croton blog for croton-on-hudson new york

No Safe Evacuation Plans

September 4, 2005

Dear Crotonblog,

This last week we’ve been innudated with the awful, devastaing stories of the wrath of Katrina. Even worse than the actual fury of the storm and the property damage done all along the Gulf Coast are the horrific stories and pictures of the suffering human beings trying to survive the horrendous. They survived the winds and the rains, but they are not surviving in the aftermath evacuation processes. Babies and old people dying, no water, no food, no medical supplies, no sanitation, no help coming to rescue the stranded.

Now a full week later we hear reports of people still trapped in their attics and on roof tops waiting for someone, anyone to come to their rescue. We keep hearing news commentators say things like “this can’t be happening in this country.” But it is and it should be a screaming wake up call to all of us.

It seem as if we learned nothing from 9/11. Lots of talk and multi-millions of dollars spent on homeland security, communications, evaucations and search and rescue training seminars and practices. Yet last week in Louisianna, the rescue, search, evacuation and human services completely broke down and shattered. It’s as if this natural disaster was totally unexpected and our forces were totally unprepared. This very well could have been another terrorist attack for which we were supposedly preparing for the last 4 years.

The administration in Washington is tripping over themselves trying to explain why this was so badly handled. The Mayor of New Oreans was quoted as saying “The Federal Government is stuck on stupid.” The Pentagon admitted to completely misjudging the number of local police, firemen, EMT’s that would be out of commission BECAUSE of the hurricane. It’s reported that almost one third of municipal employees were unable to report for duty because they and their families and homes were cut off and isolated by the fury of the storm.

Have those making the decisions about disaster preparedness, should an event occur at Indian Point, factored this into our evacuation plans in the 10 mile radius? Do they really believe they’ll have enough bus drivers, police, firefighters and EMTs for even the basic crowd control much less evacuation? Will our kids be stranded in their schools because of no buses or no clear routes or flooding or fires? Will our hospital and nursing home patients be left to fend for themelves?

Take a look at Louisianna a full week after the hurricane hit and let your elected officials know that INDIAN POINT SHOULD BE CLOSED DOWN ONCE AND FOR ALL. THERE ARE NO SAFE OR WORKABLE EVACUATION PLANS OR ROUTES.

— Georgianna Grant


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