NEW ORLEANS, LA – On Saturday, July 21, 2012, the City of New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, in conjunction with the American Red Cross and evacuteer.org, will launch the first ever “Get NOLA Ready Day” to distribute hurricane preparedness materials and register citizens for City-Assisted Evacuation across ten New Orleans neighborhoods.
Get NOLA Ready Day will partner with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ECLA) Youth Gathering, an event bringing nearly 35,000 people to New Orleans July 19-21 to practice social justice across the city. During Get NOLA Ready Day, 450 ECLA youth, led by volunteers from Red Cross, evacuteer.org, and local neighborhood community groups and churches, will canvass New Orleans neighborhoods and set up City-Assisted Evacuation registration spots to provide citizens with critical information and City resources to help them prepare for hurricane season.
“We cannot emphasize enough the importance of acting now, not reacting when disaster hits,” said Lt. Col. Jerry Sneed, Deputy Mayor for Public Safety. “Get NOLA Ready Day exemplifies the importance of individual preparedness. In order for our whole city to be prepared, every one of our citizens who lives in and loves New Orleans must get prepared. We must get NOLA Ready well before the event. Readiness starts now, and starts with each of us.”
Get NOLA Ready Day is part a of new City hurricane and disaster preparedness initiative announced by Mayor Mitch Landrieu on June 1, which includes the launch of the new one-stop City preparedness website, http://ready.nola.gov. The ready.nola.gov website includes both general information about hurricane preparedness and resources specific to the Greater New Orleans area, including maps of contraflow, registration for City-Assisted Evacuation and re-entry placards and the NOLA Ready Pledge. Social media outreach, including the @nolaready Twitter handle is part of the campaign as well.
“The American Red Cross is proud to partner for Get NOLA Ready Day, which embodies the work we do to make every day a ‘Get NOLA Ready Day,’” said Kay W. Wilkins, CEO of the American Red Cross Southeast Louisiana Chapter. “The Red Cross works every day across New Orleans communities to ensure citizens have all the resources they need before an emergency hits. In chapters around the country the Red Cross is helping to strengthen the capacity of local communities through the Community Resilience Program. Working together with local partners we help communities overcome obstacles to preparedness, become safer and gain the ability to withstand and recover from any disaster.”
During Get NOLA Ready Day, over 500 volunteers will canvas neighborhoods that include Algiers, Hollygrove, Central City, the Lower 9th Ward, Gentilly, the Upper 9th Ward, Mid-City, Faubourg St. John, Irish Channel and New Orleans East. Working with local neighborhood organizations and churches, volunteers will distribute preparedness information including how to make a plan, pack a kit, and care for pets during emergencies, and will sign up citizens for City-Assisted Evacuation who have no transportation or otherwise need assistance getting out of town.
“Get NOLA Ready Day promotes the active community engagement in hurricane preparedness we must all have in order to make New Orleans thrive,” said Courtni Blackstone of evacuteer.org. “That active engagement is the basis of evacuteer.org, which trains the hundreds of citizen volunteers that work at the seventeen City-Assisted Evacuation pick-up points during a mandatory evacuation.”
The events will take place rain or shine.