I, too, am saddened by the disaster in New Orleans and other areas effected and affected by the storm that stomped its way through there.
*BUT* jumping on the US Agencies for in-adequate response isn't right either. FEMA, the main agency to respond to these events can not respond, by law, until requested by the Governor of the State(s) involved, and that was slow in coming. These folks "wanted to evaluate the need". Several police agencies, fire, rescue, Army Reserve, National Guard units from around the US attempted to respond and were told by the State Police or Governors that they could not come until other issues were resolved, or that there was no place for them to stay, nor food or water for them. (In ALL cases they were brining their own food, water and sleeping accommodations, disaster response teams KNOW they need to bring this stuff! That's what we get trained in!)
I do have a problem with the LOCAL agencies not being properly prepared and ready for this event. Yes, it is the worse natural event of this type to hit the US (although we have helped other countries with as bad, or almost as bad), but the expectations where there, and they should have had things in hand ready to help out. Nope, no such thing is there.
I also have a problem with the people that did not leave when they knew full well what the impact could have been, which was VERY accurately depicted, two weeks or so in advance. I know that when some of the Reserve Units and National Guard Units were heading out, they offered folks rides out of the area (without possessions, making it harder I know) which were turned down more often than not! Add to that the stealing of everything not locked down, and in many cases even those things locked down, including by the local law enforcement (and on international camera), without qualms of being seen. I have a problem with the rapes that are happening, and the killing. Most of this done by those that stayed behind.
I am in 100% support of rebuilding the area, above sea level, and getting back to life, commerce, etc., I just do not think hammering on the US Agencies is the right thing to do. I do think that, through valid agencies, such as the Red Cross, Salvation Army, FEMA, etc, we should support by monetary donation, the recovery of the area. This groups often request money instead of what is called "in kind" donations, so that it can be used in what is needed at the moment. They have agreements with various producers of equipment, supplies, etc., to get it to the affected/effected areas at cost, which uses the same amount of money to buy more product than if you buy and send it yourself.
Sorry for the rant, but let's put blame where it needs to be, if there must be blame. Also, let's put the money where it can do the most good. (Red Cross or Salvation Army for example.)