New Orleans, La. – City Councilmembers Arnie Fielkow and Cynthia Willard-Lewis heard complaints at a public hearing last night from residents about their evacuation experience during Hurricane Gustav last year. The state and city coordinated evacuations of 37-thousand people, and now has plans for 50-thousand this year.
But Cynthia Parker said shelter experiences were so miserable that many people in New Orleans may not heed an order to evacuate.
Others complained the food was inedible, security was heavy handed, and shelter staff was unprepared.
Willard-Lewis says officials can help coordinate the multiple agencies involved.
A Spanish-language interpreter says the evacuation process is especially terrifying for undocumented workers.
The evacuation and shelter plan calls for keeping people as close to home as possible. Evacuees will be given paper tickets so computers won't delay the process if power is lost.