Saturday, September 24, 2005

Why evacuate Houston?

I know the saying once bitten twice shy, but it made sense to me for Darwin to be completely evacuated *after* Cyclone Tracey struck, and I agree that New Orleans ideally would have been completely evacuated *before* Katrina - but Houston is almost all above sea level, so floods may come, but they would quickly go. It would be a lot easier to manage if most people stayed holed up in their homes, and just higher risk areas evacuated - such as Galveston, low lying suburbs and perhaps those exposed coastal areas. I know there is high labour mobility in USA - but such a sudden dispersal of huge numbers of people would have a negative impact on the economy.


Dr. Clam said...

I think the instructions were for the low-lying suburbs only, but lots of people just took it upon themselves to clear out... I may be wrong... I do recall hearing about twice as many people ended up on the highway as authorities expected, which would support this hypothesis.

Marco said...

I know you don't like being pigeonholed, but you seem to be leaning dangerously towards being an apologist for the US government (and/or voting constituency) - Discuss :-)

Dr. Clam said...

It seemed like a niche that was completely empty in my peer group, so I leapt at the chance to fill it!

The main point I am trying to get across is that the US system is less centralised than ours and that criticisms would be perfectly fair aimed at the central governments of Australia or France are not as fair when aimed at the US federal government.

I will also serve as an apologist for Rastafarianism, if necessary. It is a fine religion with much to recommend it.