I visited New Orleans for the first time last year and fell in love. The city, the people, the history, the cemetaries, the voodoo shops and of course the beignets. So I’m all psyched to leave on Friday for a long weekend with Heather Graham’s Writers for New Orleans Conference (baskets and raffles donated entirely to the New Orleans Library Foundation). But what do I see while grazing the internet? Gustav!
The horrible storm that is eating up the Caribbean and is headed straight for New Orleans almost exactly 3 years from the date that Katrina laid it’s devastation over the land. There’s a projection of the path, and we all know how fast that can change, but still, I’m leery. Do I have any clue what to do if something castastrophic happened? Will any of the writers who are attending the conferences? Or will they be taking notes to use in an upcoming book?
"Everybody should be looking at their plans, just like we’re looking at our plans, and get ready," said Jerry Sneed, director of New Orleans’ Office of Emergency Preparedness. "If they don’t have a plan, you still have time. If you wait until the storm’s on top of you, that’s when panic’s going to set in and you don’t think wisely."
New Orleans estimated about 30,000 residents would need help evacuating, Sneed said. He said only 7,000 people have signed up so far to get that help.
He said buses and trains were ready to take evacuees to shelters in Shreveport, Alexandria, and Monroe, Louisiana, and in Jackson, Mississippi.
What should I do? Go or not go (I mean, I do need to consider the beignets)? They still aren’t even sure it will hit New Orleans. Carry a portable weather radio with me or maybe spray paint to write "Help" on a roof top (assuming I’m able to climb to the roof)?
Now I realize how devasting and serious Katrina was and people are still feeling the effects. My heart goes out to them. But I was wondering if any of you live near the evacuation cities and if you’d consider taking in a slightly damp guest…just in case.
Bottom Line: Ok, I don’t have an action plan except to keep my eyes open for Anderson Cooper. Maybe I can get him to be in a Drive By Video.