Preparing For A Ghost-Town

You must read this devastating NRO piece on the New Orleans evacuation plan (or lack thereof). This is by no means all, but here's a taste.

it turns out that emergency-preparedness officials in New Orleans did have a plan, and they did think to use buses to evacuate the city before a major hurricane. They just decided not to fully implement it as Plan A. The plan was developed as a hurricane Georges lesson learned. This appeared in an article that appeared in November 2004 in the Natural Hazards Observer:

"Residents who did not have personal transportation were unable to evacuate even if they wanted to. Approximately 120,000 residents (51,000 housing units x 2.4 persons/unit) do not have cars. A proposal made after the evacuation for Hurricane Georges to use public transit buses to assist in their evacuation out of the city was not implemented for Ivan. If Ivan had struck New Orleans directly it is estimated that 40-60,000 residents of the area would have perished."

So the question after dodging the Georges bullet seemed to be, "Do we figure out a way to use buses or do we allow 50,000 people to die for the crime of not having a car?" They chose Plan B.