Improvement of Hurricane Evacuation Policy Brief 1011-05

Prepared by:

  • Ranmali DeSilva

This report was written by undergraduate students at Loyola University New Orleans under the direction of Professor Peter F. Burns


In the 2005 tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, 1,500 New Orleans residents died as a result of confinement within the city during the Category 3 hurricane. This death toll stems from poor planning and implementation of hurricane evacuation protocols. During Hurricane Katrina, 40% of New Orleans residents did not leave the city. The factors that contributed to the city’s failure to evacuate all of its residents include residents’ lack of information regarding emergency evacuation procedures, the untimely mandate of an emergency evacuation, the absence of public transportation options for residents with special needs, poorly prepared evacuation routes, and the city’s overall lack of planning and preparation for emergency response.

Based upon the remedial tactics utilized in Florida and Alabama to ameliorate similar preparedness issues, the recommendations for improvement of evacuation practices in New Orleans include the provision of monthly information regarding emergency evacuation procedures to residents, an increase in modes of public transportation, a transportation registry for those in need in the event of an emergency evacuation, correspondence between RTA and emergency response planners, the creation of an entity that is solely responsible for the research and development of an effective evacuation plan, and the re-implementation of the Hurricane Pam exercise.

Improvement of Hurricane Evacuation

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