Hurricane Katrina: Evacuees
Within a very short time following Hurricane Katrina, which struck the Gulf Coast of the United States on August 29, 2005, thousands of people quickly found their status as citizens in a community changed to that of homeless evacuees and, as President George W. Bush called them August 31, 2005, "dislocated citizens". Bus loads of people were taken to Texas, arriving in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, and as many as 7,000 could be housed on luxury cruise ships chartered by the US government to provide shelter and care for them. It is yet to be seen how long they will remain in this status, although it is anticipated that many will be absorbed into communities accepting and caring for them.
- 1 "Southeast Louisiana Catastrophic Hurricane Functional Plan"
- 2 FamilyLinks Name Register
- 3 The Missing
- 4 Hurricane Katrina's Displaced Persons: Forced Evacuation? Forced Detention?
- 5 Helpful Efforts
- 6 Photographs
- 7 Impact on Local Politics
- 8 Related SourceWatch Resources: Hurricane Katrina: List of related pages
- 9 External links
"Southeast Louisiana Catastrophic Hurricane Functional Plan"
A DRAFT copy of the "Southeast Louisiana Catastrophic Hurricane Functional Plan" (IEM/TEC04-070), dated August 6, 2004, (125-pdf) was posted online by MSNBC Media. The Plan was prepared under FEMA BPA HSFEHQ-04-A-0288, Task Order 001.
Pdf pages 19 through 22 address "Billeting"; pages 31 through 35 address "Transport from Water to Shelter"; pages 47 through 52 address "Access Control and Re-entry"; pages 80 through 95 address "Shelters"; and pages 96 through 108 address "Temporary Housing".
FamilyLinks Name Register
- Approximately 94,000 names have been registered on the www.familylinks.icrc.org website, which is being compiled jointly by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the American Red Cross "to help people trace one another in the wake of Hurricane Katrina." --Agence France Presse, September 6, 2005.
- Some of the children in Louisiana who are looking for their parents posted on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children website.
- A listing of Missing Persons is posted on The Times-Picayune website.
Washington, D.C.: An Attempt to Help
After "a trip of more than 2,200 miles over 4 days and 7 hours," at a cost of at least $82,000, a "caravan of 10 buses, two police vehicles, an emergency medical truck and two carloads of journalists" -- which included "dozens of rescue workers, including police officers, counselors, doctors and drivers" -- headed for New Orleans with a plan to return with 400 evacuees, Washington Post staff writers Eric M. Weiss and Clarence Williams reported September 7, 2005. However, the caravan returned to Washington, D.C. "with memories of heartbreak, devastation, generosity and compassion but only one evacuee."
A "late start, washed-out bridges and a wrong turn left the convoy not in New Orleans but" in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on the first night. The following day, "the group rolled through Baton Rouge and was stopped for several hours at a checkpoint in Laplace, La., 28 miles outside of New Orleans. Hundreds of empty buses from such places as Illinois, North Carolina and Michigan were idling." After finally arriving in New Orleans, the "convoy stayed there for hours, waiting for evacuees. Officials with the group called over to the airport, but folks there were leaving town by air."
David Ross, a convoy volunteer, "blamed the convoy's difficulties in part on federal emergency officials who had directed the group to places that had been evacuated."
Former vice president Al Gore "helped airlift some 270 Katrina evacuees on two private charters from New Orleans, acting at the urging" of Dr. David Kline, the "doctor who saved the life of the former vice president's son" in 1989, the Associated Press reported September 10, 2005.
"Gore criticized the Bush administration's slow response to Katrina in a speech Friday in San Francisco, but refused to be interviewed about the mercy missions he financed and flew on September 3 and 4," the AP said.
"However, Dr. Anderson Spickard, who is Gore's personal physician and accompanied him on the flights, said: 'Gore told me he wanted to do this because like all of us he wanted to seize the opportunity to do what one guy can do, given the assets that he has.'"
- Associated Press photos can be viewed on The Times-Picayune website.
Impact on Local Politics
"Population shifts caused by the exodus of hurricane victims from the Gulf Coast could have ripple effects for years to come in Louisiana political races and perhaps beyond," the Associated Press (Fox News) reported September 12, 2005. "How big depends on how many people stay away, which ones stay away and where they end up putting down roots.
"The early thinking is that the evacuees least likely to return to their homes in Louisiana may be the poorest — and thus, Democrats for the most part. That would hurt the party in a state where Republicans already were making inroads.
"If the lion's share of those leaving settle in Texas, that could work to the advantage of Democrats in President Bush's home state."
- Joseph B. Treaster and Maria Newman, "Bus Convoy to Move Thousands From Superdome to Astrodome," New York Times, August 31, 2005.
- David Gonzalez, The Victims: "From Margins of Society to Center of the Tragedy," New York Times, September 2, 2005.
- Robert Tanner, "Evacuation Finally Begins to Pick Up," Associated Press, September 3, 2005.
- Mary Foster, "Guardsmen Evacuate Refugees From Superdome," Associated Press (Yahoo! News), September 3, 2005.
- Anne Hull, "Hitchhiking From Squalor to Anywhere Else," Washington Post, September 3, 2005.
- Travis Reed, "Carnival Sending Three Ships for Refugees," Associated Press (Washington Post), September 3, 2005.
- Manuel Roig-Franzia and Spencer Hsu, "Many Evacuated, but Thousands Still Waiting White House Shifts Blame to State and Local Officials", Washington Post, September 4, 2005.
- Richard Luscombe, "Black fury at Bush over rescue delay: Civil rights leaders, church officials and rap stars have united in ferocious criticism of President George Bush's attitude towards the tens of thousands of black people still trying to escape the hell of New Orleans", Observer (UK), September 4, 2005.
- "Barbara Bush: Things Working Out 'Very Well' for Poor Evacuees from New Orleans," Editor & Publisher, September 5, 2005.