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About 100 seek Galveston hurricane evacuation help

GALVESTON, Texas -- Galveston is relying on a new bar code registration system to help track people who evacuate if another storm like Hurricane Ike threatens the island.Sept. 13 is the first anniversary of Ike, which caused billions of dollars in damage to Southeast Texas.The Galveston County Daily News reported Tuesday that only about 100 people have registered for transportation inland. Nearly 2,000 people required evacuation help during Ike."It's very important that our citizens who have special needs sign up now," said Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas. "Those who wait leave the city in a position of not being able to help them because we don't know exactly what their needs are."Galveston is among the cities using a tracking system supplied by the state. Each evacuee will get a wristband with a bar code, for scanning when a person boards a bus and gets to a shelter.The tracking system, with help from preregistered information, is an updated program being used by cities in Galveston County for the first time since Hurricane Ike.Fewer people than normal signed up for assistance during this year's hurricane preparedness town hall meeting, Assistant City Manager Carolyn Cox said.Apparently, some who normally sign up for help are no longer living in Galveston, she said.Cox is concerned that people will not evacuate because they had to stay off Galveston for so long after Ike took out water, sewer and electrical services."People are placing a greater value on their property now and the fact that they couldn't get back directly after the storm," Cox said. "But you don't need to be here when the plumbing system and the electrical system doesn't work."Before Ike struck, about 1,800 people boarded buses at the Island Community Center and rode to safety at shelters in Austin. They were not allowed to return to Galveston for more than two weeks.People who register for evacuation help do not have to leave on the buses if they change their minds later or decide to leave with friends or family, Cox said.___Information from: The Galveston County Daily News, http://www.galvnews.comCopyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
/ Source: KRIS-TV

GALVESTON, Texas -- Galveston is relying on a new bar code registration system to help track people who evacuate if another storm like Hurricane Ike threatens the island.Sept. 13 is the first anniversary of Ike, which caused billions of dollars in damage to Southeast Texas.The Galveston County Daily News reported Tuesday that only about 100 people have registered for transportation inland. Nearly 2,000 people required evacuation help during Ike."It's very important that our citizens who have special needs sign up now," said Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas. "Those who wait leave the city in a position of not being able to help them because we don't know exactly what their needs are."Galveston is among the cities using a tracking system supplied by the state. Each evacuee will get a wristband with a bar code, for scanning when a person boards a bus and gets to a shelter.The tracking system, with help from preregistered information, is an updated program being used by cities in Galveston County for the first time since Hurricane Ike.Fewer people than normal signed up for assistance during this year's hurricane preparedness town hall meeting, Assistant City Manager Carolyn Cox said.Apparently, some who normally sign up for help are no longer living in Galveston, she said.Cox is concerned that people will not evacuate because they had to stay off Galveston for so long after Ike took out water, sewer and electrical services."People are placing a greater value on their property now and the fact that they couldn't get back directly after the storm," Cox said. "But you don't need to be here when the plumbing system and the electrical system doesn't work."Before Ike struck, about 1,800 people boarded buses at the Island Community Center and rode to safety at shelters in Austin. They were not allowed to return to Galveston for more than two weeks.People who register for evacuation help do not have to leave on the buses if they change their minds later or decide to leave with friends or family, Cox said.___Information from: The Galveston County Daily News, http://www.galvnews.com

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.