Courtesy of Yahoo!
This text is from the City of New Orleans own web page, from the "Comprehensive Plans: Hurricanes" section.
The City of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Those evacuated will be directed to temporary sheltering and feeding facilities as needed. When specific routes of progress are required, evacuees will be directed to those routes. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed.The mayor of New Orleans is ranting that George Bush, FEMA, and the military didn't do enough. But according to his own plan, New Orleans officials were supposed to arrange for emergency transportation for "special needs" persons--such as hospital patients, the mentally ill, and the elderly.
Slow developing weather conditions (primarily hurricane) will create increased readiness culminating in an evacuation order 24 hours (12 daylight hours) prior to predicted landfall. Disabled vehicles and debris will be removed from highways so as not to impede evacuation. In local evacuations involving more than fifty (50) families (i.e. 50 single dwelling units), staging areas may be established at the closest available public area outside the threatened area. Upon arrival at the staging area, evacuees will be directed to the appropriate shelter facility. Evacuees will be encouraged to stay with friends or relatives in non-threatened areas whenever possible. Security measures will be employed to protect the evacuated area(s) in accordance with established procedures and situations.
The use of travel-trailers, campers, motorcycles, bicycles, etc., during the evacuation will be allowed so long as the situation permits it. Public information broadcasts will include any prohibitions on their use. Transportation will be provided to those persons requiring public transportation from the area. (See Special Needs Transportation, ESF-1). An orderly return to the evacuated areas will be provided after the Mayor determines the threat to be terminated. Transportation back to the evacuated area after threat termination will be provided as available.
Why are those school buses parked in the city bus yard? Why weren't they used before Katrina hit to get the poor and the sick out of New Orleans?
FEMA may have reacted slowly. But the first line of defense for the people of New Orleans was the city government, and it wasn't ready or wasn't able to meet the challenge.