AFTER THE STORM
Blame Amid the Tragedy
Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin failed their constituents.
BY BOB WILLIAMS
Wednesday, September 7, 2005 12:01 a.m. EDT
As the devastation of Hurricane Katrina continues to shock and sadden the nation, the question on many lips is, Who is to blame for the inadequate response?
As a former state legislator who represented the legislative district most impacted by the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980, I can fully understand and empathize with the people and public officials over the loss of life and property.
Many in the media are turning their eyes toward the federal government, rather than considering the culpability of city and state officials. I am fully aware of the challenges of having a quick and responsive emergency response to a major disaster. And there is definitely a time for accountability; but what isn't fair is to dump on the federal officials and avoid those most responsible--local and state officials who failed to do their job as the first responders. The plain fact is, lives were needlessly lost in New Orleans due to the failure of Louisiana's governor, Kathleen Blanco, and the city's mayor, Ray Nagin.
The primary responsibility for dealing with emergencies does not belong to the federal government. It belongs to local and state officials who are charged by law with the management of the crucial first response to disasters. First response should be carried out by local and state emergency personnel under the supervision of the state governor and his emergency operations center.
The actions and inactions of Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin are a national disgrace due to their failure to implement the previously established evacuation plans of the state and city. Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin cannot claim that they were surprised by the extent of the damage and the need to evacuate so many people. Detailed written plans were already in place to evacuate more than a million people. The plans projected that 300,000 people would need transportation in the event of a hurricane like Katrina. If the plans had been implemented, thousands of lives would likely have been saved.
In addition to the plans, local, state and federal officials held a simulated hurricane drill 13 months ago, in which widespread flooding supposedly trapped 300,000 people inside New Orleans. The exercise simulated the evacuation of more than a million residents. The problems identified in the simulation apparently were not solved.
A year ago, as Hurricane Ivan approached, New Orleans ordered an evacuation but did not use city or school buses to help people evacuate. As a result many of the poorest citizens were unable to evacuate. Fortunately, the hurricane changed course and did not hit New Orleans, but both Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin acknowledged the need for a better evacuation plan. Again, they did not take corrective actions. In 1998, during a threat by Hurricane George, 14,000 people were sent to the Superdome and theft and vandalism were rampant due to inadequate security. Again, these problems were not corrected.
The New Orleans contingency plan is still, as of this writing, on the city's Web site, and states: "The safe evacuation of threatened populations is one of the principle [sic] reasons for developing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan." But the plan was apparently ignored.
Mayor Nagin was responsible for giving the order for mandatory evacuation and supervising the actual evacuation: His Office of Emergency Preparedness (not the federal government) must coordinate with the state on elements of evacuation and assist in directing the transportation of evacuees to staging areas. Mayor Nagin had to be encouraged by the governor to contact the National Hurricane Center before he finally, belatedly, issued the order for mandatory evacuation. And sadly, it apparently took a personal call from the president to urge the governor to order the mandatory evacuation.
The city's evacuation plan states: "The city of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas." But even though the city has enough school and transit buses to evacuate 12,000 citizens per fleet run, the mayor did not use them. To compound the problem, the buses were not moved to high ground and were flooded. The plan also states that "special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific lifesaving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed." This was not done.
The evacuation plan warned that "if an evacuation order is issued without the mechanisms needed to disseminate the information to the affected persons, then we face the possibility of having large numbers of people either stranded and left to the mercy of a storm, or left in an area impacted by toxic materials." That is precisely what happened because of the mayor's failure.
Instead of evacuating the people, the mayor ordered the refugees to the Superdome and Convention Center without adequate security and no provisions for food, water and sanitary conditions. As a result people died, and there was even rape committed, in these facilities. Mayor Nagin failed in his responsibility to provide public safety and to manage the orderly evacuation of the citizens of New Orleans. Now he wants to blame Gov. Blanco and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In an emergency the first requirement is for the city's emergency center to be linked to the state emergency operations center. This was not done.
The federal government does not have the authority to intervene in a state emergency without the request of a governor. President Bush declared an emergency prior to Katrina hitting New Orleans, so the only action needed for federal assistance was for Gov. Blanco to request the specific type of assistance she needed. She failed to send a timely request for specific aid.
In addition, unlike the governors of New York, Oklahoma and California in past disasters, Gov. Blanco failed to take charge of the situation and ensure that the state emergency operation facility was in constant contact with Mayor Nagin and FEMA. It is likely that thousands of people died because of the failure of Gov. Blanco to implement the state plan, which mentions the possible need to evacuate up to one million people. The plan clearly gives the governor the authority for declaring an emergency, sending in state resources to the disaster area and requesting necessary federal assistance.
State legislators and governors nationwide need to update their contingency plans and the operation procedures for state emergency centers. Hurricane Katrina had been forecast for days, but that will not always be the case with a disaster (think of terrorist attacks). It must be made clear that the governor and locally elected officials are in charge of the "first response."
I am not attempting to excuse some of the delays in FEMA's response. Congress and the president need to take corrective action there, also. However, if citizens expect FEMA to be a first responder to terrorist attacks or other local emergencies (earthquakes, forest fires, volcanoes), they will be disappointed. The federal government's role is to offer aid upon request.
The Louisiana Legislature should conduct an immediate investigation into the failures of state and local officials to implement the written emergency plans. The tragedy is not over, and real leadership in the state and local government are essential in the months to come. More importantly, the hurricane season is still upon us, and local and state officials must stay focused on the jobs for which they were elected--and not on the deadly game of passing the emergency buck.
Mr. Williams is president of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation, a free market public policy research organization in Olympia, Wash.
Someone had to say it!
And sexist. The governor is a woman.
Take no responsibility. Deny everything. Make counter accusations.
I got this off of New Orleans website.
ANNEX I: HURRICANES
PREPAREDNESS (PHASE I: TRAINING, EXERCISES AND EDUCATION)
City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan
Part 1: TRAINING
Training and education on Disaster Preparedness are essential to local government and non?government disaster agencies, in order to mitigate the loss of life and property in the event of a peacetime emergency. An understanding of emergency operations, plus recurring education and training in emergency response and disaster operations, is the basis of response effectiveness. Individuals with assigned tasks must receive preparatory training to maximize operations. The goal of emergency preparedness training is the preparation of individuals and organizations for effective and coordinated response to emergencies.
Likewise, increasing the public's awareness of the various hazards which may threaten them, and the available methods of protection is the essence of emergency preparedness. In addition, during periods of emergency and disaster it will be necessary for the citizenry to be informed and educated concerning any action that may be required of them to save lives and property. A mechanism must be in place to inform the public as to particulars of evacuation, health care, shelter, transportation and all other directions of which they should be informed.
