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|Jindal updates efforts to prepare for Tropical Storm Gustav|
Gov. Bobby Jindal held a 5 p.m. conference with U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and FEMA Administrator David Paulison in Baton Rouge, and a 7:30 p.m. conference in New Orleans. The governor gave an update on preparedness efforts and a possible timeline of events. In addition to his 2:30 p.m. update sent out to press earlier today, the governor announced this evening that the state could implement contra-flow measures to support evacuation efforts as early as Saturday now, due to the updated timeline of the storm.
Jindal said, "Due to the updated tracking information on the storm this evening, certain parishes may begin their phased evacuations tomorrow and Saturday. Tomorrow morning, we will have a more updated weather forecast and will make final determinations on a timeframe for contra-flow measures, which could begin as early as Saturday and certainly by Sunday. We are watching the storm very carefully, but for now, families need to be prepared. Get information about shelters now. This is the time to make sure families have a plan. Visit www.GetAGameplan.org. By this weekend, the storm will be in the Gulf. Now is the time for residents to prepare and have a plan for their evacuation or shelter needs."
Jindal also announced that he has alerted an additional 2,000 guardsmen to be on alert. This is in addition to the 3,000 Louisiana National Guardsmen he activated yesterday. Jindal said the National Guard is standing ready to deploy 1,500 guardsmen to the city of New Orleans as early as Friday afternoon to assist in securing the city as residents may begin to leave their homes as part of evacuation efforts.
The governor said the state has activated a website for those who want to donate supplies. The site is called the "Aid Matrix" and it works to match volunteers donating supplies with those who need them. The public can access this system by visiting www.aidmatrixnetwork.org or calling 211, which is reachable by cell phone at 1-800-755-7175.
Additionally, Jindal said any volunteers donating their time or services can visit www.volunteerlouisiana.gov, which has been activated to process information of folks online so the state can use their services as needed.
In cases of price gouging, citizens should report suspected incidents to the Attorney General-Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-800-351-4889 or submitting an inquiry to www.ag.state.la.us.
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