After watching the horrors of Katrina, followed by the chaotic attempt to evacuate a small percentage my city when Hurricane Rita looked likely to hit Houston, I remember thinking very distinctly, "we're on our own." And then my mind turned to terrorism.
If, god forbid, there were some sort of major attack that required the evacuation of a city and the inflow of massive amounts of supplies and medical support, the situation would be remarkably similar to that experienced in New Orleans or in the disastrous attempted evacuation here in Houston. (Remember that during the Katrina disaster, New Orleans had only a small percentage of her people in the city.)
I've seen tons of reports examining the failures of Katrina, but almost all of them focus on the post-Katrina support and rebuilding operations. I have not seen any major work or substantial reporting around evacuation and immediate support.
Has anything changed? If something big happened suddenly in Houston or Chicago or Atlanta, would the immediate response be substantially different? In a terror attack(or an election year,) I doubt we would have the same five day lag as Katrina, but, in the case of a terror attack the underlying problems of evacuation and supply would be the same.
Does the government plan to send trucks of food and water into a radioactive city? Or allow people to leave willy nilly after a bioterror attack?
No. The plan is shelter in place. The DHS plan says to have food for three days.
As I loaded up the hurricane kit again a week ago, I just kept remembering that ominous feeling. "You're on your own."