Kerry heads South with planeload of hurricane relief supplies
BOSTON --Sen. John Kerry flew south Monday with a planeload of supplies for Hurricane Katrina victims largely donated by Massachusetts businesses.
On board the UPS
In addition to supplying the plane, flight crew and fuel, UPS also donated trucks and drivers to transport the goods to Logan International Airport and then to disperse them to Baton Rogue and Lafayette, La. The list of requested supplies was given to Kerry by Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.
"Everything that any of us can do is so welcome, and it provides just a little bit of help at an extraordinary time," Kerry, D-Mass., said before he flew to Louisiana to help distribute the supplies and meet with local government officials.
The 2004 Democratic presidential nominee refused to directly criticize the relief effort mounted by the Bush administration, but he recalled talking about issues of coastal flooding at an event he held in Louisiana during the campaign.
He also recalled warning that the nation is not being sufficiently prepared for a terrorist attack, especially one targeting nuclear or chemical plants.
"I think it is not a new criticism that the Homeland Security Department is not funded properly and they haven't had the kind of leadership necessary to prepare," Kerry said. He said Michael Brown, head of the Federal Emergency Management agency, should be fired, not reassigned as he was last week.
The senator suggested organizing regional hurricane relief efforts, so supplies and relief workers are pre-positioned near where a storm is forecast to hit and then moved into the location immediately after it passes.
"This is not rocket science," Kerry said.