Being a fan of apocalyptic movies where major cities need to be evacuated before a meterorite / nuclear bomb / Godzilla strikes, I had assumed that governments usually had good evacuation plans that tended to involve commandeering all available transport to get people out of Dodge City. Aside from an amusing moment in a film (I think it’s Meteor) where it’s revealed that the evacuation plans for New York City were drawn up in the 1950s, and would take 11 days.
But it would seem that my notions about carefully-laid plans to get everyone out of a major city were just fantasies. The city of New Orleans (one I’ve had some good times in) issued an evacuation order – but it doesn’t seem like the governments did anything aside from opening up some traffic lanes, and requistioning some key buildings to act as a shelter.
10,000 people – whose only crime seems to be that they don’t have a car and can’t pay for a bus – were forced to shelter at the Superdome. For goodness’ sake, couldn’t a government have requistioned some school/army buses and gotten them out of New Orleans, or something?
Then again, of course, all the roads seemed to be blocked or moving out very slowly. There could be planes, but it appears that most airlines stopped all services – to save money. After all, no-one’s going to want to fly into New Orleans, so they’d be flying empty planes – which won’t make anyone any money…
Update: As a rescue worker from New Orleans says: