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#285983 - 09/08/17 05:37 PM Can any modern city be evacuated?
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2279
We are finding out.

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#285988 - 09/08/17 06:26 PM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? [Re: TeacherRO]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1347
they are trying to get 650,000 people out of Miami. But that is not the whole population. Floridians are much better at this than most other people.

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#285990 - 09/08/17 08:11 PM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? [Re: Pete]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4821
Loc: SOCAL
Yeah, except for that gas stations running out of fuel issue. That's what happens when everybody decides to fill their tanks at the same time. Good that they are giving fuel tanker trucks a police excort in.

As has been said so often on this site, evacuate early and be ahead of the crowd.

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#285992 - 09/08/17 08:29 PM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? [Re: Pete]
adam2 Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 414
Loc: Somerset UK
I believe that given enough money and effort, that most modern cities CAN be evacuated.
It would take some days and be hugely expensive, but in most cases I believe it can be done.
This of course presumes that some relatively slow moving disaster such as a hurricane is approaching.
In the case of a disaster that gives little warning, such as a tsunami, I doubt that evacuation could be completed in time.

In the case of a nuclear detonation without warning, it is more of a case of rescuing the survivors rather than evacuation.

Martial law might be needed to keep traffic moving, requisition vehicles and fuel supplies and so on.
And of course most of those evacuees will need shelter and supplies, a non trivial undertaking.
Shopping list for sheltering evacuees.
2 million folding or inflatable beds
6 million blankets.
10 million bottles of water.
10 million MREs.
250,000 tents each to sleep 10 persons
250,000 portable lighting units
25,000 generators each 20KVA.
250,000 chemical toilets.
2 million rolls toilet paper.
And many other supplies, fuel, medicines, showers, soap, towels, clothing, soaps and detergents, tableware, communications equipment, Heating equipment and fuel, and so on.

And enough secure storage space to keep it all, outside the disaster zone, but not too far away.
Enough vehicles to transport it all, a few thousand trucks should do.

Remember also that trying to move a few million people will lead to significant loss of life from auto accidents and other mishaps.

Planning to shelter in place might be more sensible.

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#285997 - 09/09/17 12:28 AM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? [Re: TeacherRO]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 854
Loc: Colorado
Just trying to get out of Nebraska after the eclipse was an eye-opener for me. And I had enough gas to get all the way home without refueling....

Evacuation has the problem of being unable to spread out the movement over time. And people aren't real good at following orders - especially those who are told to go first. Just look at the airplane boarding process at the airport as a small scale example.

The aware prepper will get out WAY early. God bless the public safety folks who stay behind to shoo everyone else out.

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#286370 - 09/21/17 06:36 PM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? [Re: TeacherRO]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2279
Revised; I think some cities could, given good weather, open highways and 5 -6 days to move everyone

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#286375 - 09/21/17 07:22 PM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? [Re: TeacherRO]
Pete Offline
Veteran

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1347
yes ... the interesting thing is actually the "psychology" of the people. I was looking at that - on the commentaries here after Irma. It appears that a lot of Florida locals really left the "evacuation decision" until the final 24-hours before the storm hit. It seems as though people have to feel that "disaster is absolutely bearing down on them" before they will make a big move. A lot of Floridians did top off their gas tanks and buy supplies from the supermarket ... but as far as "getting out early" ... not so many did this. There is something primeval in the human mindset that tells us to "hunker down".

In fairness to the residents of Miami - they did evacuate when they were told to leave. That was a LOT of people on the highways.

More than anything else - this _psychological reluctance_ to evacuate early ... this torpedoes any hope of evacuating large cities.

But on the positive side ... those few who do get out early have got more open space in front of them.


Edited by Pete (09/21/17 07:26 PM)

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#286376 - 09/21/17 07:47 PM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? [Re: TeacherRO]
Montanero Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1324
Loc: North Carolina
Not really primeval. Normalcy bias and a desire to protect their property. They have not been hit hard since Hurricane Andrew, and many of the residents in Florida did not live there then. They have seen hurricanes, and not suffered much damage or seen a real threat to life.

The reports of looters in Houston did not help motivate them to leave either.

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#286384 - 09/22/17 12:55 AM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? [Re: TeacherRO]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1914
Loc: Washington, DC

Every storm is a new situation.

