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Sunday, Sept. 11, 2005 - 3:47 a.m.

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A Short Lesson in Major Urban Center Preparedness Planning

Second entry tonight. Please read "The Cavalry is Coming first, thanks.




Ok, I'm sorry. No I'm not.
I'm reading and not working. That last link on my last entry is so chock full of actually pertinent information about the New Orleans drama that it is hard to hang up.

Here are a couple excerpts from the New Orleans documents of Emergency Preparedness ... which has almost zero actual instructions such as "the twenty on-duty policemen of each precinct will each drive a schoolbus parked at X location to pick up Y # of people asked to amass at Z location to drive them to W shelter by G route, or B route if G route is blocked. At W shelter the policemen will keep order while M liters of water and P # of rations as well as one bedroll are allotted to each of the Y# of people per day. The MxY liters of water and PxY rations will be kept at C warehouse and Q advance designated people will deliver it daily"... ie real instructions instead of "emergency personnel will give instructions to major news media to the people to evacuate to shelters"... um, nice statement. Sort of like if the plan for a fire evacuation of your hotel wasn't an actual floorplan with exits indicated, but a piece of paper on the wall saying "all hotel clients will evacuate according to the preapproved plan" and that was all it said. Like nice idea but huh?

Ok, here goes:

""C. New Orleans Police Department

"* Ensure orderly traffic flow.

"* Assist in removing disabled vehicles from roadways as needed.

"* Direct the management of transportation of seriously injured persons to hospitals as needed.

"* Direct evacuees to proper shelters and/or staging areas once they have departed the threatened area.

"* Release all public information through the ESF-14, Public Information.

[No responsibilities for keeping order in shelters....]


"(See ESF-6, Mass Care)"


" Emergency shelter operations are the responsibility of the Office of Emergency
Preparedness Shelter Coordinator. Shelters are provided by the Orleans Parish School Board, while manager training and support activities and supplies are provided by the Office of Emergency Preparedness."

Aha, another Point of Responsibility identifies, the Office of Emergency Preparedness. The School Board (!!) provides shelters??!!!

"Reassessment of facilities is an on-going process conducted jointly by the School Board, and Emergency Preparedness Division. The shelter activation list is updated yearly, and takes into consideration new school construction, school closings and renovations."

But it doesn't apparently take into account flooding that floods out schools....

" A. Shelter Demand

"Shelter demand is currently under review by the Shelter Coordinator. Approximately 100,000 Citizens of New Orleans do not have means of personal transportation. Shelter assessment is an ongoing project of the Office of Emergency Preparedness through the Shelter Coordinator."

Ouch, ouch, ouch ouch ouch! Getting people to the shelters who are carless in New Orleans, is a SCHOOL BOARD responsibility?!!

"The following schools have been inspected and approved as Hurricane Evacuation Shelters for the City of New Orleans:

Laurel Elementary School

" Walter S. Cohen High School

" Medard Nelson Elementary School

" Sarah T. Reed High School

" Southern University Multi Purpose Center

" Southern University New Science Building

" O. Perry Walker High School

" Albert Wicker Elementary School"

And those places can hold a few hundred thousand people?!

" It should not be assumed that all of the approved shelters listed above will be opened in the event of a hurricane or other major tropical storm. The names and locations of open shelters will be announced when an evacuation order is issued. This list is not for public information and should not be duplicated and distributed. In the event that shelters are opened, people who go to their nearest listed location may find, for one reason or another, that the facility is not open as a shelter, forcing them to seek an alternate location. It is also possible that people anticipating the opening of shelters may arrive before shelters are set-up and ready to receive them. For these and other reasons, shelters which are to be used will not be identified until they are ready to open and not until an evacuation order, related public announcement is made."

What -were- the authors of this document smoking? I really really really do NOT want any of it!

"Last Resort Refuges and Super Shelters are described in specific SOPs covering their applications."



"City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan


"Following a disaster, once the principal threat has passed and the primary concern of protection of citizens from harm has been addressed, it becomes critical to public safety to ensure the speedy yet orderly recovery of the community...."

Wait a minute, the whole issue of operations of shelters and operations during an emergency, got skipped over!!!"

Interesting eh... do not let the public have any idea of where they should go in an emergency UNTIL the shelters re ready to open. So much for having an informed populace. So much for "what if it is an emergency"... it seems they weren't so much preparing to shelter people in a citywide flood as to invite people to a birthday party or a rave.

And no instructions whatsoever on how to get those people to the shelter, or keeping order in the shelter, or food, water, lighting, sewer, medical aid.

What a great emergency plan.
Tell them that they can go to a bunch of highschools, but only once the highschools are ready for them.

Anyways, those are excerpts posted by one Paula Lieberman (those are her italics) at

Anyways, if you would like to read articles or get a view of any part of the Katrina disaster, right back to when the hurricane had gone through and they thought NO was gonna be ok (ie before the flood), you should go to their blog, "Making Light" ... it is totally absolutely great. Some jokes, some quotes, some insights and an image here and there. Very recommended.

Nite nite,

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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