During the great Tsunami everyone complained that there was not sufficient warning time for people to escape. In New Orleans there was debate as to whether the call for the evacuation was equal to crying "wolf." I don't watch television as a general rule because it wastes my time. My housemate asked me, "You want to watch TV and see the hurricane come in?" There was enough warning that you could watch it come in with anticipation similar to the droves of idiots who can't wait to see who the next American Idol will be.
New Orleans now claims that the Feds failed them because despite having unprecedented warning of a category 5 hurricane that was coming right at their city, they also want immediate evacuation and help to get there for the citizens who stayed...stayed in their city that sits under sea level.
Now I know not everyone can leave. Especially people who are so used to urban living that they don't even own a car. I was sickened to see that no serious attempt was made to remove the sick, infirmed, and nursing home residents. Everyone I've seen asked about why they didn't leave had the same reply: "I had nowhere to go." So I guess that's the Feds fault too.
I'm not going to be in too many situations to defend the Federal government, but this wasn't anyone's fault. The blame belongs squarely on anyone who could've left, but didn't bother.