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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Is Prince George's County prepared for a total evacuation?

(Posted September 7, 2005)
(Followup November 17, 2005)
The following is a message I sent to selected county officials. It has not been answered. It probably did not reach the offices responsible for an evacuation because:
  1. The county's Office of Emergency Management does not appear to have an e-mail address posted on the county's website.

  2. The e-mail address posted for the county's Office of Homeland Security does not work; messages to it are returned as undeliverable.

The copy of the message addressed to the county's customer service e-mail has gone unanswered, as has a note to one of the county's press contacts.

I can only conclude that, like the people of New Orleans, in the event of a major disaster, we're all on our own and can expect little, if any, help from our county government.

After giving some thought to the evacuation fiasco in New Orleans, I went and looked to see what plan Prince George's County has for evacuating school children, the elderly and infirm, and people without automobiles.

I could not find such a plan on your website.

The emergency plan you do have, which is not easy to find, and requires software that not all citiznes may have or be able to download and install in an emergency, does not address the issue.

Nor does it provide any guidance on where shelters might be found for those who cannot evacuate.

Is there a plan for a total evacuation? If so, where? If not, just what, if anything, would the county government do in a disaster on the scale of the New Orleans one?

Diane C. Russell
PG-Politics Blog

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