II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS
Under the direction of the Mayor, the Office of Emergency Preparedness will coordinate activities in accordance with the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan to assure the coordination of training programs for all planning, support, and response agencies. Departments, authorities, agencies, municipalities, and all private response organizations bear the responsibility of ensuring their personnel are sufficiently trained.
The Office of Emergency Preparedness will coordinate training provided by the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Schedules of state emergency management training will be provided to all appropriate agencies. Applications for LOEP/FEMA courses will be submitted to the Director, Office of Emergency Preparedness for approval and submittal to LOEP.
A. Director, Office of Emergency Preparedness
1. Coordination of all training activities of the various services of the Emergency Preparedness organization so as to obtain the highest degree of effectiveness in individual training, team or unit training, collective training, combined training and mock or practice emergency preparedness alerts.
The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall endeavor to take full advantage of courses offered by the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness (LOEP), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association (LEPA) and other agencies, as well as conferences, seminars and workshops that may from time to time be available, most notably state hurricane conferences and workshops and the National Hurricane Conference. The Director will also establish procedures for the notification of available training opportunities to other City agencies and other governmental and private emergency response organizations. Specific duties to coordinate and monitor available training and educational opportunities shall be an operational task of the Administrative and Training Officer (ATO) of the Office of Emergency Preparedness. The ATO shall maintain close communication with the State Training Officer of the LOEP as to the availability of training opportunities, coordinate classes for local personnel and maintain tracking of courses taken, develop methods of sharing to information with other emergency management personnel within the jurisdiction, as well as arrange training and educational opportunities for non?emergency management personnel, particularly local elected and appointed officials. The ATO, conducts on an annual basis, training and information sharing workshops with all EOC representatives from various agencies. These workshops are conducted at the Emergency Support Function (ESF) level. Workshops include the review of existing EOC/ESF standard operating procedures, review of organization changes that affects EOC or field disaster response operations, updates key personnel lists and identifies training needs of new personnel, and orientation to improvements or changes to EOC/ESF resources or materials. From time to time, the ATO may undertake more intensive work sessions with elements of the emergency response organizations in order to enhance unified disaster planning.
2. Develops and conducts disaster exercises.
The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall continue to exercise all levels of the City government in emergency preparedness and response operations. Annually, a minimum of one full?scale functional exercise that utilizes all levels of City government shall be conducted. This functional exercise shall include the Mayor, elected and appointed officials, independent authorities, and such non?governmental agencies as shall be determined appropriate.
The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall participate in the development and execution of annual Mass Casualty Incidents. This participation may include scenario development, site selection, and recruitment of resources and personnel.
The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall continue to provide assistance to private industry, non?profit organizations, and community organizations through the offering of training, joint drills and exercises, response and recovery plan development, and information sharing. Included in this effort are the following organizations:
* Association of Contingency Planners (ACP)
* New Orleans Tourist and Information Bureau
* New Orleans Hospital Association
The Director shall also develop evaluation procedures either independently or in conjunction with other participants, in order to evaluate exercises and to incorporate necessary changes into the disaster response organization.
3. Coordinates, facilitates and encourages other elements of city government in emergency preparedness and response planning efforts.
The Director shall continue ongoing programs of directing and facilitating City agencies in the improvement of service providing during disasters through the development of emergency response self?assessments, long?term action plans, agency contingency plans, ESF standard operating procedures, and other mechanisms that may be identified.
The City of New Orleans requires every agency of the City government to perform emergency response self?assessments of their abilities to continue to provide essential services during and following a major emergency or disaster. The City further requires that corresponding long?term action plans to address identified short?comings be developed by each agency of the City and submitted to the Office of Emergency Preparedness for review and inclusion in coordinated action activities.
4. Participates in state level exercises.
Annually, in conjunction with the Louisiana Statewide Hurricane Exercise, the Office of Emergency Preparedness will sponsor and coordinate a Parish wide exercise of the local government's emergency management organization. To enhance the State's exercise, the OEP Director shall develop scenarios based upon expected local impacts of the exercise storm. If local impacts from the exercise storm are deemed less than needed to exercise the full emergency response organization, than the OEP may independently develop scenarios that would allow for the exercise of all city/parish resources.
5. Coordinates disaster preparedness training activities with others in such areas as shelter operations, transportation, hospitals and nursing homes, hurricane evacuation and recovery, etc. The OEP shall work in conjunction with all elements of the disaster response organization to enhance emergency response training. Activities shall include identification of School Board and Dept. Of Health staffs to be trained in shelter management operations, providing educational workshops and seminars to public and private entities, develop and direct committees assembled to address critical issues of emergency response, develop specialized informational brochures directed at select elements of the community, and other activities as may be identified.
B. City Departments, Constitutional Authorities, and All Emergency Response Agencies.
1. Ensure personnel are trained in appropriate plans and standard operating procedures (SOP's) for disaster operations.
The City of New Orleans requires that every City/Parish agency prepare an Agency Disaster Report assessing their ability to respond to any disaster or emergency that may either affect their agency or which may call upon that agency to perform response or relief efforts. Each agency, as part of the assessment process , is required to address numerous issues, including the disaster role of the agency, the validity of existing plans and procedures, the training of employees in their disaster response roles, family preparedness, and emergency use and acquisition of resources.
Once the self?assessment is completed, each agency is then required to develop and implement, with the assistance of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, a Long Term Action Plan which will enhance their emergency preparedness and disaster response.
2. Attend, or provide senior staff as representatives to disaster training exercises.
The City of New Orleans, in order to develop a citywide awareness of disaster response functions, requires that each agency designate an Emergency Coordinating Officer (ECO). The ECO is responsible for the preparing and maintaining of emergency preparedness and disaster response plans and procedures for their agency. Part of this responsibility includes participation in disaster training exercises and drills as may be available.
C. OEP Shelter Coordinator
1. Provides shelter management training program to designated shelter managers and disaster services personnel.
2. Maintain trained volunteer cadre for disaster response in areas of mass feeding, damage assessment, etc.
3. Participate in disaster exercises when requested.
4. Develop recruitment programs that will provide the additional manpower required to respond to a major emergency such as a hurricane.
D. Chief Administrative Officer
1. Ensure training programs are conducted for municipal personnel with disaster responsibilities.
2. Ensure participation of key emergency response personnel in City disaster exercises.
3. Conduct local emergency exercises.
E. Orleans Parish School Board.
1. Ensure identification and training of shelter personnel for public shelters utilizing public school locations.
2. Conduct disaster education programs and staff training.
F. Emergency Medical Service
1. Conduct annual mass casualty exercise in order to test response capabilities of emergency response agencies and medical facilities.
