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The Texas Version Of A Snow Day [Sep. 11th, 2008|11:09 pm]
Wizard of Changes -- ©cdozo 2004 to 2015

From the Austin American-Statesman:

"All Austin public schools will be closed early Friday in anticipation of heavy vehicle traffic on major roads from Hurricane Ike evacuees."

(snip schedule of which schools close when)

“This is a precautionary step to remove students and buses from the roadways as early as possible. We are expecting a great deal of traffic from evacuees on local roads and highways. The safety of students is our first consideration.” Superintendent Pat Forgione said in a written statement."

The article goes on to list a number of other school districts that are closing early.


[User Picture]From: ndozo
2008-09-12 06:38 pm (UTC)
This is one of the most sensible things I have ever heard of. Keeping as much traffic off the road in areas surrounding a life or death evacuation area would obviously help speed people away from danger. I think that if they haven't already, FEMA should figure out how to do this everywhere. I'm impressed.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2008-09-13 03:11 pm (UTC)
They made such a mess of it with Rita...and for once they paid attention and learned.

Another reason, not mentioned, was that many school gyms are 72 hour shelters for evacuees...instead of cramming everyone into one huge space, they're putting smaller groups (up to ~400) in multiple spaces. Much easier to do this if you don't mix local curious kids with tired, stressed-out evacuees and their kids.

The whole pre-storm evacuation went much, much better than last time. Provision for incoming evacuees still wasn't perfect and I hope they refine that. There were problems at Crockett (one of the schools)--they did hire the cafeteria staff to cook, but the first day they ran out of food--they were feeding old people, then children, then women, then men...and some of the men didn't get fed. In my opinion, if they'd put out a request for donations of blankets early on (early in the week, for instance, or earlier in the hurricane season) they'd probably have had enough to hand out to those who didn't bring anything. Possibly the same with cots. Crockett was also a place where people in wheelchairs who needed nursing-aide assistance didn't get it--and old people in wheelchairs can't get down on the floor to sleep and back up, or go upstairs to facilities.

But on the whole, MUCH better organized and thought out than before.
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