Baton Rouge goes Galt, and the government can’t stand it:
First, the Cajun Navy, a loosely organized group of local fishers, boaters, hunters, and guides, took it upon themselves to being rescuing people trapped by the sudden flood. Initially, the local sheriff’s department was reluctant to accept the assistance, but as they became quickly overwhelmed, they realized that they were disregarding a valuable asset.
Initially, authorities in Livingston Parish didn’t want private citizens headed into the water, worried amateur rescuers might end up in trouble themselves, said Layton Ricks, the parish president. But as the calls from stranded residents continued to mount — at one point, Livingston officials said they were about 150 calls behind — parish officials relented.
“Then it was like, do you have vests? Do you have insurance? Are you truly capable of doing this?” Ricks said. “And as it turned out, we couldn’t have done it without those guys. They were a tremendous asset for our people.”
Locals who were not affected by the flood began cooking and donating food. Others helped flood victims to begin gutting their homes so they could start to rebuild. This community in the bayou pulled together to show the world that a real emergency response begins at home, undertaken by the very people who were affected. They didn’t wait around bemoaning the lack of FEMA, Red Cross, and government aid. They got to work.
They opened up their own shelters in local businesses that were not affected. They distributed immediate relief to those who were displaced. They performed their own rescues, organized the response, and used social media to coordinate their efforts.
They made just about everyone in America who heard about their efforts feel a wave of pride. In fact, they were so effective at their own free-market local disaster relief that they rendered the government’s assistance all but unnecessary.
And that is when the government said, “Oh, no. We can’t have that.”