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Why Didn't Louisiana Follow its Required Emergency Plan?
Self | September 4, 2005 | Joseph Ranos

Posted on 09/04/2005 3:48:32 PM PDT by Sonar5

1) Why Didn't Louisiana Follow it's Emergency Plan? Why isn't anyone talking about this?

2) Why hasn't anyone mentioned that a Pre-Requisite for a Federal Response BY LAW is that State Law is Executed and the Emergency Plan is Executed FIRST?

3) Why did the Governor abandon the City of New Orleans for the Safety of Baton Rouge, before the Plan was Executed?

4) Why, when the federal Government was acting in accordance with the Stafford Act, did the State of Louisiana, by its Governors acts, delay making requests when being told this storm was going to hit?

5) Why did Mayor Nagin or Governor Blanco, delay while sleeping on it Saturday night, the Mandatory evacuation spelled out in the Louisiana Emergency Plan? Saturday the Mayor said he may order an evacuation tomorrow. (Sunday)

6) Where were the Parish Presidents who were signatories to the Louisiana Emergency Plan, and why did they fail in its Execution to the plan?

7) In the Parish failure to implement, why didn't the State take over as required by the plan?

8) Why weren't the Hospitals nursing homes, etc. evacuated since the plan required them to do so?

9) Why did the Mandatory evacuation only occur AFTER President Bush called, and why did Governor Blanco stress that it was only after President Bush Called to urging the Evacuation order? Was she concerned for the Citizens, or was she grandstanding so she could blame the President if the Storm didn't hit?

10) Why were the Action Plan implementations required not done by the Local and State Government?

Links required reading for this information:

Louisiana State Emergency Operations Plan - 2005 :
Louisiana State Emergency Plan

Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Evacuation and Sheltering Plan:
Southeast Louisiana Evac Plan

Southwest Louisiana Hurricane Evacuation and Sheltering Plan:
Southwest Louisiana Evac Plan

Shelter Plan:
Shelter Plan

White House Declarations:

August 27, 2005 Emergency Declaration by President Bush:
Emergency Plan Dec

August 29, 2005 Major Disaster Declaration by President Bush:
Major Disaster Dec

Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, as amended by Public Law 106-390, October 30, 2000
Federal Law

Federal Response Plan:
Fed Response Plan


6:22 PM Pacific Friday 8/26/05
Blanco declares state of emergency as Katrina shifts west

The governor this evening has declared a state of emergency as a major shift west in the projected track of Hurricane Katrina threatens Southeastern Louisiana.

At 5 p.m. federal forecasters made a significant westward shift in the projected path of Katrina, moving the New Orleans area much nearer the center of the cone of warning, with projected landfall now in the Biloxi area.

Note this Forecast and the declaration is almost 1 1/2 days Prior to the Mandatory Evac being instituted. This statement is reported at 2:29 pm Eastern Saturday. He should have ordered it Sooner than he finally did.

Saturday August 27, 2005 2:29 Eastern.
Mayor Delaying Evacuation along with Governor

"This is not a test," New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin said at a news conference. He said he would probably ask people to leave at daybreak Sunday, and said the Superdome could be pressed into use as a shelter of last resort for people who do not have cars.

That is Proof the Mayor was already stating he was going to delay the Evacuation. This is Past the Time when the Emergency declarations were Issued by the Governor which was done on Friday.

She apparently said this on Saturday, according to a post , at Freerepublic:
Free Republic Link

But that post was placed on 08/27/2005 6:58:21 PM PDT, which is Saturday Night.

Kathleen Blanco - "Lots of people are not aware of this storm because last night when they went to bed the forecast was for it to go into Florida, but overnight that changed to Louisiana."

So she is stating that last night, Friday. It didn't change overnight, she is trying to say she didn't know, and she did.

Sunday August 28, 2005
President Urges Evac
Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said that President Bush had called and urged the state to order the evacuation.

So let's get to the Stafford Act linked to above shall we:

a.Request and declaration

All requests for a declaration by the President that an emergency exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State. Such a request shall be based on a finding that the situation is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the affected local governments and that Federal assistance is necessary. As a part of such request, and as a prerequisite to emergency assistance under this Act, the Governor shall take appropriate action under State law and direct execution of the State's emergency plan. The Governor shall furnish information describing the State and local efforts and resources which have been or will be used to alleviate the emergency, and will define the type and extent of Federal aid required. Based upon such Governor's request, the President may declare that an emergency exists.

NOTE, it says the Following:
A) All requests for a declaration by the President that an emergency exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State.

B) As a part of such request, and as a prerequisite to emergency assistance under this Act, the Governor shall take appropriate action under State law and direct execution of the State's emergency plan.

Note the word PREREQUISITE. So when the Governor REQUESTED the initial declaration, she was basically lying about the Emergency Plan being implemented.

Now, we take you to the Louisiana Emergency Plan as linked to above.

1) 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

2) When a hurricane enters or takes form in the Gulf of Mexico, it is perceived as a potential catastrophic threat to the Southeast Louisiana Region. As the danger from the hurricane requires the initiation of emergency actions, the State Office of Emergency Preparedness and each parish will activate Emergency Operating Centers (EOCs) and declare a state of emergency. The State and parishes will commence planned emergency operations and coordinate their actions including activating and maintaining all means of communications.

Let's Look at the Responsibility of whom during an Evacuation. This can be found beginning on Page 16 0f 45 of the Louisiana Plan.

Voluntary Evacuation:

State Requirements:

State of Louisiana
1. Activate EOC and prepare for 24-hour operations.
2. Put State Departments and the ARC on standby alert in accordance with OEP Implementing Procedures.
3. Put National Guard units on standby alert.
4. Call all nursing homes and other custodial care organizations in the risk areas to insure that they are prepared to evacuate their residents.
5. Alert FEMA of the situation and advise that the State may need Federal assistance.
6. Establish communications with risk area parish EOCs and test all communications means, including conference call procedures.
7. Prepare a proclamation of emergency for the State so that, when needed, State resources can be mobilized to support risk area evacuation and host area sheltering operations.

Prepare proclamations for the State to intervene in local situations if local governments fail to act, in accordance with RS 29:721-735.

***NOTE IT SAYS So State Resources can be mobilized to support evacuation.***
***NOTE IT SAYS for the State to Intervene if Local Governments fail to act.***

Parish Requirements:

1) Local transportation resources should be marshaled and public transportation plans implemented as needed.

2) Announce the location of staging areas for people who need transportation. Public transportation will concentrate on moving people from the staging areas to safety in host parishes with priority given to people with special needs.

Recommended Evacuation:

State Duties:

Mobilize State transportation resources to aid in the evacuation of people who have mobility and/or health problems. Deploy to support risk area parishes.

Coordinate with neighboring states, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas, and other states to which evacuees may go, such as Tennessee and Alabama. Advise states of the possible extent of Louisiana's evacuation and recommend appropriate traffic control measures.

Mandatory Evacuation:

NOT ISSUED UNTIL SUNDAY MORNING, so the Governor and Mayor got a good nights sleep Saturday Night, and only after the President urged them to do so, which was publicized in a press conference by Blanco.

a. Risk Area Parishes:

1. Coordinate evacuation orders with State and other risk parishes.
2. Instruct persons living in designated evacuation zones to leave.
3. Impose traffic control to funnel persons to designated evacuation routes.
4. Designate staging areas and other facilities as last resort refuges. People at these locations who cannot be evacuated in time to avoid the storm will remain and take refuge in the designated buildings.
5. Assist persons with mobility limitations to find last resort refuge. Mobilize all transportation resources and request assistance from the state as needed.
6. Continue to update EAS and news media with evacuation information at two-hour intervals.

b. Host Area Parishes:

1. Implement reception and care and traffic control plans.
2. Continue reporting status of shelter spaces and evacuees
accommodated to LOEP every four hours. 3.Continue 24-hour operations.

c.State of Louisiana:

1. Continue 24-hour EOC operations.
2. Consult with risk area parishes to finalize mandatory 01/00 III-6 evacuation orders.
3. Implement mandatory evacuation traffic controls. Convert specified limited access routes to one-way outbound operations. Control main evacuation routes with State resources.
4. Direct the evacuation and shelter of persons having mobility limitations, including persons in nursing homes, hospitals, group homes and non-institutionalized persons.
5. Keep neighboring states informed of status and traffic control decisions.
6. Keep EAS evacuation and shelter information updated on a two-hour basis, or more frequently if information is available on a timelier basis.
7. Keep media informed and updated on evacuation and shelter information.

Now there are several things that were not done according to this plan.

1- Direct the evacuation and shelter of persons having mobility limitations, including persons in nursing homes, hospitals, group homes and non-institutionalized persons.

This was the responsibility of the state, and it DID NOT OCCUR. Evidence Charity Hospital.

NOW, this is very Important to realize, it is the State's plan to implement the Shelter of last Resort. It was not designed for people to stay there:

From Page 29:

A. Staging Areas
The definition of a staging area is a central location, easily accessible to those ambulatory people who are in need of transportation to a shelter.

1. Residents who have no means of transportation will be directed to the staging areas.

2. Transportation vehicles will be pre-positioned to transport residents to shelters.

3. Once the evacuation routes are closed, the staging areas will become Last Resort Refuges.

4. After the storm has passed and the evacuation order is rescinded, transportation will be provided to return people dropped off at shelters to the staging area.

B. Last Resort Refuge
The definition of Last Resort Refuge is a place for persons to be protected from the high winds and heavy rains from the storm. Unlike a shelter, there may be little or no water or food and possibly no utilities. A Last Resort Refuge is intended to provide best available survival protection for the duration of the hurricane only.

1. Once evacuation routes are closed, people who were unable to evacuate the risk area will be directed to last resort refuge and /or staging areas.

2. When it is determined that weather conditions permit, rescue teams will be sent into areas designated for Last Resort Refuge to transport evacuees to designated shelters.

So recap the Failure of the State and City here:

People were directed there, but No Transportation from there was used apparently before the storm. The superdome was only to be used during the duration of the hurricane.

Where were the Staging Areas?
Where was the Required Mobilization of State Resources?

Now go to Page 36 of the Plan. Here it starts talking about specifically what is need to evacuate the population.

Ascension 73,667
Assumption 22,862
Jefferson 454,447
Lafourche 88,712
Orleans 462,761
Plaquemines 25,728
St. Bernard 66,903
St. Charles 47,606
St. James 21,362
St. John 41,664
St. Tammany 188,053
Tangipahoa 96,723
Terrebonne 104,317
TOTAL 1,694,805

* 1990 Census Data (as amended by the Louisiana Tech University estimates of Population) 01/00 C-1



Assumption 22,862 9,296
Jefferson 319,968 126,971
Lafourche 74,765 26,701
Orleans 334,192 111,397
Plaquemines 24,256 8,393
St. Bernard 60,539 22,094
St. Charles 41,904 15,718
St. John 15,869 5,491
St. James 7,175 2,307
St. Tammany 105,069 41,529
Terrebonne 104,317 37,199
TOTAL 1,110,916 407,096


Depending on the speed and strength of a hurricane and the number of people who are at risk, the time at which decisions must be made to evacuate will vary. The attached tables give information on the times at which action to evacuate people must be taken if the total number of people in the risk area is to be evacuated in Category 3 (Slow), 4 and 5 hurricanes. A summary of information is given for each category. These times are for Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany. The times for Terrebonne, Assumption, Lafourche, St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, Ascension and Tangipahoa would be less.

Evacuees: Gives the total number of people assumed to evacuate in response to the threat of a hurricane (not always 100% of vulnerable population).

Vehicles: An estimate of the average number of vehicles that would be used by the maximum number of evacuees.

Cut-Off Hours: The number of hours before a hurricane reaches landfall at which evacuation must be stopped because gale force winds would be blowing over evacuation bridges, making travel dangerous. The number of miles from landfall is also given.

Clearance Hours: The number of hours needed to move 100% of the evacuating population, given smooth traffic flow, out of the risk area. In the larger category storms, figures are slower for clearance times in which traffic flows as it does normally, as well as for traffic flow if designated routes are converted to one-way outbound traffic. A 2+2-hour figure is included to accommodate two hours to begin the evacuation and two hours to bring the evacuation to a stop. Total Decision Hours: The total number of hours before hurricane landfall when the decision to call for evacuation must be made if an effort to move all risk area residents is to be made.

For The Record, President Bush declared the requested State of Emergency on Saturday, August 27,2005
For The Record, President Bush declared a Major Disaster on Monday, August 29, 2005

The Levees were known to be leaking on Tuesday, and newspapers that morning were downplaying the damage done to New Orleans.

The amount of Federal help that did arrive was being mobilized and sent starting Tuesday. It took the Feds two days to get help there. Pretty Good, I say.

It is my contention that due to the incompetence of the Governor of Louisiana as well as others, such as Mayor Nagin, and all affected Parish Presidents, as well as Governor Blanco personally downplaying the ramifications of this storm, and her inability to implement the Emergency Plan when she was given plenty of notice that potentially thousands of people have died.

How could a city that had foreseen this type of event failed so miserably to enact any plan at all. How could these Parish Presidents not have had people go door to door to evacuate them. Orleans Parish contains the City of New Orleans, and their failure to impress on their citizens in advance of this storm through community education the importance of leaving is a sad truth to this story.

Others can feel free to add timeline events or other information, but the Local and State Governments delay in following the plan has killed many. Why were all those buses sitting under water?


TOPICS: Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: 229; blanco; buses; eop; evacuation; evacuationplan; hurricane; incompetence; jeffersonparish; katrina; katrinaevacuation; katrinafailures; lastatedocuments; looting; louisiana; nagin; neworleans; orleansparish
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To: Sonar5

This picture of unused buses, which could have saved thousands had the Mayor used them, says it all about who is responsible.

41 posted on 09/04/2005 4:14:44 PM PDT by FOXFANVOX (Freedom is not free!)
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To: ProxyAccount
The mayor and governor apparently did not authorize any particular people (such as bus drivers) to commandeer city or school property (such as buses) to effect the evacuation of the car-less, poor, and infirm. He instead specifically excluded "personnel of regulated utilities and mass transportation services" (presumably including bus drivers) from the evacuation order, implying that they must remain IN the doomed city rather than helping others to leave.
42 posted on 09/04/2005 4:15:20 PM PDT by dufekin (US Senate: the only place where the majority [D] comprises fewer than the minority [R])
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To: plain talk

The Dome was to be a staging Area, only for those who could not be evacuated.

From the beginning, they treated it as a shelter. And only 200 Guard Troops.

43 posted on 09/04/2005 4:15:22 PM PDT by Sonar5 (60+ Million have Spoken Clearly - "We Want Our Country Back")
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To: Sonar5
You can get a real sense of just how unprepared city officials were for the failure of the levees by checking out the New Orleans city web-site:

44 posted on 09/04/2005 4:16:13 PM PDT by Gee Wally
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To: Sonar5


Yours is the best review of the failures of the state and of the city I have seen. Thanks for the investigative work.

45 posted on 09/04/2005 4:18:44 PM PDT by gitmo (Thanks, Mel. I needed that.)
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To: Gee Wally


I read a lot of that during the week. One Emergency order and that is about it.

