NEW ORLEANS — The sky is overcast, rain is falling, the winds are picking up and insurance companies are starting to get nervous. Welcome back to Hurricane Season!
Though it’s the longest season of the year (officially running June 1-November 30), it’s hardly the most fun. But just as with any other season in Louisiana – whether it be Carnival, crawfish, festival or football – we can take proper measures to be prepared, especially for one expected to be the most active since Hurricane Katrina.
While we’re still days ahead of the official start of the season, now is the time to review your hurricane preparation and evacuation plans.
What Do I Need to Shelter in Place?
Unless a mandatory evacuation is called, sheltering in place remains an option for those capable of doing so. For anyone who chooses to shelter in place, be sure to do so safely. To that end, here is a checklist of the basic items for your home kit to help weather the storm:
- Non-perishable food for 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 & games
- Also be sure to bring pets indoors and properly secure any outdoor objects that may become wind hazards or storm debris.
How Does Evacuation Work?
In the case of an evacuation, The Smoothie King Center (1501 Dave Dixon Dr.) will be the hub for residents unable to leave on their own. Residents in need of transportation should make their way to the Center to be registered for evacuation, to be later transported to a state or federal shelter.
- Evacuspots: There are 17 pickup locations across the city, called evacuspots, where dedicated shuttle buses will be bringing evacuees to the Smoothie King Center. Five of those are specifically designated for seniors. These locations are available online at ready.nola.gov/hurricane. Text EVACNOLA to 77295, if you need City-assisted evacuation.
- RTA Bus Routes: RTA will run on a Saturday schedule and all bus routes ending at Duncan Plaza will make a final stop at the Smoothie King Center.
- Drop Offs and Walk Ups: Evacuees can be dropped off or walk up to the Smoothie King Center from the intersection of Poydras and LaSalle Streets.
- Uber/Lyft/Rideshare: If you are using a rideshare to get to the Smoothie King Center, please be dropped off at Loyola Ave. and Dave Dixon Dr.
- Those unable to evacuate on their own due to medical needs might be eligible for home pick up. In order to register, create a Smart911 profile and fill out the medical section.
What Do I Need in Case of an Evacuation?
Here’s a full checklist of items for your go-bag to help prepare for a safe and healthy evacuation.
- Soap, toothbrush & toothpaste
- List of emergency contacts
- Medications, medical records & prescriptions
- Birth & marriage certificates
- Documents that prove where you live
- Insurance policies
- Pet supplies
In addition to the aforementioned prep kit items, The New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness recommends including items to help mitigate the risk of being exposed to, spreading or contracting COVID-19; those items include face coverings or masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes or spray to your hurricane preparation kit.