During the aftermath of Katrina, National Guard troops were positioned on every block to establish a sense of safety and source of help for the people in need. They did not leave communities until people were safe and sound.
Who is affected more when it's cold? Poor people. Who is affected more when it's hot? Poor people. Who is affected more when it's wet? Poor people. Who is most affected when the economy is bad? Poor people. Poor people are the most fragile.
The National Guard has served America as both a wartime force and the first military responders in times of domestic crisis. Hundreds of times each year, the nation's governors call upon their Guard troops to respond to fires, floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Before Katrina, it was a longstanding tradition in our country for political officials to wait until the last minute to warn, to take action, to evacuate. No more. With Irene, you had mass evacuations - mandatory ones - issued days ahead of time. That was the right thing to do.
By-and-large, these are families that are just waiting to get out of here. They are frustrated; I would be, too. I get frustrated at the cash register counter when the paper runs out.