Sunday, September 25, 2005

Landfall+ 38: Situation Update

Here is the current situation in Texas:

  • 1.1 Million customers remain without power; priority of restoration goes to shelters, critical care facilities, and government.  Some areas may be without power for up to three weeks.

  • Texas remains critically short of fuel, especially in Eastern part of the state.

  • Debris removal teams are moving into strike zone.  Actually, they are cutting their way into the strike zone.  Yes, we have trees in Texas and many of them are now blocking the highway.

  • In the strike zone, 12,700 special needs people were evacuated by air.

  • Many towns and counties remain without power, water, sewage, fuel, and supplies.  There is a currently as massive airlift underway to re-supply these locations.

  • One of the main priorities is opening, or keeping open routes, into the strike zone in order for relief convoys to enter.

  • Generators are the most in demand resource right now.  Many city water supplies will not be back online unless large generators are delivered.

  • Shelters are emptying out as people return to their homes.  The state has asked people to stay in place until they are asked to return.  Houston has implemented a phased return plan.

Our local situation:

  • Shelter population peaked at 20,000 but is shrinking hourly.

  • We are currently coordinating re-entry transportation for those evacuees who don’t have their own resources.

  • We are currently working on identifying those people who will need long-term sheltering.

  • We anticipate being asked to provide resources to aid in the recovery.

Friction Points:

Special Needs.  Keeping mental patients, nursing home patients, and other critical care people in shelters is not the best solution.  They need to get back into their facilities where they can get the best care.

Key Considerations for special needs re-entry:
  • Is the facility staff back in place?  

  • Power?  Water?

  • Damage, structural integrity of the facility?

  • Emergency services?  Are the local police and fire departments capable of responding to emergencies?

  • Roads open?

  • Can the people travel?  Evacuation might have stressed weak patients, and they may not be ready for a return trip.

  • Adequate transportation resources available?  Some special need people require ambulances, an in demand resource.

Next 24 hours:

  • Relief operations into the strike zone and damage assessment.

  • Continue re-entry planning.

  • FEMA/State of Texas sets up their Disaster Field Office in East Texas


At September 26, 2005, Blogger J. said...

Great coverage, Kris. Your blog could be summarized as "what Louisiana and New Orleans govts should have been doing."

At September 26, 2005, Anonymous Circe said...

Thanks for keeping us posted up here in Okieland.



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