With another major hurricane bearing down on the Gulf Coast, every level of government from the smallest town to the Federal level is in a flurry of activity. Nobody wants to be the one responsible for a second Katrina-style response.
But the preemptive declarations of states of emergency, the pre-staging of response teams and supplies, the readying of airplanes and busses for the evacuees; all of that is easy with the images of New Orleans and Gulfport still fresh, still raw. And for FEMA and the rest of BushCo. it's easy given the administration's tanking poll numbers.
The real question is when next year's first "monster storm" threatens, or when a category 4 or 5 storm rages into the Gulf in 2007 how will everyone react? What have they really learned and what - for now - is just the tendency to react, even to over react, after the last debacle? The first hints of an answer to that question at the federal level is not encouraging with the appointment of Karl Rove to lead the rebuilding efforts on the Gulf Coast.
It would not be overstating the case to say there's an ill wind blowing...