September 05, 2005
New Orleans On Google Maps Satellite Shots
On Google Maps check out New Orleans. Note the "Satellite" and "Katrina" buttons which I think are before and after shots for the Hurricane. Check out a zoomed out shot of a larger area.
Anyone else have better sources of aerial views looking down for viewing the effect of the damage on coastlines and rivers?
Update: I think these are Superdome before and after shots. Note that the underlying stuff you are seeing is probably still the roof but without the white covering.
Federal state and local government officials direct the evacuation of Huston with the approach of hurricane Rita. This is foolishly destroying the social support network that these people have. And it shows the world a people easily panicked, confused and frustrated.
Much as I believe the constant mobility and mixing of the American population (Canada and Mexico included) is a good thing for the long term adaptability and cohesion of our society, this abandonment of cities looks very bad.
Is mass evacuation a sound strategy?
People function much better in an environment that they know, surrounded by people that they know. In a mass evacuation of a city, don't we increase the risk that a multitude will be caught out in the open stuck in traffic or lost in an unfamiliarly area when disaster hits? Don't we increase the risk of accidents in the hubbub and confusion? Don't we increase the risk of panic and mob behavior due to the loss of social control context?
Shouldn't we be trying to find them safety as close to their homes as possible so that they benefit from the social capital they have built throught familiarity with the people and places around them. It is easier to harden sites, harden site utilities, pre position supplies and bring supplies and services to known locations than to fan out trying to find where people are.
There are so many areas of high ground and buildings above water in the New Orleans photos. Can't we find a way to protect and support people locally in or near their neighborhoods and neighbors? Put generators, fuel, communications and supplies in sturdy public buildings in each neighborhood. Have pre designated emergency wardens appointed from the neighbor population and conduct exercises (not too often) so people become familiar with the process.