disaster preparedness

President Obama discusses steps FEMA and other federal and local agencies are taking to keep Gulf Coast residents safe and minimize damage from the approaching Hurricane Isaac.

The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office says the state transportation department has barricaded some intersections along Highway 90 to let traffic flow more smoothly through the parish.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Traci Landry says the traffic is probably people evacuating from parishes east of St. Mary Parish as Tropical Storm Isaac gets closer. The storm is expected to become a hurricane before making landfall Tuesday.

Isaac is headed toward the Gulf Coast, and Louisiana's governor has declared a state of emergency. The storm is threatening to hit New Orleans as the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches. Host Michel Martin speaks with Lt. Col. Jerry Sneed of Homeland Security in New Orleans, about how they're preparing the city for the storm.

St. Charles Parish evacuation underway

Aug 27, 2012

The St. Charles Parish President has called for a mandatory evacuation effective at 6 p.m. Sunday for all residents in St. Charles Parish due to Tropical Storm Isaac. 

What does this mean?
It means that conditions from Hurricane Isaac will be such that widespread damage and flooding are possible. It also means that vital services such as food stores, fuel and medical services may be unavailable for an indefinite period. Accordingly, residents are strongly advised to seek shelter outside of St. Charles Parish. 

The National Hurricane Center says that it expects Tropical Storm Isaac to continue strengthening up until it makes landfall.

In the 5 p.m. ET advisory, the Hurricane Center said Isaac remains a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. Dry air, the center explains, keeps feeding into the storm keeping it from intensifying. The storm is predicted to make landfall near New Orleans as a category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds.

As officials gear up to respond to what’s expected to be Hurricane Isaac, New Orleanians went shopping for supplies. Flashlights and batteries were sold out of several stores.

Danielle Bell / The Lens

With Tropical Storm Isaac bearing down on New Orleans, one of three key Army Corps of Engineers pumping stations that help drain the city during a storm is only at partial capacity — far less than what is needed to keep the Orleans Avenue Canal from filling.

National Hurricane Center

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says he’s optimistic that the city will be able to handle the anticipated fallout from Tropical Storm Isaac. Isaac is on track to be at hurricane-strength when it makes landfall, and city officials say they’re ready for what’s predicted.

National Hurricane Center

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the city is ready to face Tropical Storm Isaac.

Noting that Isaac should arrive at the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Landrieu said Monday that officials feel very good about the ability to cope with Isaac.

Landrieu, who declared a state of emergency on Sunday, urged about 900 residents who live outside levee protection in eastern New Orleans evacuate. The remainder of the city is not under an evacuation order.

He told residents to hunker down and make due with supplies on hand.

Checklist of emergency supplies

Aug 27, 2012

The following checklist of emergency supplies is provided by the Louisiana's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness online at www.GetAGamePlan.org.

Put together an emergency kit

Be sure to include these items:

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