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Disasters in the community tend to have catastrophic effects. They damage property and in most cases precipitate the loss of life. Some of the possible mitigation measures in the attempt to minimize the impact of disasters in the community may entail having a comprehensive evacuation plan. The plan could range from a household plan to a larger city plan. The success of the evacuation measures relies heavily on the coordination of the efforts to ensure a safe evacuation for all the persons. Some of the typical disasters which may necessitate the need for an evacuation plan include fire, storms, floods, and hailstones. Most of the cities in areas which tend to frequently face such disasters usually have an evacuation plan whenever there are red flags on the likelihood that disaster may strike. New Orleans is a city which faces frequent flooding. The city has an evacuation which offers guidelines on how households should prepare for the city assisted evacuation plan.
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An evacuation plan is a written document which outlines the procedures which an individual or organization should undertake in the attempt to avert danger in the case a disaster arises. Evacuation plans play critical role during disasters such as fire and floods. New Orleans is one of the cities which have evacuations plans for the city residents during cases when they are facing when they are exposed to danger. The following is a detailed insight into the evacuation plan for embraced by New Orleans city in case a disaster strikes.
The first stage of the evacuation strategy entails personal preparation. The plan requires that in order for the city to be successful in evacuating its residents, it is of paramount importance to ensure that the residents are well prepared for evacuation. The plan acknowledges the wide range of emergencies which may hit the area. The first preparation phase for the whole city entails getting NOLA ready (Liang, Lam, Qin, & Ju, 2015). It requires that every resident of the city should be well acquitted with simple tips for preparation before being evacuated. It requires the citizens to make a plan. Every family and work station should have a plan which all the employees are familiar with in emergency situations. It would be prudent for every household to get adequate supplies which may last them a minimum of three days. They should also ensure that they sign up with various platforms which would be disseminating information regarding the situation. They should ensure that in cases when they are preparing for the evacuation, they should get ready or prepare for the floods. Some of the possible measures they may undertake before the evacuation may include removing debris from gutters, sweeping debris from the storm drains in the attempt to prevent an incidence of street flooding (Liang, Lam, Qin, & Ju, 2015). It may also be essential to report the clogged storm drains to the relevant authorities. Relocation of valuable possessions to the highest floor would also be a prudent move. Other preparation measures which an individual household may undertake include installing a green infrastructure such as grain gardens which may help with the slowing down and absorbing the rain water. A family unit should also put into consideration purchasing a flood insurance in the bid to indemnify them back to their initial position after the disaster strikes. Elevating the homes could also help improve to minimize the risks associated with flooding.
It would be essential for the households to take into consideration the needs of the children when preparing for the evacuation. They may for instance make sure that the kids are well informed of what to do when the disaster strikes (Liang, Lam, Qin, & Ju, 2015). It may be the responsibility of the adults to educate the children on the family emergency plans.
It would also be necessary to put into consideration the needs of the senior citizens and persons with special needs in every household. It may be essential to ensure that the households may bring along one week’s worth of medicine for those with special needs. Mobility aids, eyeglasses and other day to day supplies. It may be essential to ensure that seniors and the persons with special needs are aware of the family plans whenever disaster strikes.
It may also be necessary for every household to incorporate their pets into their plans. It may be essential to bring along a pets kit. It may be necessary to include items such as water and food which could last a minimum of three days. It may be necessary to also bring in medicine, litter box, and can opener for the canned foods. The measures aim at ensuring that during the evacuation process, there is a guarantee for the comfort of the pets.
Each household ought to have adequate plans for their homes. They should undertake measures to help reduce the damage to their homes in cases a disaster strikes. Some of the possible spots which the home owners should have a sharp focus on include gutters where one should secure and clear the rain gutters and downspouts (Cordahi, Roden, Wolshon, & Yin, 2015). One should also focus on their yards where they should clear space so as to be able to bring in outdoor items such as furniture, decorative items and other items around the house. One may also undertake considerations for the window where one fix 3/4 plywood incase the window lacks adequate protection from storms. One may also have adequate instructions on how to turn off utilities such as electricity, gas and water in the emergency kits.
It may critical for the business units to undertake a number of measures in the attempt to promote resiliency to the risks for the business. They may ensure that all the employees are well acquitted with the emergency plans for the organizations. They should further ensure that they have a business continuity plan so as to mitigate the financial losses which could arise due to disruptions in the business activities.
The capital city has a comprehensive evacuation plan. The plan would only be effective if the business units in the city and the households are prepared to leave their premises. In most cases, the city assisted evacuations are mandatory (Cordahi, Roden, Wolshon, & Yin, 2015). All the households are required to adhere to the evacuation notice. The residents are only required to get back to their homes once it has been ascertained that by officials that it is safe for the residents to get back.
Some of the basics of the city assisted evacuation plans require that the residents and the business units within the jurisdiction of the local authorities to register for emergency alerts. The alerts would serve as warnings and prepare the residents for the likelihood of a compulsory city assisted evacuation. It is then required of the residents to register if they have any pets, senior citizens and persons who may require special attention. The move makes it easy for the city management to make special arrangements on the evacuation of such persons.
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The city offers means of transport to residents into the spots which the authorities deem to be safe for human habitation. The city requires the residents to meet at the designated meet up points where it uses buses to fetch people into relatively safer areas. The city buses then drop people at designated points from where they will use other means to get to their destinations. The residents may only get back to the homes only after it has been ascertained that it is safe for them.
Evacuation plans play a critical role in mitigating risks associated with disasters in the community. The success of such plans depend heavily on the coordination efforts between the locals and the authorities. The city offers essential guidelines to the households and business units on some of the basics to undertake before embarking on the city assisted evacuation.
- Liang, W., Lam, N. S. N., Qin, X., & Ju, W. (2015). A Two-level Agent-Based Model for Hurricane Evacuation in New Orleans. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 12(2), 407-435.
- Cordahi, G., Roden, D., Wolshon, B., & Yin, W. (2015). Emergency Communications for Evacuation (EVAC) in New Orleans Impact Assessment Report (No. FHWA-JPO-15-204).