Friday, September 22, 2017

County Commissioner Xavier Suarez Looks at Evacuation During Hurricanes. By Geniusofdespair

City Commission Francis Suarez with Dad Xavier Suarez
 I liked this Op-Ed by Xavier Suarez my County Commissioner, as I call him: 
The X man.

Commissioners, we need some overhaul of rules for evacuation at the airport as well, but that is another matter.

Find better ways to get residents out of Miami-Dade, and then back in

September 20, 2017

Hurricane Irma came with every possible warning and the longest period of anticipation ever provided by modern technology. We had hurricane-tracking planes and expert models ad infinitum on the job. I can’t imagine that technology can do much better in the future.

However, if we suffered like we did, in terms of power outages, from being 100 miles from the eye, how much worse would that suffering have been if we were hit head-on?

There are two specific preparedness issues on which we can all agree:

▪ Powerlines must be either underground or at least above ground on sturdy, reinforced concrete columns. There is really no argument here. Having wooden poles to support power grids is living in the Stone Age.

▪ Facilities for elderly residents, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities must have stand-by, working generators. Most high-rise condos and hotels in Miami have generators for emergency lights and elevators. Some nursing homes and ALFs don’t have them, and if they do, their capacity is insufficient to provide air conditioning. When you combined that deficiency with shuttered windows, you got tragic deaths such as the ones in a Hollywood nursing home.

Suffice it to say, there now are even more people who live in the Florida Keys who most likely will not follow future evacuation orders. They were hampered in their efforts to repair and rebuild by the constraints imposed post-hurricane that kept them from accessing their homes. Clearly, there are lessons for government officials who issue evacuation orders, emergency curfews, and other limitations to freedom of movement:

▪ Evacuation orders must include highway counter-flows. When Miami-Dade orders evacuation of 600,000 residents, you would think it would be coordinated with the state of Florida so that all or most lanes of I-75 and I-95 would be immediately used for one-directional travel. Forcing people on the highways north without gas supplies is a dereliction of duty.

▪ Traffic signals must be immediately replaced by temporary measures. Miami Beach did well by placing portable stop signs at every intersection. Miami-Dade County did well by providing police officers at many major ones; Miami also mobilized large numbers of public service aides, though they should be more visible and better trained.

One of my most enduring memories was driving back to my place in Miami Beach (after three couples and five grandchildren took over my city condo) and being stopped for ID on the MacCarthur Causeway. One officer saw my county ID and yelled to the other: “Hey, we have a county commissioner here.” The other one answered: “County commissioners can go anywhere they want.”

It made me wonder: If a county commissioner and the news media can go pretty much anywhere they want, why can’t a regular citizen who wants to secure his residence after a hurricane do likewise?

City of Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez (Xavier's Son) is Running for City of Miami Mayor


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip, got to get me some News Media ID for next time.

Anonymous said...

Just what Miami needs, the X-Men!

Anonymous said...

Great ideas Commissioner, too bad the mayor or anyone else won't implement them. Good photos of little X. He is a shoe-in.

Anonymous said...

Francis is so good looking. I hope he is as smart as his dad but more focused.

Anonymous said...

On I-75 they opened both inside and outside shoulders to northbound traffic.

There was a problem, drivers who did not know the shoulders were open intentionally rode the inside and outside lanes and the shoulders to block vehicles using the opened shoulders. Just like that everyone lost time so instead of five lanes there were three. Another problem is trucks in the passing lane, nightmare because if they do pass slower vehicles the morons won't let them back to the center or right lanes. The answer is a ban on trucks in the passing lane.

Selfish, stupid me-first idiots fucking everything up as usual because they were unaware and can't handle the idea of someone getting ahead of them.

Anonymous said...

Not just county commissioners... a whole slew of village , city, and town reps were out and about.... If leadership is supposed to set an example, we are in pretty bad shape.... it really bothered me the whole storm. They should each be sanctioned... it also confuses any messaging coming actual emergency management people... very sad... very frustrating...