Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Teaching Nursing Home Staff How to Shoot

From an AP story on

Amid the turmoil Wednesday, thieves commandeered a forklift and used it
to push up the storm shutters and break the glass of a pharmacy. The
crowd stormed the store, carrying out so much ice, water and food that
it dropped from their arms as they ran. The street was littered with
packages of ramen noodles and other items.

Looters also chased down a state police truck full of food. The New
Orleans police chief ran off looters while city officials themselves
were commandeering equipment from a looted Office Depot. During a state
of emergency, authorities have broad powers to take private supplies and
buildings for their use.

Managers at a nursing home were prepared to cope with the power outages
and had enough food for days, but then the looting began. The home's bus
driver was forced to surrender the vehicle to carjackers.

Bands of people drove by the nursing home, shouting to residents, "Get
out!" Eighty residents, most of them in wheelchairs, were being
evacuated to other nursing homes in the state.

"We had enough food for 10 days," said Peggy Hoffman, the home's
executive director. "Now we'll have to equip our department heads with
guns and teach them how to shoot."