Friday, September 23, 2005

More Tradgedy... and Rita hasn't even hit

First off officials think that 24 people have died in a bus fire; the bus was carrying elderly people who were being evacuated from the effects of the impending hurricane. By all accounts this was truly an accident but it's a tradgedy none the less. To die by sheer fluke while trying to escape something that's likely to kill you is somewhat ironic. Almost as if the grim reaper swooped in and said... "Hey you were supposed to stay.... oh well I'll get you on the bus anyways". Its sad for the families involved in this because chances are the problems that caused the fire initially were probably preventable. I guess more about this will come to light soon.

But what I'd have to say is even more tragic is the fact that people are staying in what's likely to be a mess and a dangerous situation because they were told about mandatory evactuations not 24 hours before the weather was supposed to get bad... too bad the roads to get out of the city were backed up for close to 30 hours. I'd rather be stuck in a sturdy building than risk getting caught in 100mph winds in my car. It's just a perfect example of how poorly planed the emergency protocols are in that part of the world. The biggest shame is that these regions should know better, it's not like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita were freak storms that shouldn't happen. These regions are subject to hurricanes on a regular basis. Granted storms of Rita's and Katrina's magnitude are rare but if you're a city planner in one of these regions wouldn't you want to play it safe rather than risk people's lives?

I think that when this hurricane season is over some changes are necessary to the emergency response planning for all cities that are in the potential path of these monster storms (especially when they become monsters like Rita)

Houston, Galveston May Avoid Direct Hit (Yahoo!)
As Many As 24 Killed in Texas Bus Fire (Yahoo!)
Storm Tracker