Delaware communities plan evacuation routes using tourist-season experience
| 01.03.2007 | 06:59:19 | Views: 2622 | ID:
January 3, '07: Communities along Delaware's shoreline have been developing emergency plans in case a hurricane, large-scale disaster or terrorist attack forces massive evacuations in a short period of time. The News Journal reported that community emergency management leaders are using tourist-season scenarios as examples for how to develop evacuation routes.
Gary Lang, spokesman for the Delaware Department of Transportation told the New Journal, "Twice a year, we essentially evacuate a city," alluding to the NASCAR races in Dover. "A lot of lessons we've learned from that can be applied. ... We have learned some things about moving vehicles."Even before Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005, Delaware State officials were developing plans for the beach communities. "State officials wanted to make sure they had a transportation plan in place that would work in most catastrophes, from a hurricane to a chemical leak or act of terrorism," the News Journal reported. Plans being implemented in Sussex County, Delaware, for example, "will be used as a guide for similar plans being developed in Kent and New Castle counties," Lang told the News Journal. Officials have said that planning for large-scale evacuations would mean that ideally, 72 hours of time would be given to move people out of harm's way, however, that is not always the case. Officials told the News Journal that if a large hurricane were to hit the area, the Maryland, Delaware and Virginia region's beaches would all require evacuations thus creating a need for a coordinated regional effort.
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