Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Real Plan in New Orleans

Someone discovered the real plan by the city of New Orleans in case of a disastrous hurricane. Not the show piece Mayor Bragin put on their web site. No, the one they used. The New Orleans Times-Picayne on July 24, 2005 had the story:
City, state and federal emergency officials are preparing to give the poorest of New Orleans' poor a historically blunt message: In the event of a major hurricane, you're on your own.
That is the plan: You are on your own.
In scripted appearances being recorded now, officials such as Mayor Ray Nagin, local Red Cross Executive Director Kay Wilkins and City Council President Oliver Thomas drive home the word that the city does not have the resources to move out of harm's way an estimated 134,000 people without transportation. In the video, made by the anti-poverty agency Total Community Action, they urge those people to make arrangements now by finding their own ways to leave the city in the event of an evacuation. "You're responsible for your safety, and you should be responsible for the person next to you," Wilkins said in an interview. "If you have some room to get that person out of town, the Red Cross will have a space for that person outside the area. We can help you. "But we don't have the transportation." Officials are recording the evacuation message even as recent research by the University of New Orleans indicated that as many as 60 percent of the residents of most southeast Louisiana parishes would remain in their homes in the event of a Category 3 hurricane. Their message will be distributed on hundreds of DVDs across the city. The DVDs' basic get-out-of-town message applies to all audiences, but the it is especially targeted to scores of churches and other groups heavily concentrated in Central City and other vulnerable, low-income neighborhoods, said the Rev. Marshall Truehill, head of Total Community Action.
Do these poor people all have DVD players? But it's moot because the DVDs have not yet been distributed! Blogger Brad Delong quotes the entire article. I don't know of a link to the original. Plan II Mayor Nagin himself is quoted with a modified version:
Plenty of missteps at the local level contributed to last week's disaster too, from a failure to take basic steps to protect the telecom infrastructure to inadequate food and water at the Superdome. New Orleans may be able to stage events such as Mardi Gras and Jazzfest and provide parking, crowd control and adequate toilets for millions of visitors, but its hurricane plan was more rudimentary. "Get people to higher ground and have the feds and the state airlift supplies to them -- that was the plan, man," Mayor Ray Nagin said in an interview yesterday.
Timeline Rich Moran has constructed a timeline of the events with links. Using it will aid our discussions.

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