2. Conduct oral critique and written after?action reports for the mass casualty exercises.
IV. DRILLS, EXERCISES TRAINING SESSIONS
The City of New Orleans government will conduct at least one functional or full scale training exercise annually, which will test the response capabilities of all functions of city government, as well as the private organizations, Parish school system and other agencies required to respond to disasters.
These tests will be conducted by the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and will be reviewed and assessed as to readiness by participants. Qualified observers may assist Emergency Preparedness personnel in evaluating the drills.
Private organizations, such as nursing homes, will be assisted by Emergency Preparedness personnel in conducting disaster drills as requested, and when required by State Law.
On a rotating basis in accordance with the schedule developed with the State Division of Emergency Management, the City shall conduct natural hazard, national security and technological exercises.
The Office of Emergency Preparedness shall conduct hurricane briefings and training sessions with the Mayor and his staff, Department Heads, municipal officials and all other governmental and private emergency response agencies.
On request, the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall brief elected officials on emergency management activities and hurricane preparedness.
The Office of Emergency Preparedness shall conduct hurricane and emergency management seminars when requested.
The Office of Emergency Preparedness shall participate in regional emergency preparedness planning sessions with other parishes and municipalities.
Part 2: PUBLIC AWARENESS and EDUCATION
One of the principal goals of the Office of Emergency Preparedness is the education of residents and visitors towards the natural and manmade hazards that do or may threaten our community. Many of the emergency preparedness and management functions directed at informing the public of events or rapidly developing situations is detailed in ESF?14, Public Information.
II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS
The coordination of public information activities is a shared responsibility of the Office of Emergency Preparedness and the Office of Communications. Public information procedures are divided into three phases: continuing education, pre?disaster preparation, and post?disaster recovery. Continuing education is intended to increase awareness of disaster potential, improve education on ways to protect life and property, and expand information on the availability of assistance and services. Pre?disaster preparation briefs the public on imminent danger, and provides details about evacuation and sheltering procedures. During the post?disaster phase, the public is informed on such matters as disaster assistance, health precautions, long term sheltering, and other important issues involving the community's recovery operations.
Specific tasks include the development and delivery of pre?disaster information and education programs, the coordination of all City Public Information Officers, the initiation of the proper news releases, announcements, etc., and the making of arrangements for printing adequate literature to facilitate the goal of educating and informing the public. The Office of Emergency Preparedness and Office of Communications shall also devise a mechanism whereby the largest possible segment of the population can be sufficiently educated in disaster events to minimize panic and misunderstanding, including elderly and special needs population.
A. Office of Emergency Preparedness
1. The preparation and dissemination of a general public education program in order to attain high public morale, minimize fear and panic and obtain full individual participation in Emergency Preparedness activities and maximum public support of the emergency management plan.
Public education is the focus of the activities of the OEP Administration and Training Officer (ATO). Although all members of the OEP staff participate in public education, it is primarily the ATO who is responsible for the development of education programs. The ATO shall either utilize materials prepared by other agencies such as the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), or shall develop materials directed at the specific needs or concerns of our local population.
The ATO participates with other organizations in the presentation of disaster preparedness materials and programs. Such programs include corporate emergency preparedness/disaster presentations, presentations to civic and professional organizations, annual hurricane awareness seminars, and special event presentations.
The ATO is the OEP staff member who coordinates and facilitates required family preparedness seminars for City government employees. They are designed to educate employees to their families' needs in anticipation that the employee will not be available to assist in family disaster preparedness and response activities, and to educate families whose City employee spouse, parent, or guardian may not be available for an extended time following a disaster. The seminars discuss potential hazards to the City, evacuation options, job responsibilities, and other subjects.
2. To conduct public information programs providing regular reports to the public on Emergency Preparedness activities. The public information programs include news features on television and radio. Public forums, joint presentations, and speaking engagements will also be conducted.
3. Annually, assist business and media with publication of disaster preparedness and evacuation information.
4. In times of disaster, advise the public of developments and procedures for locating emergency services. During a disaster, the OEP directs calls to the Office of Public Advocacy. Public Advocacy provides current and accurate information to the public.
5. Develop procedures and mechanisms for the notification of persons who can not rely on traditional media sources.
The OEP works closely with the Human Relations Commission to identify and explore the feasibility of alternative notification methods, including new technology designed to assist the hearing and sight impaired.
Local television stations can also use header and footer scrolls across their programming in order to notify the hearing impaired of emergency situations.
The OEP works with the home health care industry to provide emergency preparedness information and educational materials. The EOC also, through ESF?8, Health and Medical, provides status reports of approaching tropical storms to home health providers to assist them in preparing their clients for severe weather.
6. The OEP shall maintain a working relation with the electronic media for the prompt dissemination of emergency related information.
In times of concern for developing events, or actual emergency, local media organizations will participate in the dissemination of public emergency information. Major local television stations will be present in the EOC upon clearance from the Office of Communications, and provide information from the EOC.
During an emergency, the OEP will utilize Cox Cable to facilitate information dissemination. 8. Following a major disaster such as a hurricane, coordinate with State and Federal agencies on news releases and other information being made available to the public. Areas within ESF?14 are designated for State and Federal agencies, where they will be provided work space in close proximity to media briefing and work areas. They will be joined by City public information officers (PIOs) who are trained in EOC public information procedures (See ESF?14, Public Information).
9. Develop procedures and mechanisms to provide proper identification for key response and recovery personnel, for governmental, private relief, and corporate entities.
10. Develop procedures for public identification of shelters, critical recovery services and centers prior to and immediately following a major disaster when all normal public information systems may be inoperable.
The OEP will, via ESF?6, Mass Care, and ESF?14, Public Information, issue constantly updated information on available shelters prior to and during disaster operations, and will utilize extraordinary means when called upon following a disaster to provide updated information.
11. The OEP shall develop procedures for providing information to transient and homeless populations through the procedures as outlined in the Severe Weather Shelter Program.
B. Office of Communications
1. Develop adequate educational materials for dissemination to the public prior to the disaster.
2. Coordinate and develop all news releases to be delivered by elected officials, and consult with other city departments and agencies in development of appropriate bulletins affecting their activities in which the public must be informed.
3. Literature in the form of pamphlets, flyers, circulars, etc., will be made available for public distribution. The literature will cover all aspects of emergency and disaster response.
4. Develop educational and informational literature that will be disseminated to the public concerning disasters. Information from private relief agencies will be included.
