He should take a page from Hurricane Katrina this time in 2005. While most of the New Orleans residents fled in that city's evacuation, a thousand or so for whatever reasons remained in their homes. Civic leaders should be prepared for the contingencies that some people might not heed warnings or might not be able to heed them in proper time.
MTA SUBWAYS SHUT DOWN 22 HOURS AHEAD OF WHEN IT REACHES NEW YORK?!
First off in this critique, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) shut down time of 12 PM (noon) on Saturday, August 27 is too early. Weather.com only gives 60% chance of precipitation at 3:00 PM, and most warnings now say that Hurricane Irene will not reach New York until 10:00AM Sunday morning.
Next, check out the city's map. Click to the projected flood areas map at NY1.com. Notice how far the evacuation centers are from the big flood areas, e.g. from Coney Island or Far Rockaway (the far southeastern edge of the city --how does the city plan to get the folks of the Redfern Houses out of there?).
(UPDATE: EVACUATION DEADLINE FOR NYC AREA A NEIGHBORHOODS: 5:00 PM)
Why did the NYCHA ever build waterfront / hurricane-target housing projects???
The city needs to draw on the lessons of Katrina -mainly, the difficulty or the unwillingness of some people to evacuate. Oh, we can see Mayor Bloomberg with his arrogant I told you so tone, saying people were warned with ample warning.
This may sound like a stretch, but there are many poor people for whom the $2.25 fare is a burden. (Many of the underclass rarely leave their neighborhoods.) Transit head Jay Walder should made the system free for the last four hours, to give those for whom the fare is a problem, a chance to leave the neighborhood for an evacuation center.
Aside from the transit system option, the city should commandeer transit buses and school buses to get people out of the threatened Area A neighborhoods.
[UPDATE: Compliments to the mayor: latest news reports on Hurricane Irene evacuation of Hurricane Irene Area A plans, buses are being sent to housing projects in places such as Far Rockaway, to shuttle people out to evacuation shelters.
And what about the National Guard? We have heard nothing of National Guard or Red Cross preparations. Ohh, we can see another Katrina a coming. Brownie, Nagan ... the criticisms against them will pale in contrast to the short-sighted limited preparation for this one.