The Corner

“Private Fema”

The WSJ has a good editorial highlighting the corporations doing good work post-Katrina. It’s sub-only but here’s some of it:

In time we’ll find out what went wrong after Katrina hit, but it’s not too early to start drawing attention to what went right. Near the top of any list should be the remarkable response of the business community. It’s had a lot to do with the relief effort’s successes.

The straightforward generosity of the corporate sector has been well reported. By last count, donations had exceeded $200 million. Besides cash, companies have handed out free drugs, suspended finance payments on cars and mortgages and helped emergency personnel with equipment. As interesting, though, has been the application of corporate best practices — from supply-chain management to logistics — to a natural disaster.

The private-sector planning began before Katrina hit. Home Depot’s “war room” had transferred high-demand items — generators, flashlights, batteries and lumber — to distribution areas surrounding the strike area. Phone companies readied mobile cell towers and sent in generators and fuel. Insurers flew in special teams and set up hotlines to process claims…

This is really stuff that should be highlighted and applauded. Beds at the Astrodome coming from Wal-Mart and the like. This is America. Government doesn’t need do all the work. We don’t wait for government to provide. We help each other.

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