In the case of Irma, it's enormous expanse (hurricane-force winds wider that the Florida peninsula, tropical force to near 400 miles) and the fact it was going to run north up the peninsula both made people like my brother in Naples think: 1) may need to evacuate; 2) could get stuck on a highway - no gas -- and be forced to ride out the storm in the car.

Irma ended up impacting Alabama, Georgia (Atlanta's first-ever tropical storm warning) and South Carolina.

Evacuate several days before a weather forecast predicts landfall? Maybe, if you won't be fired for leaving work so long. Maybe, if you can afford it. That many days in a hotel is prohibitively expensive for many people.

Some folks couldn't even afford the gas.


Can any modern city be evacuated?

Sure, eventually. Quickly enough to do any good? Depends on the scenario.

Nearly 40% of the residents of my city -- Washington, D.C. -- don't own a car. The subway system will transport many to outside the Beltway but what then? Capital Bikeshare bicycles currently number 3,700 so those would quickly disappear.

We had a bit of a run-through here on September 11, 2001. Hundreds of thousands of workers evacuated to the suburbs that day by car, subway and walking. I thought about leaving but I live here and there is a strong tendency to hunker down at home.

I've posted many times in ETS on this subject. The prospect of having to quickly evacuate is grim. On a normal day, our roads are gridlocked for several hours. And that's just the commuters.

How far would we have to go?

I long ago came to the conclusion that if I had to evacuate "quickly" I'd have to do so by bicycle, or motorcycle if I had one.

It's a bleak scenario.


.

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#286386 - 09/22/17 01:40 AM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? [Re: TeacherRO]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2902
Loc: USA
When making an individual or family emergency plan, I don't think that it's reasonable to trust in the availability of shared transportation assets like public transit, rental cars and car sharing services, ride sharing services, taxis, public bicycles, and so on.

But I also agree that having a bicycle for every member of the family might be the quickest way to escape when traffic is bad. Keep in mind the distance that you need to traverse -- only the very hardiest residents of Miami could have gotten out of Irma's path on a bicycle.

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#286388 - 09/22/17 07:50 AM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? [Re: TeacherRO]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2122
Loc: Great Plains
I know this isn't a perfect answer nor the one people will want to hear but part of being prepared is doing a thorough risk assessment before committing to a place to live. Granted life has risks; for instance a fire can occur anywhere and tornadoes occur everywhere except Antarctica. Yet some places have unique risks. You can get hit by a tornado in Kansas but not a hurricane for example. Right now I live in a town near a reservoir but my place is probably 75 feet above the highest non-Biblical flood possible. wink
_________________________
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#286413 - 09/23/17 01:49 AM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? [Re: Phaedrus]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2672
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
... but part of being prepared is doing a thorough risk assessment before committing to a place to live ...


Neither easy nor foolproof, but yes, there is much wisdom in the concept.

In practice, though, moving to a new place (say, for employment) and trying to latch onto a living space in that general chaos, is there a short list of people to contact?

Local fire department? Local police department? The emergency planning coordinator who generally gets no respect when it's quiet, and no peace when the cork blows?

Do you stipulate something research-wise with the realtor, or the lawyer doing the paperwork?

Love the concept. But how to implement?

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#286415 - 09/23/17 04:11 AM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? [Re: dougwalkabout]
AKSAR Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1092
Loc: Alaska
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
In practice, though, moving to a new place (say, for employment) and trying to latch onto a living space in that general chaos, is there a short list of people to contact?

Local fire department? Local police department? The emergency planning coordinator who generally gets no respect when it's quiet, and no peace when the cork blows?
I would start with the local emergency management office. When my kid was looking at a house to buy in the Pacific NW, I did a quick check on the county Emergency Management web page. I was rather impressed with what they had there, easily downloadable. For example, there were maps of flood plains and other hazards, so we could readily see where the house was at relative to those risks.

How much will be available directly from the Emergency Management office will probably vary significantly from town to town. Here in Anchorage, the E M website has some general info on the most likely hazards, but finding details on some issues requires a bit more research. However, the E M office page does have links to help start that research.
_________________________
"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more."
-Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz

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#286419 - 09/23/17 05:03 AM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? [Re: TeacherRO]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2122
Loc: Great Plains
In my case just Googling and driving around helped a bit. It was kind of dumb luck that I found a place in a pretty good neighborhood (eg close to a nice small part, high up on a hillside that is probably too high to possibly flood...and close to work!).