46 posted on 09/04/2005 4:18:48 PM PDT by Sonar5 (60+ Million have Spoken Clearly - "We Want Our Country Back")
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To: Sonar5

You are expecting reponsible people to to act in a reasonable manner? Uh, never mind, the answer is obvious.

47 posted on 09/04/2005 4:19:20 PM PDT by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: Sonar5

Excellent research. The biggest single reason evacuation plans were not undertaken is that after the Ivan false alarm last year, the LA politicians took a lot of heat and they didn't want to repeat that situation.

IOW, for fear of political reprisal, there was a lack of decisive leadership in a crisis situation.

The conservative radio talk show folks will come back online in full force on Tuesday and that will provide a counter current to the MSM, who've had several days of propoganda dessimination unchallenged. Rush, Hannity and others will turn the tide and set the facts straight.

48 posted on 09/04/2005 4:19:39 PM PDT by randita
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To: Sonar5

Care to send this to ALL the news outlets, and the Republicans who have NO CLUE for talking points?

Well Done, Indeed, Sir!!

49 posted on 09/04/2005 4:20:13 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Sonar5

Wouldn't FEMA have been responsible for sending help to the most devastated regions? And on Monday and early Tuesday those would heve been the gulf coast of Miss, particularly Gulfport and Biloxi. When you see an aerial view of NOLA the homes are under water, but they are still erect. An aerial view of the Miss gulf shows devastation like that of Andrew in Miami in 92. That's where Katrina hit and that's where the immediate need was. I saw on CNN in the late afternoon of Tuesday that the levees had failed. That made the situation completely different. Kind of like an army defending an attack from one direction only to be attacked on its flank. It would take time and organization to move divisions to counter a new threat. the same would apply to disaster relief.

50 posted on 09/04/2005 4:20:13 PM PDT by xkaydet65 (Peace, Love, Brotherhood, and Firepower. And the greatest of these is Firepower!)
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To: Grampa Dave
Note the key word "may," which in this case more precisely means "might but probably won't." "May" always expresses a possibility, not a definitive. Let's read clause 5 again:

"School and municipal buses ... may [i.e., "might but probably won't"] be used [by whom? well, no one knows...] to provide transportation..."
51 posted on 09/04/2005 4:21:09 PM PDT by dufekin (US Senate: the only place where the majority [D] comprises fewer than the minority [R])
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To: Sonar5

Why Didn't Louisiana Follow it's Required Emergency Plan?

I'll bite,

Tell us why!

52 posted on 09/04/2005 4:22:17 PM PDT by WhiteGuy (Vote for gridlock - Make the elected personally liable for their wasteful spending)
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To: Sonar5


53 posted on 09/04/2005 4:23:06 PM PDT by Popman (In politics, ideas are more important than individuals.)
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To: Sonar5
Great research. This should be the basis for any future investigations.
54 posted on 09/04/2005 4:23:23 PM PDT by f zero
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To: Sonar5

Very good.

55 posted on 09/04/2005 4:23:31 PM PDT by eddie willers
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This has been called on another thread,
The Nagin Memorial Motor Pool

I respectfully submit another two titles for consideration:

Lake Nagin
Blanco's Waterloo


In God we Trust. Not Democrats.

56 posted on 09/04/2005 4:23:46 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: gitmo
Why was the LA National Guard never deployed, even after they criticized the Federal Government for not sending military assistance?

I thought, or they said, it was because most/all of LA's National Guard were in Iraq. How true is that?

57 posted on 09/04/2005 4:24:18 PM PDT by madison10
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To: WhiteGuy

Toliets and bullsh7t, take your pick.

58 posted on 09/04/2005 4:24:32 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Sonar5

Great, great stuff. Thanks.

59 posted on 09/04/2005 4:25:34 PM PDT by goarmy (Red, white, and BOOM!)
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To: Sonar5; NautiNurse; Howlin

Excellent reference and summation PING!

60 posted on 09/04/2005 4:26:07 PM PDT by SE Mom (God Bless those who serve..)
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