disaster preparedness

US Army Corps of Engineers / Wikimedia

The 2014 hurricane season has started, and New Orleans metro area residents are living behind a new, $14.5 billion storm surge system acknowledged as the best they have ever had. 

But an investigation by The Lens shows this best-ever is still not as good as Congress originally ordered it to be.

Jesse Hardman

Every week WWNO's Listening Post project asks questions about local news in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast and reports back on the community's response. This week's topic is hurricane season.

Hear that? That ominous music playing on the evening news? It can only mean one thing: hurricane season is here and it's time to get ready.

Good kitty / Wikimedia

To mark the start of the 2014 hurricane season, parish presidents, city officials, and representatives from the levee boards and the national weather service met Friday at the Port of New Orleans and pledged to work together to make it a safe one.

The city’s deputy mayor for public safety, Jerry Sneed, says Hurricane Katrina drove home the point that planning for a hurricane means working together.

The Lens

Unprotected sections of Interstate 10, to the east and west of the city, will be swamped by storm surge even during a smaller storm, The Lens is reporting.

Red Cross/FEMA Photo Library

On May 24 and 25, purchases of flashlights, batteries, portable generators and other emergency supplies are free from Louisiana's 4 percent state sales tax.

The Louisiana Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday gives residents a chance to prepare for storm season, which begins June 1.

The sales tax holiday applies to the first $1,500 of the purchase price of each item, according to Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield.

Eligible items include: flashlights and candles, portable radios, batteries, and food storage coolers.

Local taxes on these items still apply.

New Orleans made the first round of cities that will ultimately be selected by the Rockefeller Foundation for its 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge. The international non-profit says New Orleans offers more than just water management ideas.

Shannon Donner / US Army Corps of Engineers

Residents along the Lakefront are being advised to brace themselves for some major construction work. The Army Corps of Engineers is starting work on three permanent canal closures and pumps at 17th Street and Orleans and London Avenues.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says agencies throughout the region are working together in preparation for Tropical Storm Karen. He’s confident emergency preparations are in place.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Thursday after Tropical Storm Karen formed in the Gulf of Mexico and threatened to come ashore over the weekend along the Gulf coast.

The declaration authorizes the state Office and Homeland Security and other state agencies to activate emergency plans for the tropical storm's possible impact on Louisiana parishes.

Back in May, several independent forecast groups predicted an especially active Atlantic hurricane season this year. But with August drawing to a close, we've yet to see a single one.

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