Mass Evacuation Plans to be Created


Charleston Gazette | October 19, 2005

Federal, state and local governments will begin working to plan for mass evacuations if cities suffer natural disasters and terrorist attacks.

Under a new law signed late Tuesday afternoon, the Department of Homeland Security must work to develop multi-state, multi-jurisdictional emergency evacuation plans.

Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W. Va., wrote provisions in the new law requiring the development of plans to “include, where appropriate, the pre-positioning of items that will be required during a mass evacuation,” including gasoline, food, water, beds and medicinal supplies. “As a nation, we must be better prepared for mass evacuations,” Byrd said in a press release. “We saw the problems that were part of the Katrina and Rita evacuations.
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“People ran out of gas. They didn’t have supplies. The governments simply weren’t prepared for this kind of emergency. We need to gear up for future evacuations, and must start now.”

Small and rural states near major metropolitan areas could be heavily affected.

“We need the support and cooperation of our neighboring states and the federal government,” Manchin said in Byrd’s press release. “None of us want to repeat the human suffering that we experienced with Hurricane Katrina. We must be ready to respond at a moment’s notice.”

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