I know its a bit late for me to be commenting on Katrina, but I can't believe the utter devastation that it has caused on the gulf coast. I know several people who live on the Mississippi and Alabama coastline, but they are out of contact at the moment and I have no idea how they fared.
The local, state, and federal governments all managed to drop the ball on the whole New Orleans situation. Since there was a mandatory evacuation of the city BEFORE the hurricane came, did it not occur to government officials that not everyone would have an easy way out? What about the hundreds of school buses that were in the city? What about the hundreds of city buses? Could these not have been utilized to take as many people out of the city as possible? Set up a special lane on the highway for buses or something.
The other thing that I've noticed is that the media has subtly shifted its focus from the suffering of the people at the Superdome to the suffering of left-behind pets. I think a completely unexpected reaction of the New Orleans public was their devotion to their pets. People were staying behind to make sure their pets were safe. The pets weren't allowed into the shelters and so people put their lives at risk to save their pets. I was just amazed!
The one gaudy aspect of this love for pets was the Hispanic lady who was the maid/housekeeper at a wealthy New Orleans mansion. The family evacuated in their big Lexus SUV and left the poor women behind to take care of the animals. What callous bastards!