New Orleans evacuation plan focuses on buses, trains
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
The new plan will take effect for any storms stronger than a Category 2, which have sustained winds of 111 mph or higher. An alternate plan for smaller storms, relying on temporary shelters in the city, is being devised for those now living in FEMA trailers. Most trailers become unstable once wind speeds surpass 45 miles per hour, which would be a weak tropical storm.
The plan also addresses specific problems that arose during Katrina, such as tourists being stranded in hotels and looting.
“By default, whether we like it or not, we are the most experienced in this in the United States,” New Orleans homeland security Director Terry Ebbert said.
People with special medical needs and the elderly would be picked up by city, school and church buses and taken to the train station or evacuated by bus to shelters.
For security, 3,000 National Guard troops could be stationed with police throughout the city prior to a storm, and a dusk-to-dawn curfew would be in place once the evacuation was over, Police Superintendent Warren Riley said.