We've had a horrible time figuring out who to contact for elderly relatives who survived the storm but need help getting evacuated from their homes. Finally, today, we were successful. The information was difficult to locate, and the Red Cross, local authorities and other standard places that folks who are looking for help getting friends and loved ones help do not know where to send people. So. Without further ado, the place you need to contact to get a relative who needs help getting out is the local Homeland Security office for SE Louisiana. The contact information that we used to get through was:
Homeland Security offices in New Orleans/Orleans Parish
Orleans Joseph Matthews (504) 658-8700 (504) 658-8701
For questions or comments please contact
Asst. Division Chief
Mr. Jones helped with my grandmother in mid-city and with an elderly uncle down in the quarter. Neither is able to get to an evacuation point, and frankly the local police are more dangerous than waiting for random rescue to occur. They are "medium" priority, but at least now we know that someone with the resources to get them out knows they are there and in what condition. Mr. Jones is a hero in my book.
I am astonished at how little coordination there is of evacuation efforts in New Orleans, and wonder why national media outlets aren't reporting these numbers to people...I hope this helps someone who needs it -- please pass it on if you see a need.
I'm listening to the national guard frequency mp3 stream, and starting to feel a little bit more hope for things. The news is a mixed bag tonight. Personal news isn't good, but overall news from the channel (a lot of it inferred information) indicates that things are moving in a positive direction. It's relatively quiet, but it's also late.
--On the bad news side, GaGa is now up a bit on the priority list -- we've been unable to contact her now for 36 hrs, and she's old and without communication. Uncle Al is still in his home and his phone works intermittently.
--That office of emergency preparedness set of contacts is good -- they're involved with the national guard. Get the word out. The folks on the other end answer their email and *respond* to concerns. When I told them about the convention center, I then heard activity on the national guard frequency that indicated that things are actually happening.
--There are now people in Nola who are actually coordinating the rescues and evacuations, with equipment and who sound like they know what they are doing. I understand that there are marine reservists on their way and some there already.
--These same people seem to be working pretty hard at maintaining order. I don't have a good sense of how many are involved, but there are definitely military, OEP, and three other agencies involved in the cross-talk.
--There are busses arriving at various locations around New Orleans currently, and people, food, and water *do* appear to be actively being moved in and out of the Superdome, the Quarter, and other areas of town now. Some kind of activity is near the post office by the bus station/Amtrak as well.
How much bandwidth can a stream like that take? If I post the link, will it go down because of the flooding of people into it, or are things of that nature fairly stable? I'll hang out for a little while and see if someone can reassure me that by posting it, I won't be killing this source of information. I'm more than a little panicked about things right now and at the end of my emotional rope.