Some of that I meant in broad strokes, though. For instance, living an area very prone to wildfires, moving to a city that's at or under sea level, etc are things that are very easy to discern.
_________________________
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#286430 - 09/24/17 12:55 AM Re: Can any modern city be evacuated? hazards [Re: dougwalkabout]
EMPnotImplyNuclear Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 319
Originally Posted By: dougwalkabout
Originally Posted By: Phaedrus
... but part of being prepared is doing a thorough risk assessment before committing to a place to live ...


Neither easy nor foolproof, but yes, there is much wisdom in the concept.

In practice, though, moving to a new place (say, for employment) and trying to latch onto a living space in that general chaos, is there a short list of people to contact?

Local fire department? Local police department? The emergency planning coordinator who generally gets no respect when it's quiet, and no peace when the cork blows?

Do you stipulate something research-wise with the realtor, or the lawyer doing the paperwork?

Love the concept. But how to implement?

Hi,
Definitely not foolproof ,
I barely even know where to start,
most people (my family) didn't bother with any kind of checklist,
not even once,
much less a check for local hazards,
there are always surprises without paperwork,
but ignorance is bliss,
ex for starters only
HQS Housing Quality Standards checklist
or home shopping checklist
Natural hazards aren't on the list at all.
Only mention of hazards is electrical (as in exposed/hanging wires)
You'd think thats kind of nuts but
just last month there was a story on the TV about two dozen "surviving" in a deathtrap sewer or church/laundromat basement


So I would start with a checklist of your own, ask the questions out loud right now, write them down. Then ask every person you're talking to get some more. Then when you're looking at counties/cities, you have something to ask about at emergency office ... and then the landlord/realtor.

Just from personal experience,
camping in a construction zone that is your home just isn't fun,
so ask lots and lots of questions regarding local plumbing/leak hazards,
ask about any kid of leaks they've ever had,
then for every hose or pipe or faucet or boiler or toilet or drain or wall or roof,
ask about last time it leaked,
last time it was broken or fixed,
if it leaked before that time and how was that different,
don't skip anything ,
was the floor/walls/ceiling wet? damaged? replaced?
roof leaks?
leak from loose sink connections,
leak from kitchen sink backing up and overflowing,
how often does kitchen sink back up
how often does the main pipe coming outside the kitchen need to snaked/cleaned by a plumber,
overflow from plugged bathroom sink ,
overflow from plugged toiled , how easy is to shut off toilet,
leak from old boiler relief valve (designed),
leak from improper fixes (owner blocking the leaking relief valve ),
improper boiler draining (boiler closet has no drain, or drain inadequate, or just sloppy plumber )
improper boiler install (improper connections, sloppy plumber making a mess)
how many decades old is boiler, when was it last serviced
any leaks from above? into light fixture ? ceiling fan? electrical anything?
holes in the walls? crawl space screes? gaps around pipes?
...
if your neighbor (or two or three) is above you ,
his boiler will leak right after you fix yours,
so ask the same questions,
and carry a can of spray on rubber sealant ($10?) for the boiler closet,
it can save you a few $1000 in damages and more in peace/quality of life







I've never seen hazards discussed or even mentioned , not by landlord or realtor, risk doesn't sell

I imagine the insurance guys ought to have a better idea than average about natural hazards (flood/landslide/earthquake...) seeing how risk is their game ... but fraud happens, cash recovery is always a pain/PITA


Some places its easier than its ever been to get lots of info for example
http://myhazards.caloes.ca.gov/
or https://www.readycolorado.com/hazard-map

??old gone?? The Disaster Finder http://nhss.cr.usgs.gov/ Natural Hazards Support System (NHSS)
??replaced by now gone ?? https://igems.doi.gov/ Interior Geospatial Emergency Management System (IGEMS)
?? new replacement??
https://www2.usgs.gov/natural_hazards/ U.S. Geological Survey: Natural Hazards

tsunamiready.noaa.gov TsunamiReady® Communities

Ideas to add to your list
The Disaster Handbook - National Edition

Heh
BARP Bay Area Regional Planner - Solve San Francisco's housing crisis in this accurate & exciting simulation. Where will you zone for more homes?

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