WASHINGTON — As Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday afternoon, areas along the Gulf Coast experienced life-threatening storm surge, extreme winds and high amounts of rainfall. FEMA, along with our federal, state, tribal and local partners, as well as non-government agencies and private sector entities, remain fully postured to support impacted states and tribes to fulfill identified requirements.
FEMA stands ready to support local, state and tribal emergency responders with ongoing life-safety and emergency efforts. FEMA fulfilled a request for a tribal liaison who is deployed and working at the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana’s emergency operations center, and the agency’s Regional Tribal Liaisons are also coordinating with seven tribal nations across the impacted areas.
“This is an extremely dangerous storm. Our concern is to ensure that people are keeping themselves and their families safe and are aware of the changing conditions surrounding them,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell.
“We are highly concerned about the post-storm life-safety and emergency measures that may be needed after these intense rains and life-threatening storm surge and flash floods. There are search and rescue resources already in place from the state as well as some additional federal assets.”
Stay in place at this time. Gulf Coast residents should listen to local officials. Forecasters predict catastrophic weather impacts with expected high storm surge and large areas of power outages.
If you did not evacuate, find a safe location to ride out the storm. Avoid enclosed areas where you may become trapped, such as an attic.
Stay informed. Individuals in Louisiana can text IDA to 67283 for storm updates from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness or visit GOHSEP (la.gov). Individuals in Alabama should follow the guidance of local officials or visit ema.alabama.gov/. For storm updates in Mississippi, visit Hurricane Ida – MEMA (msema.org).
Generator safety. Never use a generator inside a home, basement, shed or garage even if doors and windows are open.
Additional Federal Partner Response
Currently, 22 interagency partners are working in coordination at FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center in Washington, D.C., to support the planning, preparedness and response efforts needed in Louisiana and Mississippi, and any other states impacted by Hurricane Ida. The federal partner planning and response is now shifting to search and rescue, sustaining food and water, sheltering, along with power and water restoration.
FEMA has shipped more than 3.5 million meals, 2.5 million liters of water and 139,000 tarps, with millions more meals and water on order. The agency has also shipped more than 185 generators to the affected areas.
There are 16 Urban Search and Rescue teams with more than 950 personnel deployed to begin search and rescue operations as needed. In addition, the Louisiana National Guard is activated and has staged high-water vehicles, boats, engineer work teams and other deployable resources. From across the country, more than 3,500 additional National Guard members have been deployed to the affected region.
The American Red Cross is working with local officials from Texas to Florida to assess and open shelters as needed. Louisiana and Mississippi have shelter capacity for thousands seeking refuge. If someone needs an evacuation shelter, call your local 2-1-1 or look for shelter locations or your phone device in the Red Cross app.
The U.S. Coast Guard’s top priority remains the safety of the public and response personnel. Post-storm, when weather permits, response operations will be focused on lifesaving, search and rescue, flood response operations and restoration of the Marine Transportation System, with a focus on critical ports.
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) team is deployed for power restoration and management of flood-fighting supplies and equipment.
FEMA activated several mutual-aid agreements for ambulances and emergency medical service providers for post-storm evacuation support, as needed.
If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately. For anyone going to a community or group shelter, remember to follow the latest recommendations for COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FEMA is fully operational in the COVID-19 environment, and the appropriate safety measures remain a priority to protect responders and residents from the virus.