Regardless of what you think of his political positions, Terry Branstad knew instinctively what being governor entailed. A core duty is looking out for people when they most need help after a disaster. Branstad’s skill, and the skill of local officials, too, was on display in the summer of 1993 in the hours after one of the biggest natural disasters to hit Des Moines. Unfortunately, last week’s devastating storm through Iowa’s midsection showed that today’s state and local government leaders lack some of those instincts Branstad used effectively. Early in the morning of July 11, 1993, three days after torrential storms dumped 8 to 10 inches of rain northwest of Des Moines, the Raccoon River carried that water over the top of the levee surrounding the city’s water treatment plant.