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|Jindal declares state of emergency as Gustav heads toward Louisiana|
BATON ROUGE – Gov. Bobby Jindal issued a state of emergency and requested a presidential pre-landfall disaster declaration as Tropical Storm Gustav appeared headed toward the Louisiana coast.
Jindal made that announcement at a news conference Thursday.
Jindal also announced the National Guard is beginning to activate 3,000 guardsmen, and the state triggered several measures to prepare for a potential evacuation and the shelter of residents.
"Today, I have officially issued a State of Emergency Declaration," Jindal said. "In addition, we are requesting a pre-landfall presidential declaration from the federal government. I have ordered the National Guard to activate 3,000 Guardsman, and they will report to their unit armories in the morning and prepare for deployment to affected areas, as needed.
"...we are also activating contracts for coaches and buses to support evacuation efforts. We are activating contacts for trucks supporting the movement of companion animals, and we are activating transportation staging areas in Jefferson Parish to assist in evacuations as needed. We have also told the Red Cross to be on alert so they are ready to provide loading teams in the transportation staging areas."
Jindal gave a look ahead at a possible timeline of events to prepare residents. He said buses will arrive in the state Thursday to prepare to evacuate residents and special need shelters will open. Friday, general population shelters are scheduled to open, animal shelters will open, phased parish evacuation plans will begin, and some hospitals and nursing homes may begin evacuating some patients. On Saturday, contra-flow could begin if the storm maintains its current track. On Sunday, Wildlife and Fisheries will begin to activate their search and rescue operations and DOTD would lock down moveable bridges in the state. This is strictly a working timeline at this point to prepare residents. This information will be updated as the storm continues to move.
BACKGROUND FACTS ON PREPARATION:
· The state has 700 buses contracted – these are all outside the state, within a 500-mile radius.
· These 700 buses will accommodate 35,000 people. These would only be people who do not have any transportation of their own.
· These buses will be supplemented by an air and rail evacuation plan, which is led by FEMA.
· The state has up to 10,000 spaces for Critical Special Needs evacuees - these are individuals that have no transportation of their own. These shelters are state run.
· Additionally, the American Red Cross, in conjunction with local parishes, have spaces available for up to 68,000 evacuees in parish locations throughout the state.
· The state has 564,000 MREs pre-positioned in Louisiana.
· The state already has 525,000 liters of water pre-positioned in Louisiana.
· The state is ready to provide food and water to 350,000 responders and folks who remain in the state because they cannot evacuate.
· FEMA has contracts in place for additional supplies, and they are currently working to load up these supplies and move them to Louisiana.
How to Sign Up for State Alerts – An Easy, Step-by-Step Process
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· Provide your email and zip code.
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· Signing up for the alerts is free. Depending on the terms of your contract with your service provider, you may incur charges for receiving text messages.
· Click on the "Sign Me Up" button.
· If you decide that you would like to stop receiving emergency alerts on your cell phone, cell phone or other personal communications devices, simply return to the www.mystateusa.com website, go to the "AlertSense" page and click on "Unsubscribe Me."