Go read the whole thing.