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The James Lee Witt, Innovative Emergency Management, Hurricane Pam axis

As previously discussed, JLW was originally part of team put together by IEM to create a "Catastrophic Hurricane Disaster Plan" for New Orleans. The June 3, 2004 press release on this is here:

IEM, Inc., the Baton Rouge-based emergency management and homeland security consultant, will lead the development of a catastrophic hurricane disaster plan for Southeast Louisiana and the City of New Orleans under a more than half a million dollar contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
In making the announcement today on behalf of teaming partners Dewberry, URS Corporation and James Lee Witt Associates, IEM Director of Homeland Security Wayne Thomas explained that the development of a base catastrophic hurricane disaster plan has urgency due to the recent start of the annual hurricane season which runs through November.

Madhu Beriwal, the President & CEO of IEM:

received a Special Merit Award from the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association for "her outstanding contribution to the civil defense agencies of southeast Louisiana in the development of the Hurricane Survival Plan."

Oddly enough, as explained here with screengrabs, that press release was removed from their site. Then, it was put back.
On Sep. 3, Blanco hired Witt to head her response.
There are many more links about this here.
Could someone please put all this together into a coherent whole? Thanks.

Henry Waxman: IEM, Hurricane Pam questions

U.S. Reps. Tom Davis and Henry A. Waxman sent a letter to Chertoff concerning a contract FEMA made with Innovative Emergency Management, Inc. (IEM).
IEM was to conduct a three-stage "Southeastern Louisiana Catastrophic Hurricane Plan", and those fine - albeit very "liberal" want the missing two stages of the plan. The first stage is the now-infamous "Hurricane Pam" simulation.
They also want to know why IEM was the only bidder for an "Indefinite Delivery Vehicle" contract.
Their letter is reproduced in this post entitled FEMA Predicted a "Catastrophic Hurricane" Could Strike New Orleans and Cause a "Mega-Disaster". The scope of work for the contract is in this PDF file. And, here's the task order for Stage One (PDF file).
Herewith the conditions that IEM was supposed to plan for:

* "Over one million people would evacuate from New Orleans. Evacuees would crowd shelters throughout Louisiana and adjacent states."
* "Hurricane surge would block highways and trap 300,000 to 350,000 persons in flooded areas. Storm surge of over 18 feet would overflow flood-protection levees on the Lake Pontchartrain side of New Orleans. Storm surge combined with heavy rain could leave much of New Orleans under 14 to 17 feet of water. More than 200 square miles of urban areas would be flooded."
* "It could take weeks to 'de-water' (drain) New Orleans: Inundated pumping stations and damaged pump motors would be inoperable. Flood-protection levees would prevent drainage of floodwater. Breaching the levees would be a complicated and politically sensitive problem: The Corps of Engineers may have to use barges or helicopters to haul earthmoving equipment to open several hundred feet of levee."
* "Rescue operations would be difficult because much of the area would be reachable only by helicopters and boats."
* "Hospitals would be overcrowded with special-needs patients. Backup generators would run out of fuel or fail before patients could be moved elsewhere."
* "The New Orleans area would be without electric power, food, potable water, medicine, or transportation for an extended time period."
* "Damaged chemical plants and industries could spill hazardous materials."
* "Standing water and disease could threaten public health."
* "There would be severe economic repercussions for the state and region."
* "Outside responders and resources, including the Federal response personnel and materials, would have difficulty entering and working in the affected area."

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