Tuesday, September 06, 2005

State of Louisiana Emergency Operations Plan

For those of you that want to dig into the minutiae of the matter, here is the State of Louisiana Emergency Operations Plan Supplement 1A: Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Evacuation and Sheltering Plan. It covers the mass evacuation in the event of a Hurricane. Last revised, January 2000.

A few quotes from the emergency plan:
A catastrophic hurricane is defined as a hurricane in Category 3 Slow (5 mph or less forward speed), and categories 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale of hurricane strength (See Annex A). Hurricanes in Category 1, 2 and 3 Fast, are considered less destructive and can be met through the use of normal emergency preparedness procedures on the part of the Parish and State governments.

The overall strategy for dealing with a catastrophic hurricane is to evacuate as much of the at risk population as possible from the path of the storm and relocate them to a place of relative safety outside the projected high water mark of the storm surge flooding and hurricane force winds.

The Southeastern Region is generally defined as those parishes which have all or a large part of their population east of the Atchafalaya River Basin and south of a line drawn along Interstates 10 and 12 from Baton Rouge, through Hammond to Slidell. The Region includes the parishes of Ascension, Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Terrebonne (A map is included as Annex B).

The plan prescribes an orderly procedure for the parishes to follow in response to a catastrophic hurricane. It does not replace or supersede any local plans, which are incorporated by reference, nor does it usurp the authority of any local governing body.
The Area is protected by an extensive levee system, but above-normal water levels and hurricane surge could cause levee overtopping or failures.
Many of the Region's emergency shelter facilities may be inundated by floodwaters when threatened by a slow moving Category 3 or above hurricane. Sheltering of evacuees outside of the Region becomes necessary.
The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and municipal buses, government-owned vehicles and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance in evacuating. [emphasis added]
Parishes: Conduct and control local evacuation in parishes located in the risk area and manages reception and shelter operations in parishes located in the host area.

School buses lay in flooded areas in Buras, La., on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005. Hurricane Katrina has caused massive flooding throughout the region. (Gannett News Service, P.C. Piazza/The (Lafayette, La.) Daily Advertiser) [source caption]

Want to bet this emergency plan will be pored over with a fine tooth comb during any investigation?

UPDATE: Captain Ed has more here.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin dreads the idea of another commission

Props: SondraK (pdf), WKYC (pic)

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