Hurricane Katrina: Evacuees

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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.

"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

The Missing

Hurricane Katrina's Displaced Persons: Forced Evacuation? Forced Detention?

Helpful Efforts

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."

Al Gore

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.'"


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."

Related SourceWatch Resources: Hurricane Katrina: List of related pages

External links