Friday, September 23, 2005

Does Houston Need To Be Evacuated?

As I have been watching the traffic gridlock unfold in Houston, I’ve begun to ask the obvious, why are they evacuating Houston? Do two million people really need to leave Houston? It does not seem to make sense to me based on how far in land Houston is and the history of hurricanes not having significant impact on the Houston area:


The coastal areas of Texas should be evacuated of course but evacuating Houston which is 50 miles north of Galveston never made sense to me. All the coastal towns around Houston and on the southern side of the bay make sense to evacuate, but the area that the evacuation calls for is not that big (see Mandatory Evacuation under maps):

Evacuation Map

So why has what looks like an entire city evacuated? This hurricane and what is happening in Houston looks more and more like Hurricane Hype and Hysteria to me. If the citizens had a sound structure, did not live in a flood prone area, and did not live in one of the “mandatory” evacuation areas, would have they been better served to prepare their supplies and stay put? Was staying communicated as a “reasonable” option for those in the safest sections of Houston?

I could be wrong but I think the large scale evacuation of Houston and whether it should have happened is going to be a question the people of Houston are going to want answers to. Did they receive the right information about staying in Houston so that they could make the right decision or did they get caught up in a herd mentality that wasn’t really the right course of action for them? We shall see………………………….