5. Prepare and disseminate information to tourists and transient populations as to conditions and best actions to take, time permitting.
6. City officials will be made aware of procedures to be followed in disseminating material and information to the public to avoid confusion.
7. In the event of a major emergency, activate and man the ESF?14, Public Information, and its media?center within the Emergency Operations Center, and operate it under protocols to be established in conjunction with the Mayor's Office and the Office of Emergency Preparedness.
8. Prior to hurricane season, assist in the establishment of ESF?14 procedures and operational guidelines, and conduct media orientations to EOC facilities and procedures.
9. Assist the Office of Public Advocacy in operating EOC Citizen Information Center, and for the coordination of information to be given out and in following up reports received by this hotline.
10. Provide technical assistance in developing public service announcements that can be prepared before hurricane season for later broadcast, when circumstances may not allow adequate preparation time.
Public service announcements are developed jointly between the OEP and Office of Communications. Prior to each hurricane season, the representatives of the OEP shall meet with the Office of Communications to evaluate the need for the development of public service announcements that can be made and stored until needed. Although such "canned" announcements may be developed, live announcements from the EOC shall remain the preferred method. Scripts that reflect numerous contingencies are developed and on file within the OEP, and allow for the editing of information for specific events.
11. Encourage local television and radio stations in development of special programs on hurricanes and other possible disasters.
C. Other Departments and Agencies
1. Other departments/divisions of the City will coordinate efforts with the OEP in the development of educational tools to be distributed to the public.
2. Other agencies will assure that their personnel are aware of procedures for disseminating information during an emergency or during the recovery from a disaster, and that these procedures include not giving out information that has not been cleared by the Emergency Operations Center........
ANNEX I: HURRICANES
RESPONSE (PHASE II: WARNING, EVACUATION, AND SHELTERING)
City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.
PART 1: WARNING
Evacuation planning and actual implementation has to be based upon certain assumptions. It must be understood that the need to evacuate elements of the population can occur at any time, events resulting in evacuations occur with various amounts of lead time and every evacuation will be unique and offer unexpected challenges to those conducting the evacuation. Evacuations in response to hazardous material spills or sudden severe weather are provided with little or no warning, and often have to be accomplished after the fact, and in a disaster response environment. Throughout the Parish persons with special needs, require special consideration regarding notification, transportation, and sheltering. Resources of equipment, facilities and personnel are more difficult to locate and coordinate when an evacuation is required during late night or early morning hours. If possible, advance warning should be given so an evacuation can be coordinated. Adequate provisions should be maintained at all times in order to conduct a warning or alert of an area.
Certain hazards, such as a hurricane, provide some lead time for coordinating an evacuation. However, this can not be considered a certainty. Plus, the sheer size of an evacuation in response to an approaching hurricane creates the need for the use of community-wide warning resources, which cannot be limited to our City's geographical boundaries. Evacuation of major portions of our population, either in response to localized or citywide disasters, can only be accomplished if the citizens and visitors are kept informed of approaching threats on a timely schedule, and if they are notified of the need to evacuate in a timely and organized manner. If an evacuation order is issued without the mechanisms needed to disseminate the information to the affected persons, then we face the possibility of having large numbers of people either stranded and left to the mercy of a storm, or left in an area impacted by toxic materials.
In this day of high-speed communication and wide-spread availability of information, mechanisms do exist to transmit emergency related information to the vast majority of the community. For our most serious threat, hurricanes, information from the National Hurricane Center in Miami and our local office of the National Weather Service, can reach the general population through local governments and mass media outlets. It is the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Preparedness to guarantee that not only is the public alerted, but that other emergency response organizations and personnel are alert and in position to meet the real or potential threat.
Warning for an emergency requires notification at two levels: notification of public officials and response organizations and the warning of the general public. The mechanisms chosen to accomplish these critical events must be rapid in execution and comprehensive in application. This annex outlines the procedures which will be implemented for notifying the emergency response network of its activation, and of informing the general public of the potential or actual occurrence of life threatening events and hazards.
The extent and methods of warnings issued will be determined by the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and are based upon the geographic area impacted. When events necessitate the immediate evacuation of threatened individuals, these decisions may be made by the on scene Incident Commander. Decisions affecting larger geographic areas will be made by the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness in conjunction with the Superintendent of Fire and Superintendent of Police.
General evacuations that may result from an approaching hurricane will be ordered by the Mayor of the City, upon the recommendation of the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness. The area affected by the warning may range from blocks and portions of neighborhoods, to the entire city.
II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS
The Office of Emergency Preparedness has the overall responsibility for reception and dissemination of warning information through the city.
If the EOC is rendered unusable, the City of New Orleans Mobile Command Center can be utilized to serve as a temporary Emergency Operations Center. Warnings of potential or actual emergencies can be received at the Parish Warning Point from the following sources:
1. National Weather Service (NWS) maintains its office in Slidell, LA. The NWS forecasts weather conditions and originates severe weather bulletins concerning the area. This information is received at the OEP via weather teletype, NOAA radio, and telephone.
2. Emergency Alert System - Replacing the former Emergency Broadcast System (EBS), the EAS can be used by numerous agencies not only to warn the public, but to receive information from other emergency warning and response organizations.
A. Types of Warnings
1. Severe Weather: Severe Weather warnings are issued by the National Weather Service when severe thunderstorms are expected to affect an area producing winds in excess of 57 mph, or hail 3/4-inch or greater.
2. Tornado Watches and Warnings: Tornado Watches and Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop or one has been sighted/reported respectively.
3. Marine Advisories: Marine Advisories are issued on a regular basis by the National Weather Service. Those related to tropical weather systems are issued every 6 hours to report the location and strength of a tropical depression, tropical storm or hurricane. In addition to this information, the Marine Advisory provides predicted strength and forecast positions of the storm at 12, 24, 36, 48 and 72 hours.
4. Tropical Storm/Hurricane Watches and Warnings: Tropical Storm/Hurricane Watches and Warnings are issued as part of the Marine Advisory when a storm may, or is expected to affect a land mass. A Watch is generally issued when a storm might affect an area within 36 hours, while a Warning is issued when a storm is expected to affect an area within 24 hours. Since Hurricanes contain both hurricane force winds (74 mph or greater) and Tropical Storm force winds (40-74 mph), both may be established for a coastal area. The Hurricane Watch/Warning will be issued for the area where the hurricane force winds are expected or are possible, whereas the Tropical Storm Watch/Warning will be issued for areas on either side of the Hurricane Watch/Warning.
