New Orleans Gets Prepared for Hurricane Season

Special - What to do, and Where to Go Edition

Data Staff Edited Report

Each year, hurricane season lasts from June 1st to November 30th. As witnessed during Hurricane Katrina, there are dangers from these storms that include high winds, heavy rain, tornados, flooding and power outages. Some of which, can cause loss of property and lives. Depending on a storm’s severity, the City of New Orleans may issue a mandatory evacuation order. If the City issues a mandatory evacuation, all residents and visitors must leave. If an evacuation is not ordered, it’s up to you to decide to evacuate or shelter in place.

With the recent weather events that have caused major street flooding and the scare of Tropical Storm Alberto preceding the hurricane season, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is urging residents to have supplies and a plan in place for the upcoming season, including preparing for the possibility of a mandatory citywide evacuation. Hurricane season begins June 1st.

On May 17th, Cantrell held her first hurricane prep briefing with reporters at Jackson Barracks, located in the Lower 9th Ward Headquarters of the Louisiana National Guard. Mayor Cantrell met City and National Guard officials for a planning session. Cantrell asked citizens to be proactive in preparing for the potential of a hurricane hitting the City.

“We have to take action, and the level of preparedness and the action starts today,” Cantrell said. “It starts now.”

During her briefing, Mayor Cantrell spoke of plans for using the National Guard’s help supporting the City should a mandatory evacuation be necessary. She also emphasized New Orleans, as was the policy of the last administration, does not have a shelter of last resort for those who remain.

Under the Cantrell Administration, the City of New Orleans will continue to provide City-assisted evacuation to those who cannot evacuate on their own. Volunteers will be staged at 17 points across the City to register evacuees and provide with tickets and wristbands for transport. RTA buses will then transfer people to the Union Passenger Terminal downtown where busses will take people to shelters outside of the City and return them to the terminal when the storm is over. More information is available on the City’s NOLA Ready website.

In preparation for the 2018 Hurricane season, we at Data News Weekly, as a service to our readers, would like to give a guide that helps empower and inform you on what to do in case a hurricane threatens the City of New Orleans.

Prepare for a Storm
Preparing your home and neighborhood before a storm can help reduce potential damage.

Understand your flood risk:
Certain parts of the City are more likely to flood than others. You can learn more about your flood risk here: FEMA Flood Map Service Center or LSU Ag Center’s Louisiana Flood Map Tool.

Insure Your Property
Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster, so it’s important to have the right coverage. Homeowners and renters’ insurance usually doesn’t cover flood damage. Flood insurance takes 30 days to be in effect, so now is the time to buy. Protect your home or business with flood insurance. Call 1-800-427-4661 to find an agent.

Check your homeowner’s policy to ensure it covers wind damage too? Are you a renter? Protect your belongings with contents coverage. All homeowners and renters help with the following in advance of a storm:

Clean your property and street
Remove debris from gutters and downspouts
Clear debris from catch basins. Report clogged catch basins to 311
Prune trees and shrubs
Bring outdoor furniture and decorations inside
Secure or bring garbage bins inside
Move possessions to your highest floor
Photograph your property for insurance purposes.
Secure Your Home
Check your roof and siding for any loose pieces
Cover your windows with plywood or storm shutters
Secure boats and recreational vehicles.
Trailers or Mobile Homes
If you live in a trailer or mobile home, evacuate for any storm. Before you leave, do all the above and:
Shut off all fuel lines but do not disconnect them
Turn off water where it enters your home
Use both “over-the-top” and “frame” ties to secure your home

Shelter In-Place
If a mandatory evacuation is not ordered, decide whether-or-not to evacuate or to shelter in-place. If you stay, you will need to gather what you’ll need to shelter in place:
Non-perishable food for at least 3 days
3 gallons of water per person
Manual can opener
Flashlight & extra batteries
Matches or lighter
First Aid kit
Week’s supply of prescription medications
Radio (battery operated or hand crank)
Books and games

Prepare for Power and Water Outages
Sign up for the special needs registry if you need power for medical equipment
Fill your bathtub with water to clean and flush toilets
Turn your fridge to the lowest temperature
Charge electronic devices
Preserve cell phone battery life
Stay away from low-hanging or downed power lines.
Stay Safe and Informed
Bring Pets inside
Lock doors and windows
Close curtains and blinds
Stay inside until officials say otherwise

Call 911 in an emergency. Call 311 for information or to report non-emergency service requests like downed trees
Storms can be scary for children. Talk to your family about what’s happening and keep games and toys on hand to entertain.

Evacuate
If the City orders a mandatory evacuation, all residents and visitors must leave
Gather what you’ll need to leave:
Clothes
Soap, toothbrush and toothpaste
Bedding
Identification
Cash
List of emergency contacts
Medications copy of medical records and prescriptions
Birth and marriage certificates
Documents that prove where you live
Insurance policies
Pet supplies
Leave as Early as Possible
Evacuate by car

During a mandatory evacuation, all lanes on major highways will go out of the City. This is called contraflow. Plan your route ahead of time. Estimate that it will take 4 times longer than usual to get to your destination. Leave with a full tank of gas.

Leave by Airplane
Fly out of Louis Armstrong International Airport

Take the Bus
Take a bus from the New Orleans Bus Station.

Take the Train:
Take a Train from the Union Passenger Terminal

City-Assisted Evacuation
If you can’t evacuate on your own during a mandatory evacuation, the City of New Orleans can help. City-assisted evacuation provides free transportation out of harms’ way.

How it works:
There are 17 pickup locations across the City, called Evacuspots. 5 are specifically for seniors. If you can’t get to an Evacuspot because of medical needs, you might be eligible to be picked up from your home. Sign up for the special needs registry.

During a mandatory evacuation, go to your closes Evacuspot. A bus will pick you up and bring you to Union Passenger Terminal. There, you’ll board a bus to a state or federal shelter. Once it’s safe to return to New Orleans, the City will bring you back, either to your home or to a local shelter.

What to Bring:
Each person can bring 1 carry-on sized bag with supplies for a go bag. Pets should have an ID collar, leash, medications and a carrier. Your pet will be taken to an animal shelter near where you’re sheltered.

Help Us Plan
Tell us if you’ll use City-assisted evacuation

Return to New Orleans
After a mandatory evacuation, businesses are permitted to return to the City before residents. That’s to ensure that essential services like power and grocery stores are running.

Re-Entry Placards
To re-enter New Orleans before the general-public you must have a valid re-entry placard. Each year, businesses need to register for a re-entry assignment. You’ll be assigned to a tier and you’ll receive your corresponding placard(s). For questions or to make an appointment to pick up your placards, call Carolos Muniz at (504) 658-8700.

Register for Re-Entry

Tier 1: Response Support
Businesses and agencies that provide critical support to response efforts. Additionally, core damage assessment teams of major employer with more than 100 employees.
Examples include:
Debris Removal Companies
Critical delivery services
Hospitals
Lodging providers for first responders
Engineers & damage assessment teams for hotels and motels

Tier 2: Recovery Support
Businesses and agencies that help recovery and economic vitality. Additionally, core assessment teams of employers with more than 50 employees. Examples include:
Insurance companies
Banks
Gas stations
Grocery stores
Healthcare facilities
Pharmacies
Security companies
Administrative and payroll employees

Tier 3: Repopulation Support
Retail businesses needed for the return of residents. Examples include:
Neighborhood grocery stores
Retail shops
Restaurants
Fast food outlets

We at Data News Weekly would like all to take this information and use it to help guide you through the Hurricane Season

For more information visit www.readynola.gov/plan/hurricane

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