Some of what I've read on the internet, including one or two comments below here, have me shaking my head. The local/state vs federal government issue is NOT important right now. What's important is that some government body take command and restore order and guarantee the safety of the people of the Gulf Coast region. That has got to be the Federal Government. Some of what I've read reminds me of the attitude of those who insisted laisser faire would resolve the Irish famine.
I believe in states rights and limited government, but this is a catastrophe. Who (beyond mother nature) caused this catastrophe can wait until the crisis has passed. Whether fit individuals in New Orleans (& elsewhere) are doing enough for themselves is also irrelevant now. All those people need to be evacuated now. This is not the time to be claiming the ideological moral high ground.