Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Nagin clarifies Cuba comments

Posted: Tuesday, 27 October 2009 3:20PM
Nagin clarifies Cuba comments Reporting

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin clarified comments he made praising the
Cuban system of disaster preparation. The mayor Tuesday said he was
trying to make the point that in an emergency, leaders need to agree on
who's going to run point.

"We can't do what Cuba does, but we surely can get to the point where,
as a major catastrophic event, that we have somebody who's in
authority," said Nagin.

Nagin said as he toured Cuba with government leaders, he never got the
impression that during emergencies, people were being threatened if they
didn't evacuate.

"We didn't get the sense that there was extreme pressure from the
government to evacuate," Nagin said. "The citizens are well educated,
they're well trained, and they respond."

Nagin said he's working with other members of the U.S. Conference of
Mayors to draft proposals for a new model for disaster management,
including designating the federal government as the central authority.

In an earlier interview, Mayor Nagin said that concerning evacuation,
"one of the biggest weaknesses we had during Hurricane Katrina is it
wasn't clear who was the top authority."

In that previoius interview with the Associated press, Nagin went on to
say: "The president and the governor were going back and forth; In Cuba
you don't have that problem..The government says, 'This is what we're
doing, these are the resources we are going to deploy, ' and it pretty
much happens."

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comments (27 October 2009)

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