September 13, 2005 latimes.com
New Orleans had a plan to warn the poor, but it sat on a shelf in L.A.
By Nicholas Riccardi and James Rainey, Times Staff Writers
NEW ORLEANS — After years of warnings, community leaders this summer prepared a video guide to hurricane evacuations with a stark message: Many of this city's poor, including 134,000 without cars, could be left behind in a killer storm.
But the 30-minute DVD still has not arrived. Some 70,000 of the newly minted videos that were to be released this month remain on warehouse shelves in Los Angeles.
Their warning: Save yourself, and help your neighbors if you can.
"Don't wait for the city, don't wait for the state, don't wait for the Red Cross," the Rev. Marshall Truehill warns in the public service announcement.
The program, titled "Preparing for the Big One," was one of several related but incomplete plans aimed in particular at the one-quarter of the city's population that did not own cars or have ready transportation out of town in the event of evacuation orders.
Churches had agreed to provide rides to those without cars as part of "Operation Brother's Keeper," but a pilot program had been started in only four large congregations.
Yah-huh. All those DVDs sitting on the shelf...at least now we know why there was all that looting. People couldn't wait to get their hands on this DVD to figure out what to do next, eh, FEMA?