5. Localized Evacuations: Localized Evacuations may be ordered or recommended when an emergency occurs, which affects a relatively small area, such as a Hazardous Materials release or a large fire. Localized Evacuation would also include river or lake flooding caused by strong, sustained easterly winds in low lying areas outside the levee protection system.
B. Methods of Notification
1. Officials and Organizations: The notification of key officials and organizations in the City can be accomplished by several means. Upon notification of an emergency, the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness will determine who is to be notified based upon the severity, type, and location of the occurring emergency.
a. Emergency Hotline Telephone System: The "Mayor's Hotline" is a pre-programmed telephone system which connects the EOC.
b. Emergency Preparedness FAX: Situational updates and messages of a non-immediate nature can be transmitted to city/parish agencies, other municipalities, emergency operations centers, and the State EOC.
c. Landline and Mobile Telephone Systems: EOC keeps a comprehensive listing of telephone numbers to be called for varying situations. Key officials and personnel are listed by business phone, home phone, mobile phone, and electronic pager number. The general public will be notified of emergencies by all means possible when it is determined to be necessary by the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness. Warning bulletins will be disseminated by the Office of Emergency Preparedness, coordinated with the Office of Communications. Warnings will generally include areas affected and precautions to be taken.
d. Emergency Alert System (EAS): The Emergency Alert System is the primary means of advising the public of a localized emergency. The primary EAS stations for New Orleans are WWL (870 AM) and WLMG (101.9 FM). The EAS can be contacted by telephone and radio.
2. Media: The broadcast media provide a major part of the city's capability to warn the public in a timely manner.
a. A combination of Live Media Statements and Pre-recorded Messages will be used as a disaster situation develops. Once the Emergency Operations Center is activated, the task of updating the media falls to the Office of Communications.
b. Mobile Public Address Systems: New Orleans Police Department personnel can be called upon to use the public address systems built into their vehicles.
PART 2: EVACUATION
The safe evacuation of threatened populations when endangered by a major catastrophic event is one of the principle reasons for developing a Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. The thorough identification of at-risk populations, transportation and sheltering resources, evacuation routes and potential bottlenecks and choke points, and the establishment of the management team that will coordinate not only the evacuation but which will monitor and direct the sheltering and return of affected populations, are the primary tasks of evacuation planning. Due to the geography of New Orleans and the varying scales of potential disasters and their resulting emergency evacuations, different plans are in place for small-scale evacuations and for citywide relocations of whole populations.
Authority to issue evacuations of elements of the population is vested in the Mayor. By Executive Order, the chief elected official, the Mayor of the City of New Orleans, has the authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane.
Evacuation procedures for special needs persons with either physical or mental handicaps, including registration of disabled persons, is covered in the SOP for Evacuation of Special Needs Persons.
Major population relocations resulting from an approaching hurricane or similar anticipated disaster, caused the City of New Orleans Office of Emergency Preparedness to develop a specific Hurricane Emergency Evacuation Standard Operating Procedures, which are appended to the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.
The SOP is developed to provide for an orderly and coordinated evacuation intended to minimize the hazardous effects of flooding, wind, and rain on the residents and visitors in New Orleans. The SOP provides for the evacuation of the public from danger areas and the designations of shelters for evacuees.
II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS
The Hurricane Emergency Evacuation Standard Operating Procedure is designed to deal with all case scenarios of an evacuation in response to the approach of a major hurricane towards New Orleans. It is designed to deal with the anticipation of a direct hit from a major hurricane. This includes identifying the city's present population, its projected population, identification of at-risk populations (those living outside levee protection or in storm-surge areas, floodplains, mobile homes, etc.), in order to understand the evacuation requirements. It includes identifying the transportation network, especially the carrying-capacity of proposed evacuation routes and existing or potential traffic bottlenecks or blockages, caused either by traffic congestion or natural occurrences such as rising waters. Identification of sheltering resources and the establishment of shelters and the training of shelter staff is important, as is the provision for food and other necessities to the sheltered. This preparation function is the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Preparedness.
Conduct of an actual evacuation will be the responsibility of the Mayor of New Orleans in coordination with the Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness, and the OEP Shelter Coordinator.
The SOP, in unison with other elements of the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, is designed for use in all hazard situations, including citywide evacuations in response to hurricane situations and addresses three elements of emergency response: warning, evacuation, and sheltering.
1. Warning: Formulates a comprehensive system for public information, early recognition of impending storms, and dissemination of emergency warning.
2. Evacuation: Formulates an effective procedure for orderly evacuation of residents and visitors within available warning time.
3. Sheltering: Formulates a comprehensive system of accessible shelters of adequate size.
The SOP is limited as it is not designed to address the protection of personal and real property, yet is developed to cover the total New Orleans geographic area. The timely issuance of evacuation orders critically impacts upon the successful evacuation of all citizens from high-risk areas. In determining the proper time to issue evacuation orders, there is no substitute for human judgement based upon all known circumstances surrounding local conditions and storm characteristics.
Information received from the National Hurricane Center concerning the storm's tract will allow the focusing on either a landfall, paralleling or exiting storm scenario. Information involving local conditions such as pre-hurricane rainfall, tide schedules, and the amount of pre-storm publicity, must be taken into account, as are the various known circumstances that are explained in the information summary portion of the Hurricane Evacuation Plan, in determining when an evacuation order should be issued. Any assumption regarding where and how the storm will likely make landfall involves clear and constant communication with the National Hurricane Center, the local office of the National Weather Service, State OEP and various local agencies that are monitoring either the storm's progress or other elements of the city's preparedness to weather the storm's passage.
The City of New Orleans will utilize all available resources to quickly and safely evacuate threatened areas. Those evacuated will be directed to temporary sheltering and feeding facilities as needed. When specific routes of progress are required, evacuees will be directed to those routes. Special arrangements will be made to evacuate persons unable to transport themselves or who require specific life saving assistance. Additional personnel will be recruited to assist in evacuation procedures as needed.
Slow developing weather conditions (primarily hurricane) will create increased readiness culminating in an evacuation order 24 hours (12 daylight hours) prior to predicted landfall. Disabled vehicles and debris will be removed from highways so as not to impede evacuation. In local evacuations involving more than fifty (50) families (i.e. 50 single dwelling units), staging areas may be established at the closest available public area outside the threatened area. Upon arrival at the staging area, evacuees will be directed to the appropriate shelter facility. Evacuees will be encouraged to stay with friends or relatives in non-threatened areas whenever possible. Security measures will be employed to protect the evacuated area(s) in accordance with established procedures and situations.
