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Hurricane Information


Hurricane letter

Dear Air Station New Orleans Family Members:

Your safety is vital to me and I would like to pass on some specific information regarding hurricane preparedness. Hurricanes are incredibly powerful storms that can cause severe damage over large areas. Many of us saw just how vulnerable the New Orleans area was during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Gustav in 2008 and Isaac in 2012. It is essential to prepare and plan well in advance for a safe evacuation, should one become necessary. There are four enclosures in this packet that are handy guides to aid in your preparations.

Should a hurricane threaten the area, it is important for families to understan that the Active Duty member will, in all likelihood, be required to work before, after and possibly during the storm. You must have a fmily plan to evacuate without the Active Duty family member. It is essential for each family to have an evacuation plan and a sufficient emergency travel funds ($500-$1000) available in order to be ready to evacuate on short notice. Enclosed you will find websites, checklists and other information to aid you in your evacuation planning.

Our unit's designated safe haven site for our family members will be identified by the Eighth Coast Guard District Commander in order to evacuate. In the past Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee have been designated as safe haven sites by the Eighth Coast Guard District.

The few highways leaving the area will back up very quickly once the evacuation order is given (or even before the order is given). For example, although normally a four-hour trip, during an evacuation of the New Orleans are the driving time to NAS Meridian could increase to eight hours or more. Also, once Orleans Parish orders evacuation, the "contraflow " system - which makes all interstate highways (I-10, I-12, I-55, I-59) one-way outbound from the city -- will go into effect, greatly limiting travel options (see http://www.getagameplan.org/evacInfo.htm for maps of the contraflow system). Therefore, dependents (and non-essential personnel, with command permission) should strongly consider leaving early. However, reimbursement of travel expenses is not approved until the evacuation order is given, so you will have to weigh the convenience of getting out of town ahead of hte crowds against the possibility that you may not be reimbursed if an actual evacuation is not ordered by the Eighth Coast Guard District Commander.

If an evacuation is ordered, you will be reimbursed for expenses incurred at (and mileage to) the designated evacuation location. If your family should choose to evacuate to another location and not hte designated safe haven and for meals/lodging based on the daily rate of the designated safe haven site, not the location you choose. Remaining in teh local area is not a viable evacuation option, as lodging, food and services will most likely be unavailable once the parishes issue evacuation orders.

If you have pets, ensure that htey have collars with I.D. and are kept in an appropriate travel kennel. It is important to keep pets' shot records available, have extra medications packed and carry plenty of food and water to sustain them during the evacuation period.

Families living on NAS JRB New Orleans in base housing are expected to follow the guidelines that NAS JRB will provide. If the NAS JRB Commanding Officer orders an evacuation, you will have a short time to leave the base and you will not be let back into your homes for any reason until the evacuation order is lifted. As you depart, you MUST ensure that your home is prepared to be unoccupied for up to a month. It is especially important that your refrigerator and freezer(s) are emptied and all perishable food disposed of before you evacuate.

It is critical tha twe know the evacuation location for all families, whether it's to friends/relatives or to the designated safe haven site. To facilitate this, all active duty members WILL ensure that their information on teh unit's recall roster (maintained by the Administrative Department) is up to date and correct and that their department head knows their dependents' evacuation plan and contact information. It is very important that all air station families are accounted for as quickly as possible. You should receive notification from the Coast Guard Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (CGPAAS) and/or the Alert Warning System (AWS) which are used for personnel accountability and emergency information dissemination. These systems retrieve contact information is updated in Direct Access. Always respond to CGPAAS and AWS inquiries as soon as possible via phone, text or email; this is the primary way for us to track your accountability and to communicate emergency information. Additional information can be obtained using the Sector New Orleans Hurricane Information Line at 1-866-504-USCG (8724). In the event that you are unable to report accountability with CGPAAS or AWS, you should attempt to call the District Eight Command Center at 504-589-6225.

Every June 1st, the air station will activate a hotline with a recorded message to pass current hurricane information and unit status. When you contact this number you will hear a recording containing the latest information for tropical storms of concern in our area, air station readiness status and plans, the safe haven site, and instructions for reporting your evacuation arrival and contact information as applicable. The Air Station Hurricane Hotline number is 504-393-6029.

Your safety is vitally important to me. Therefore, I ask that you take time to review the encolsed information and to plan and prepare. If you have any questions or need any assisatance, please contact my Command Master Chief, AMTCM Junior Hall, at 504-393-6008, or the Hurricane Preparedness Officers, LT Chuck Areana at 504-393-6022 or LT Eric Turner at 504-393-6090.

Sincerely,
D.W. Cooper
Commander, U.S. Coast Guard
Commanding Officer

Safe Haven

Our hurricane evacuation safe haven is NAS Meridian located approximately 4 hours north in Meridian, Mississippi.  Members and dependents that evacuate to this location will be reimbursed for travel expenses.  Please realize that accommodations are on a first-come, first-serve basis.  NAS Meridian can provide for all of your basic needs, to include kenneling of pets.  Please note that members and families that decide not to evacuate here may not be reimbursed the travel expenses to the safe haven of their own choosing. 

It is important that family members have a  plan to evacuate without their Coast Guard member.

NAS Meridian
255 Rosenbaum Ave
Meridian, MS 39309
(601) 679-2658
www.cnic.navy.mil/Meridian/index.htm

Click here for directions from NAS JRB New Orleans to NAS Meridian. 

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Disaster Kit

Click here to download a complete list of essential items to pre-position in your disaster supply kit.

Click here to download your free copy of the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide. It is a good idea to keep one copy of this guide in each of your vehicles. **Please review the contraflow plans and evacuation time frames.  Note that there are only certain entrances to the highways when contraflow is in effect.**

Other things to consider:

Helpful Web links

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Important Numbers


AIRSTA Hurricane Hotline 504-393-6029
AIRSTA Operations Center 504-393-6032 / 504-393-6033
AIRSTA Toll Free 1-800-AIR-NOLA
NAS Meridian-Primary Evacuation Site 601-679-2958 / 601-679-2361
District 8 People Cell 1-800-787-6724
District 8 Auxiliary Line - Monitored after evacuation ordered 1-866-263-2656

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Personal Precautions

Hurricanes pose a significant threat to the Greater New Orleans area.  In addition to military duties, personnel must take precautionary measures at home to protect their families and property in the event of a hurricane.  All reasonable efforts will be taken by the Commanding Officers and department heads to ensure personnel have time to prepare for hurricane emergencies.  Personnel must take individual responsibility for pre-planning and ensuring family members know what to do in the event of a hurricane. 

When a hurricane threatens, you may have to make the decision whether to evacuate New Orleans or to "ride out" the storm in your home.  Be advised that IF LOCAL AUTHORITIES RECOMMEND EVACUATION, YOU SHOULD LEAVE.  Their advice is based on experience and knowledge of the hurricane’s strength, direction, and potential for destruction.  **If a military evacuation order is issued, all military personnel and family members living in government housing are required to evacuate the New Orleans area.**  Have a plan for family members to evacuate without the active duty Coast Guard member.

Click here to view and download some important personal safety measures you should consider when planning to evacuate.

These safety precautions are not to be considered as all-inclusive.  They are a guide and may be used as a checklist.  Common sense and individual requirements may dictate additional measures be included. 

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Helpful Web Links


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Last Modified 8/22/2014