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August 28, 2005
Hugh Hewitt questioned early media reports about the potential loss of life associated with Katrina. I agree with Josh Britton, 10,000 deaths is not out of the question if the storm surges clear the levies in New Orleans and sink much of the city. 10,000 deaths from a natural disaster in the United States is beyond the imagination for me, but God willing, residents heeded early calls to evacuate. Almost equally unimaginable is the report that as much as 1,000,000 people could be left homeless.
As mentioned in this post, I helped draft plans for "temporary" housing for up to 150,000 displaced persons following a catastrophic event. The plan didn't call for a refugee camp, but instead for housing, schools, shopping, employment, etc. constructed from modular units to be airlifted, trucked, shipped, and trained in from arround the world. The land would be identified (no easy task), cleared, graded, and the community constructed within 60-90 days. Residents would occupy the temporary community for six months to two years depending on the degree of flooding at ground zero. Many on our team questioned whether accomplishing a 60-90 day mission is possible. I can't begin to convey to all of you the logistical complexity of pulling off such an operation.
That's for 150,000 displaced persons and the AP's talking about potentially 1,000,000 people.
The story may be hype. It may be realistic. But, the bottom line is that constructing temporary housing for 150,000 people while New Orleans rebuilds would be a massive undertaking.
While I expect the people of Louisiana will have access to whatever federal resources necessary, I predict that Americans will once again rise to the challenge before us and demonstrate the resilience and compassion that made us a great nation.
Posted by Rick at August 28, 2005 11:00 PM