A commentary about Katrina’s “planning” but which is relevant for anyone’s preparedness.

—re: (Submitted: 09/04/2005 10:51 am)

and evacuation “plans” and no one could know the levees would break etc.—

Last week I lost a Santa Fé friend. In the 1980s, the Republicans were planning evacuation strategies in case of nuclear attacks. I was at Los Alamos National Lab trying to get the off-site academics, i.e., anthropologists, who were most able to answer the holistic question “what would Nuclear Winter mean to humans” [not people as “patients” or as “soldiers” but as real people] interested in answering that question. ( | The Anthropology of Human Survival |)

My friend took a detailed look closer to home. According to FEMA (or whatever it was then) the idea was that the folks from Albuquerque would drive up to SFé. Once here (there) they would stay at St Kat’s Indian School, in the room with all the plate glass windows. Three times a day everyone would walk down and back through the fallout to McDonald’s for feeding.

Pete Dyke mapped out each inch and square inch of this “plan” and brought it to everyone’s attention. Among other things, it turns out the evacuation plan allowed a total space smaller than a single bed for each person.

The city ended up not approving the so-called evacuation plan. This is not to say that there shouldn’t be evacuation and emergency plans; but that every one of these plans needs detailed scrutiny from citizens like Pete. There aren’t many like Pete, and now there is one fewer.