Hi all ..
A bit more care is needed here as accuracy is important ... and
I recently saw a TV documentary about "Katrina" ... a couple of
weeks ago ... sorry ... had a look but can't find details of
I gained the distinct impression that while there were quite a lot of
school buses (images of many others flooded in the depot/s) the problem
was getting the buses to where they were needed ... or the people to the
More buses etc also arrived later ... presumably from further
The same was the case with ambulance and emergency hospital transfers ...
one poignant image was of a huge line of ambulances waiting ... and
waiting ... there seemed to be no patients for them ... as there seemed
to be no communications.
Best understood in terms of logistics ie it really doesn't matter how
many buses (or whatever) were/are available if the intended users or use
doesn't match or if the intended users don't know ... hence
communications and "silos" become major issues.
Indeed in one example I recall the ICU in one of the hospitals had to
hand ventilate most of its patients for several days ... including
several days after ambulances were apparently available for evacuating
It took a private phone call from the hospital to a friend in New York
who then rang the media and suddenly a private helicopter service made
helicopters available ... to get the ICU patients to the ambulances. In
an easily recalled ending to the doco, one of the ICU patients who
was critically ill and I think underwent emergency surgery without
anaesthetics during the transfer, survived and we saw the ICU doctor at
his wedding ...!
Now I am definitely NOT arguing the doco got it 100% right ... only that
clearly there are a lot of "angles" .. so accurate info is
useful if not essential.
It is easy from afar but it appears that some of the logistical failures
with "Katrina" have been better addressed with Haiti ...
bearing in mind that there is absolutely NO NOTICE in advance of where or
what type of event these catastrophes might be.
So perhaps a more accurate analysis or report of the details would be
more helpful ... because clearly buses WERE used to transport people
after "Katrina" ... the more important details include when,
where, how many, and how much later than when first needed.
Meanwhile as with the Tsunami in SE Asia, the many early intervention
possibilities of bicycles are again being raised but seemingly, again
being more or less, ignored.
I guess and hope that if we learn how to better deal with these events
AND apply what is learned, then that at least is a good outcome.
In the case of low level cities, one "lesson" might be that it
would seem that a network of "indestructible" higher level
connection (eg some freeways or rail lines or other?) to provide
some basic connectivity in the event of severe flooding is
But whether in the USA, SE Asia or Haiti, would it be judged money worth
I know for example that a major road bridge nearing completion here was
raised considerably as a result of "Katrina" ... so the deck
slabs are now (hopefully) beyond destructive wave height ... an effect
not well or widely publicised prior to "Katrina" ...
Then in an emergency the buses could be put to good use ... earlier and
At 03:12 AM 25/01/2010, John Ashmore wrote:
- In response to Simon Norton's piece in the use of buses
in Haiti, and contrary to his comments, a whole lot of yellow school
buses and coaches were used to get people out of New Orleans after
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