Thursday, September 08, 2005

Has anybody thought about this???

Again, the reference for the post is the New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.

If you are in tune with just about any coverage of the debacle in New Orleans, you have probably heard the Superdome described as a "refuge of last resort". If you're wondering where that terminology comes from, then you need to follow the link above and, about 3/4 of the way down the document, where the big-brained people dicussed evacuation sites, you will find that the Superdome's ONLY POSSIBLE FIT into the Hurricane section of the CEMP is to describe it as a refuge of last resort.

From that statement above alone, you know that the MSM isn't playing on a level field. If they have the ability to find the reference that describes the Superdome is such a bizarre manner, then they also have the entirety of that document at their disposal. That document is pretty damning with regards to the performance of the local government. . .and yet most outlets are failing to connect the dots. But that's not what I wanted to write about today.

IF everyone agrees that the Superdome was never designed to handle the chore that the city government asked of it last week, what about the places that were designed to handle that chore?

In truth, there probably isn't a place "designed" to handle the sheltering needs of 100,000 evacuees (that's a number straight from the document--no kidding, look and you'll find it yourself!). BUT there are a number of places--8, to be exact--that the writers of this important document found to be suitable places to provide shelter in the face of an oncoming tropical system. (Exact words: "The following schools have been inspected and approved as Hurricane Evacuation Shelters for the City of New Orleans", and then 8 schools/school-type facilities are listed) I have to ask: how did these facilities fare during and after the storm?

Geographically speaking, the 8 listed facilities cover a good portion of the city--there's a slight concentration on the south side of the city (oddly enough, that part of the city SEEMS to have been dealt less damage. Could these writers have actually held a clue about the subject?), but the smattering of 8 schools would basically allow for full city coverage. One of the shelters is on the non-city side of the Mississippi, and I happen to know that the general area around that shelter was dealt something less than a devastating blow from Katrina.

But aside from that: what is it about these locations that made them such "desirable" locations for shelter in the face of a major hurricane? Or, more importantly, what did these locations possess that made them more ideal temporary residences than the Superdome?

Why isn't anybody asking those questions?


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