Marietta, GA-Representatives of Lockheed-Martin, the United States Air Force, the United States Army, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and various local state agencies are drafting contingency plans for a Berlin-airlift response which officials say could avert a repeat of the traffic jams during the ice storm in Atlanta on January 28.
While plans have yet to be finalized, plans include such components as having doctors, nurses and paramedics rappel down from Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft to assist any motorists or passengers who might be in need, air-dropping MREs (Meals-Ready-To-Eat) to stranded motorists along with Sterno® containers and pocket lighters from Lockheed C-141 transports, placing portable outhouses along the area's freeways and if necessary, training bird-watchers and forest rangers to observe the behavior of the area's wildlife to see if they are up to anything out of the ordinary, such as flying to Miami or buttressing beaver dams. The latter would be used to outguess the National Weather Service, the Weather Channel®, AccuWeather® and WeatherBug®.
In the most dire of circumstances, it might have to be necessary to bring in a AC-130 gunship to blast some 18-wheel tractor-trailers in order to clear a space for the Lockheed and Bell-Boeing transports to land and take off, noted Brigadier General Lem Curtis. "We would also remove the vehicles if we needed to clear a lane for emergency vehicles or the joy-riding of Mayor Kasim Reed-if he's not on TV with the Weather Channel," he said.
The AC-130s would be equipped with loudspeakers, Tasers and other equipment to inform motorists that they need to evacuate their vehicles. If motorists refused, law enforcement and military personnel would be allowed to put them under arrest.
Objections have already come from the American Civil Liberties Union, who claim that such actions are a violation of any provisions of eminent domain and just compensation, especially since some of the state emergency management agencies have indicated that the only compensation motorists would receive would consist of a scaled-down Hot Wheels® replica of their own vehicles. "Just look at some of those states-Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida-noted Ada Vocate, an attorney with the ACLU. "They can spend billions on stadiums and arenas for NFL, MLB and NBA sports franchises but all they have for motorists with their Yugos, Isuzus, Impalas and Mercedes--Hot Wheels®?? This is so unfair!! See you in court!!"
On the other hand, observers noted that the idea of dropping Hershey and Cadbury chocolates would make any military action a big success. "This would be bigger than the 1948 Berlin Airlift and the search for Willy Wonka's Golden Tickets combined," noted a representative with one of the food companies producing the chocolates for the MREs. "Forget the Super Bowl-we want ice and snow in Dixie Land. That would be the end-all promotion for us!!"