Thursday, June 16, 2005

It's the Big One

"Score a direct hit." Exercise Material.
Note my chicken scratch.

It has been a busy couple weeks here in sunny Central Texas, and it shows in my lack of blogging. We've been preparing for an exercise where we practice receiving evacuees from the coast in the event of a "direct hit" hurricane.

Yesterday, we did the exercise. Basically, we had to figure out what to do with 40K-50K people fleeing from a CAT4-5 hurricane named Gregg (that dirty bastard is always headed for our coastline). This is an extremely hard event to plan for because human and weather behaviors are so variable. There are so many unknowns.

How many people will make it to your area?

Will they seek housing in shelters or hotels?

How long will they be in your location?

How do you plan for traffic? Austin's traffic is bad enough without adding fifty thousand lost South Texans into the mix.

How bad will the storm impact us? A CAT 5 on the coast will still retain much of its punch as it heads inland.

Overall, the exercise was a success. I worked the traffic and security piece which isn't usually my gig, but we wear lots of hats in my business. As usual, I was very impressed with what the state and local governments brought to the fight. There are a great many highly competent professionals out there working to keep you safe. And I'm not just talking about cops and firefighters.

I should be able to return to my normal blogging schedule next week.


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