Tuesday, September 06, 2005

July 24, 2005 Poor to fend for themselves; Church turns its back.

July 24, 2005 Sunday

LENGTH: 1070 words

HEADLINE: In storm, N.O. wants no one left behind;
Number of people without cars makes evacuation difficult

BYLINE: By Bruce Nolan, Staff writer


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.

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.

. . . . . .

Moreover, although the Archdiocese of New Orleans has endorsed the project in principle, it doesn't want its 142 parishes to participate until insurance problems have been solved with new legislation that reduces liability risks, Wilkins said.

At the end of three years, organizers of Operation Brother's Keeper hope to have trained 90 congregations how to develop evacuation plans for their own members.

from Lexis-nexis -- no link.

In light of what happened to New Orleans when Katrina hit, one can only speculate about how those who put together this totally inadequate plan feel now. The article does not say who was reaponsible for the plan, exept for "state, local, and federal" authorities.

Does it surprise me that the Archbishop of New Orleans refused to participate in even this rudimentary and fatal plan because of "liability risks"?


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