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Re: [NewMobilityCafe] Fw: Buses in Haiti

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  • Michael Yeates
    Hi all .. A bit more care is needed here as accuracy is important ... and informative. I recently saw a TV documentary about Katrina ... a couple of weeks
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 24, 2010
      Hi all ..

      A bit more care is needed here as accuracy is important ... and informative.

      I recently saw a TV documentary about "Katrina" ... a couple of weeks ago ... sorry ... had a look but can't find details of program/me.

      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 buses?

      More buses etc also arrived later ... presumably from further afield?

      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 the patients.

      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 essential.

      But whether in the USA, SE Asia or Haiti, would it be judged money worth spending?

      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 more widely.

      Michael Yeates
      AUSTRALIA ..............

      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 Hurricane Katrina.


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