I am not defending it exactly. I just think that no matter who had been President, it would have ended up much the same.
Nothing as serious as this has ever happened before. I read that many of the NG troops that were called to the affected areas had just returned from Iraq. One factor might be that the military is spread kind of thin and it took time to get the needed equipment and people.
I am sure that after it's all over, Congress will be asking the executive branch for explanations, so that this is not repeated.