The use of travel-trailers, campers, motorcycles, bicycles, etc., during the evacuation will be allowed so long as the situation permits it. Public information broadcasts will include any prohibitions on their use. Transportation will be provided to those persons requiring public transportation from the area. (See Special Needs Transportation, ESF-1). An orderly return to the evacuated areas will be provided after the Mayor determines the threat to be terminated. Transportation back to the evacuated area after threat termination will be provided as available.
III. EVACUATION ORDER
As established by the City of New Orleans Charter, the government has jurisdiction and responsibility in disaster response. City government shall coordinate its efforts through the Office of Emergency Preparedness
The authority to order the evacuation of residents threatened by an approaching hurricane is conferred to the Governor by Louisiana Statute. The Governor is granted the power to direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from a stricken or threatened area within the State, if he deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response or recovery. The same power to order an evacuation conferred upon the Governor is also delegated to each political subdivision of the State by Executive Order. This authority empowers the chief elected official of New Orleans, the Mayor of New Orleans, to order the evacuation of the parish residents threatened by an approaching hurricane.
B. Issuance of Evacuation Orders
The person responsible for recognition of hurricane related preparation needs and for the issuance of an evacuation order is the Mayor of the City of New Orleans. Concerning preparation needs and the issuance of an evacuation order, The Office of Emergency Preparedness should keep the Mayor advised.
IV: HURRICANE EVACUATION PROCEDURES
It must be understood that this Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan is an all-hazard response plan, and is applicable to events of all sizes, affecting even the smallest segments of the community. Evacuation procedures for small scale and localized evacuations are conducted per the SOPs of the New Orleans Fire Department and the New Orleans Police Department. However, due to the sheer size and number of persons to be evacuated, should a major tropical weather system or other catastrophic event threaten or impact the area, specifically directed long range planning and coordination of resources and responsibilities efforts must be undertaken.
A. Evacuation Time Requirements
Using information developed as part of the Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Task Force and other research, the City of New Orleans has established a maximum acceptable hurricane evacuation time standard for a Category 3 storm event of 72 hours. This is based on clearance time or is the time required to clear all vehicles evacuating in response to a hurricane situation from area roadways. Clearance time begins when the first evacuating vehicle enters the road network and ends when the last evacuating vehicle reaches its destination.
Clearance time also includes the time required by evacuees to secure their homes and prepare to leave (mobilization time); the time spent by evacuees traveling along the road network (travel time); and the time spent by evacuees waiting along the road network due to traffic congestion (delay time). Clearance time does not refer to the time a single vehicle spends traveling on the road network. Evacuation notices or orders will be issued during three stages prior to gale force winds making landfall.
> Precautionary Evacuation Notice: 72 hours or less
> Special Needs Evacuation Order: 8-12 hours after Precautionary Evacuation Notice issued
> General Evacuation Notice: 48 hours or less
B. Evacuation Zones
Evacuation (vulnerability) zones provide a base to model traffic movements from one geographic area to another. It is necessary to revise the evacuation zones from time to time due to data generated by new generations of storm-surge modeling .
Evacuation zones are designed to meet several functions: (1) In coastal areas they must reflect the areas in each storm scenario which will need to be evacuated due to storm-surge inundation; (2) They should relate as closely as possible to available population data information, such as enumeration districts, census tracts, zip code areas, transportation analysis zones, etc.; and (3) They need to be describable in a manner that persons in the area will be able to understand.
Evacuation zones will be developed pending further study.
C. Evacuation Routing and Traffic Control
New Orleans is surrounded by water. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway leads to the north, the I-10 twin spans head east, I-10 runs east-west and the Crescent City Connection and the Huey P. Long bridges cross over the Mississippi River. Evacuation presents unique and distinct challenges.
Principle traffic control is provided by the New Orleans Police Department. The movement of evacuating vehicles during a hurricane evacuation requires specific traffic control efforts to insure the maximum roadway capacity and to expedite safe escape from hurricane hazards.
1. Bridge closures will be announced as necessary.
2. NOPD officers will be stationed at critical intersections and roadway segments
3. All available tow trucks shall be positioned along key roadway segments, and disabled vehicles will be removed from traffic lanes. No repairs will be done to vehicles along the evacuation routes.
4. Manual direction of traffic will be supplemented by physical barriers that are adequately weighted and which are placed to channel traffic and prevent unnecessary turning and merging conflicts.
5. The movement of mobile homes and campers along evacuation routes will be banned after a hurricane warning is issued. A disabled mobile home could block the only escape route available. Such vehicles are difficult to handle late in an evacuation due to sporadic wind conditions.
6. Boat owners must be made aware of time requirements for moving or securing vessels. Optimally, industrial and recreational vessels should be moved to safe harbor during or before a hurricane watch.
7. Emergency Response to Accidents/Breakdowns - The intensity of traffic during a hurricane evacuation will always be accompanied by a certain number of traffic accidents and breakdowns. Although roadway shoulders are available for vehicles in distress, the movement of such vehicles to these areas is often difficult and disruptive. It is recommended that at least two traffic control personnel be positioned at each key roadway link/intersection so that one can assist disabled vehicles as needed. Two vehicles should also be positioned at each critical link to facilitate the removal of immobilized vehicles, however, as resources (two vehicles) are available.
8. Safe evacuation is predicated upon the movement of vehicles over critically low points on evacuation routes prior to the occurrence of flooding. Route blockages can happen prior to the arrival of a hurricane. Those roadways that historically experience flooding due to rainfall alone should be monitored for vehicle distress and help.
D. Evacuation Clearance Times
Clearance time is the time required to clear the roadways of all vehicles evacuating in response to a hurricane situation. Clearance time begins when the first evacuating vehicle (as defined by a hurricane evacuation behavioral response curve) enters the road network and ends when the last evacuating vehicle reaches an assumed point of safety. Clearance time includes the time required by evacuees to secure their homes and prepare to leave (referred to as mobilization time). Clearance time DOES NOT RELATE to the time any one vehicle spends traveling on the road network. Clearance time allows for the last vehicle leaving to reach its destination or the parish line, whichever comes first.
Assumptions - Clearance time is based on a set of assumed conditions and behavioral responses. It is likely that an actual storm will differ from a simulated storm for which clearance times are calculated in this report. Key assumptions guiding the analysis are grouped into five areas: 1. Population Data
2. Storm Scenarios
3. Behavioral Characteristic of the Evacuating Population
4. Roadway Network and Traffic Control Assumptions
5. Evacuation Zones
The clearance times facing Orleans Parish for a severe hurricane will necessitate proper traffic control and early evacuating decision making. The evacuation must be completed before the arrival of gale force winds. Evacuation should also start when school is not in session and when there is at least eight (8) hours of daylight included in the evacuation time allowed. Provisions must be made for the removal of disabled vehicles. Flooding of roadways due to rainfall before a hurricane arrives could close off critical evacuation routes rendering evacuation impossible.
