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Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 7, 1998


  Wash. Post


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L’Observateur / October 7, 1998

Shelter not a good idea The topic of possibly developing a shelter in the River Parishes is a popular one for discussion right now. Many people don’t want to leaveduring a storm and some others cannot leave, usually for medical reasons, without a great deal of difficulty.

It’s a tempting idea, but it goes against most current emergency plan thinking. The plans, as they stand, are for people to leave. That lessens thestrain on local resources and manpower and helps local officials concentrate on holding damage to the community to a minimum.

It’s true that civic centers or community centers can provide such shelter, but food, security and medical resources are tied up at the same time. TheLouisiana Superdome was opened for Georges, and while most evacuees were well-behaved and cooperative, there were highly-publicized incidents of vandalism, theft and gross ingratitude.

Evacuation still makes sense for as many as possible. A tornado, forexample, could hit a shelter during a hurricane. We don’t need death tollson top of everything else.

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