NORFOLK-- A new study finds serious flaws in Virginia's evacuation plan.
According to the study, the state could provide shelter for less than half of evacuees if there was a mass evacuation from Hampton Roads.
The City of Norfolk would not comment on the recent study revealing inadequate capacity levels in state shelters, but they are defending their own emergency shelters.
'They're not the Holiday Inn obviously, but they are a safer place than where folks would be in the lowest lying areas vulnerable to flooding,' said Director of Emergency Preparedness and Response James Redick.
The state says when a powerful storm like Hurricane Irene hits, of the 500,000 people in Hampton Roads who would evacuate, 50,000 of them would need shelter.
The new report reveals the state could only accommodate 20,000 people in state-managed shelters.
Many of Norfolk shelters are in schools and recreation centers.
'One of our recreation centers is a pet shelter. We're looking at one of the schools as a medically friendly shelter, so we're trying to be as inclusive as possible to meeting all of the sheltering needs,' said Redick.
The report claims the state could only staff two of the 18 state shelters.
The city of Norfolk cites the support of volunteers and local agencies for preventing any staffing issues in their emergency shelters.
'We have a combination of folks that are assigned to shelters. We have a significant volunteer base and folks within the shelters can work it as well,' said Redick.