* Initiate the evacuation.
* Retain overall control of all evacuation procedures via EOC operations.
* Authorize return to evacuated areas.
B. Office of Emergency Preparedness
* Activate EOC and notify all support agencies to this plan.
* Coordinate with State OEP on elements of evacuation.
* Assist in directing the transportation of evacuees to staging areas.
* Assist ESF-8, Health and Medical, in the evacuation of persons with special needs, nursing home, and hospital patients in accordance with established procedures.
* Coordinate the release of all public information through ESF-14, Public Information.
* Use EAS, television, cable and other public broadcast means as needed and in accordance with established procedure.
* Request additional law enforcement/traffic control (State Police, La. National Guard) from State OEP.
C. New Orleans Police Department
* Ensure orderly traffic flow.
* Assist in removing disabled vehicles from roadways as needed.
* Direct the management of transportation of seriously injured persons to hospitals as needed.
* Direct evacuees to proper shelters and/or staging areas once they have departed the threatened area.
* Release all public information through the ESF-14, Public Information.
D. Regional Transit Authority
* Supply transportation as needed in accordance with the current Standard Operating Procedures.
* Place special vehicles on alert to be utilized if needed.
* Position supervisors and dispatch evacuation buses.
* If warranted by scope of evacuation, implement additional service.
E. Louisiana National Guard
* Provide assistance as needed in accordance with current State guidelines.
F. Animal Care and Control
* Coordinate animal rescue operations with the New Orleans SPCA.
G. Public Works
* Make emergency road repairs as needed.
H. Office of Communications
* Release all public information relating to the evacuation.
PART 3: SHELTERING
(See ESF-6, Mass Care)
Emergency shelter operations are the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Preparedness Shelter Coordinator. Shelters are provided by the Orleans Parish School Board, while manager training and support activities and supplies are provided by the Office of Emergency Preparedness.
Reassessment of facilities is an on-going process conducted jointly by the School Board, and Emergency Preparedness Division. The shelter activation list is updated yearly, and takes into consideration new school construction, school closings and renovations.
A. Shelter Demand
Shelter demand is currently under review by the Shelter Coordinator. Approximately 100,000 Citizens of New Orleans do not have means of personal transportation. Shelter assessment is an ongoing project of the Office of Emergency Preparedness through the Shelter Coordinator.
The following schools have been inspected and approved as Hurricane Evacuation Shelters for the City of New Orleans: Laurel Elementary School
Walter S. Cohen High School
Medard Nelson Elementary School
Sarah T. Reed High School
Southern University Multi Purpose Center
Southern University New Science Building
O. Perry Walker High School
Albert Wicker Elementary School
It should not be assumed that all of the approved shelters listed above will be opened in the event of a hurricane or other major tropical storm. The names and locations of open shelters will be announced when an evacuation order is issued. This list is not for public information and should not be duplicated and distributed. In the event that shelters are opened, people who go to their nearest listed location may find, for one reason or another, that the facility is not open as a shelter, forcing them to seek an alternate location. It is also possible that people anticipating the opening of shelters may arrive before shelters are set-up and ready to receive them. For these and other reasons, shelters which are to be used will not be identified until they are ready to open and not until an evacuation order, related public announcement is made.
Last Resort Refuges and Super Shelters are described in specific SOPs covering their applications.........
NEX I: HURRICANES
RECOVERY (PHASE III)
City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan
Following a disaster, once the principal threat has passed and the primary concern of protection of citizens from harm has been addressed, it becomes critical to public safety to ensure the speedy yet orderly recovery of the community. Recovery functions include continued, potentially long?term response operations (such as debris removal and disposal, infrastructure repair, etc.), liaison with State and Federal response and recovery agencies, damage assessment, response to basic needs of citizens whom may have lost their homes, possessions, businesses, or jobs. Emergency management has to be prepared to address the long?term operations needed to return the community to normalcy.
II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS
The lead agency responsible for coordinating recovery operations following a natural or man made disaster is the Office of Emergency Preparedness. The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall serve as the initial contact with the Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness for the coordination of recovery efforts. In the event of a major or catastrophic event, the activated ESFs within the EOC shall provide liaison services to their corresponding State and Federal ESFs and related agencies. Following the establishment of a local Disaster Field Office (DFO), the Director of Emergency Preparedness shall designate the person(s) to serve as local liaison with the DFO. For certain hazard or incident specific incidents, the lead response agency may continue to be the City's principle coordinating representative.
Once into the recovery phase of a major disaster, ESF?5, Planning and Information, shall assume the liaison function with the State recovery staff, as will appropriate representatives of the various activated City agencies involved in recovery operations. Coordination for the establishment of Disaster Relief Centers, additional staging areas, and other sites that may be needed for coordinated assistance will primarily be the responsibility of ESF?7, Resource Support, and its support agency.
A. Damage Assessment
The Director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall designate a Damage Assessment Officer to supervise assigned persons in a Damage Assessment Unit (DAU). This unit will have three functional components:
1. Public Sector Damage Assessment Team(s), which will be responsible for assessing the damage inflicted upon publicly?owned property.
2. Private Sector Damage Assessment Team(s), which will be responsible for collecting information on housing and business losses.
3. Human Needs Assessment Team(s), are persons assigned to collect field information on the needs of the community following a disaster that has severely impacted facilities and other community assets that are depended upon for daily living, and to report back to the EOC.
Specific damage assessment procedures and responsibilities can be found in Standard Operating Procedure for Damage Assessment. Impact to the local economy shall be ascertained however possible, but will rely on the following organizations for preliminary information and periodically revised data:
1. Property Appraiser's Office (value of damaged or destroyed properties)
2. City Planning Commission (impact on jobs, etc.)
3. ESF?18, Business and Industry (business specific losses)
Information gathered shall be monitored for inclusion in Situation Reports by ESF?5, Information and Planning. Initial damage assessments shall be accomplished by participation in flyovers conducted by the Louisiana National Guard. City representatives will participate in the flyover. Flyovers will also be used to initially develop a needs assessment for goods and services needed by the community as a result of the disaster. Needs assessment data and information will be tracked by ESF?5, Information and Planning, and distributed to human service response agencies. Other methods used to assess physical damages and develop needs and services estimates include:
1. Additional flyovers.
2. City vehicles, such as trucks, automobiles, off?road vehicles, etc.
3. Riverside damage assessment shall be conducted by the Harbor Police.
4. Where damage is extensive, and roads may not be passable, damage assessment teams may resort to foot patrols.
B. Human Services
Location of Disaster Relief Centers and other recovery operation sites shall be the joint responsibility of ESF?7, Resource Support, and the Damage Assessment Teams, which will scout undamaged or lightly damaged facilities while conducting field surveys. Prior to hurricane season, a list of potential buildings should be compiled that meet the criteria for a Disaster Relief Center or other recovery function. These facilities shall then be checked by damage assessment teams for potential use following a disaster. An inventory of city owned properties will also be available in the EOC and certain facilities, such as large community centers, shall be reviewed for use at the time.
