December 26, 2006
GAO Report on Transportation-Disadvantaged Populations
During the evacuation of New Orleans in response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, many of those who did not own a vehicle and could not evacuate were among the over 1,300 people who died. This raised questions about how well state and local governments, primarily responsible for disaster planning, integrate transportation-disadvantaged populations into such planning. GAO assessed the challenges and barriers state and local officials face; how prepared these governments are and steps they are taking to address challenges and barriers; and federal efforts to provide evacuation assistance. GAO reviewed evacuation plans; Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Transportation (DOT), and other studies; and interviewed officials in five major city and four state governments."