Multiple sites shall be identified and geographically positioned to serve the impacted populations without placing burdens upon those who may have lost their private transportation resources as a result of the disaster. Regional Transit Authority may be called upon to provide free transit to recovery centers located along existing bus routes. Recovery center staffing patterns shall be developed along accepted state and federal guidelines and provided from city, state and private agencies.
Feeding and food and supply distribution sites shall be established following a disaster in geographically distributed sites across the Parish. Feeding sites shall be established by ESF?6, Mass Care, in conjunction with ESF?11, Food and Water. The Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army shall provide the lead in establishing and operating these sites. The Second Harvest Food Bank shall provide leadership in the acquiring and distribution of food and water. ESF?15, Volunteers and Donations, shall direct outside resources to the appropriate sites where these volunteer services can best be used. Temporary living areas shall be established when possible on city owned property. ESF?7, Resource Support, shall assist in the location and acquisition of non city owned property. The New Orleans Housing Authority shall be called upon to assist with public housing for the temporarily displaced.
Following a disaster of such magnitude that far exceeds the City's and State's ability to meet the needs of the community and results in the requesting and granting of a Presidential Disaster Declaration, the Office of Emergency Preparedness shall, as previously described, at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency or Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness, establish Disaster Relief Centers for individuals seeking recovery assistance. These sites shall be established at geographically strategic sites, providing all affected citizens with access to available programs, and shall provide representatives from numerous federal, state, local, and private relief agencies. Locations of the centers, as well as information on FEMA's teleregistration program, shall be made known via ESF?14, Public Information, and all other available information outlets (see ESF?14, Public Information).
For affected governments and qualified not?for?profit organizations, a Public Officials Briefing shall be held. At the briefing, public officials shall be oriented on available assistance and procedures, and shall receive "Notice Of Interest" forms to be filed with state and federal officials. Subsequent "Project Applications" shall be filed with FEMA for further processing. State and federal authorities will evaluate the project applications and determine justification for assistance.
City of New Orleans Department personnel shall serve as the City's principal representatives in preparation of disaster application forms, monitoring of projects to completion and certification, and disbursement of relief funds. The City shall also coordinate the development of Disaster Survey Reports and review and represent the City in negotiations for restitution of losses with federal and state officials.
Debris removal shall be coordinated and executed by ESF?3, Public Works and Engineering. Fallen trees and similar debris shall be disposed of to the extent possible. Methods for disposal of non?mulchable debris shall be determined by ESF?3, in conjunction with local and state environmental officials. Administrative procedures for financial transactions, cost accounting, grants management, document tracking and payroll processing will be implemented by ESF?7, Resource Support. Following deactivation of the EOC, these functions shall be continued by those agencies that staff ESF?7. Procedures and instructions for preparing Disaster Survey Reports and tracking disaster costs have been developed by the City. The City also provides training and instruction on these procedures.
ANNEX I: HURRICANES
MITIGATION (PHASE IV)
City of New Orleans Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan
Mitigation includes those activities, policies or programs developed and adopted by government officials which will reduce, eliminate, or alleviate damage caused by disasters. Proper and coordinated planning is a prerequisite to effective and efficient procedural changes required in addressing hazard mitigation. The City of New Orleans currently participates in, or has commenced the initial stages of several programs intended to reduce the risk to lives and to minimize damage to public and private properties.
II. CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS
Mitigation programs include coordinated city, state and federal efforts that are currently in place, such as the National Flood Insurance Program, or future actions designed to reduce the loss of life and extensive property damage.
A. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
The City of New Orleans is a participant in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The City's participation is conducted by the City Planning Commission (CPC). Citizens may receive information as to the NFIP rating of their properties at the City Hall (CPC) office. As much of the development now in place in New Orleans was developed prior to adoption of NFIP standards and rating zones, it is anticipated that should a major hurricane strike our area, that many structures, both private and public, would have to be rebuilt or replaced by structures meeting NFIP standards.
B. Future Plans
Future mitigation plans include:
1. Drainage network management.
2. Protection of wetlands and marshes.
3. Floodplain management.
4. Preservation of the levee system.
5. Providing hurricane shelter.
6. Restricting imprudent development.
7. Mitigation actions following natural disasters and post?disaster plan development.
In response to a major destructive storm, future plans call for the preparation of a post disaster plan that will identify programs and actions that will reduce or eliminate the exposure of human life and property to natural hazards. To direct the City's hurricane recovery operations, the Mayor will appoint a Recovery Task Force (RTF). The RTF shall include the Chief Administrative Officer, the Director of the Emergency Preparedness, Public Works Director, Public Utilities Director, Director of Safety and Permits and any others as directed by the Mayor. Staff shall be provided by those appointed, as well as by those elements of the OEP responsible for recovery operations. The RTF shall provide the following tasks:
1. Review and decide upon emergency building permits.
2. Analyze and recommend hazard mitigation options, including reconstruction or relocation of damaged public facilities.
3. Coordinate the preparation of the post?disaster redevelopment plan.
4. Recommend amendments to the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, and other appropriate policies and procedures.
5. Coordinate with state and federal officials disaster assistance.
In order to ensure broad?based local participation in guiding long?term redevelopment, the following recommendations are submitted:
1. That the RTF be tasked with overseeing long?term disaster recovery and mitigation efforts, once the life threatening aspects of a major disaster has passed, as an adjunct operation of the OEP.
3. That the RTF shall develop periodic reports on recovery efforts and operations for submission to the Mayor and City Council.
4. That the RTF focus on such issues as Building Code modifications, zoning and land use management, building code compliance and enforcement, retrofitting public facilities, local legislation designed to reduce the risk of life and property in areas vulnerable to the impacts of predictable, recurring hazards.
It is a NASTY fight between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, started by Nagin's defection to the Democratic party in 2002 for his run as mayor.
I don't think there are enough regulations there yet.