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Planning for the Hurricane Season - 6/1/2013 -

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June 1st heralds the first day of the 2013 Hurricane Season. Many hurricane forecasters have begun to make their predictions for the season. Regardless of the predictions, the key is to be prepared and have a storm safety plan.

The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is an important facility to the community, especially during an emergency event such as a hurricane. We participate in preparedness exercises and training for all types of disasters every year, because our number one concern in an emergency is the safety of our passengers, our neighbors and staff. The Airport prepares for many types of emergencies, including Tropical Storms and Hurricanes. Our Hurricane Preparedness Plan includes coordination with local, state and federal government officials, as well as airlines, tenants and vendors who operate at the Airport. Airport staff conducts a yearly review of the Plan to identify any changes needed since the last storm season.

Here are some important facts that our readers should know regarding the Airport’s operation prior to the impact of a storm. If a tropical storm or hurricane is approaching the New Orleans Metro area and River Parishes, the Airport will remain open for as long as the airlines continue to operate flights. The decision to cease flight operations will vary from airline to airline. Each airline determines when to terminate their flight operations based on the evolving weather conditions, not the Airport. If you plan on traveling by air out of the region due to an impending storm, plan early and keep in contact with your particular airline for flight status. If you are traveling with pets, check with your airline prior to coming to the Airport to verify that they allow pets to travel on their aircraft. Please be aware that not all of the airlines allow pets and there are federal limits as to the number of pets allowed on each flight.

In the event of the impending landfall of a tropical storm or hurricane to our area, law enforcement presence will be enhanced to ensure a secure environment and controlled access to the Airport facilities. When a storm is approaching and you have confirmed flight plans, please make sure you carry some form of flight confirmation and personal identification as it may be required for entrance to the Airport terminal. The flight confirmation may be an email detailing your flight information, a boarding pass or ticket receipt. If you do not have the necessary documentation, it may delay entrance to the Airport. At the peak of the storm and continuing until Airport recovery efforts are completed, access to the Airport will be restricted. Please know that the Airport is not a public shelter during a storm or hurricane event. Once flights cease, the general public and non-essential personnel will be asked to evacuate from the Airport. For safety reasons, the general public will not be allowed to ride out a storm at the Airport.

For the latest storm information regarding your scheduled flight, refer to your airline’s web site or their customer service telephone number. The latest information about the status of an impending storm may also be found at the Airport website, with updates posted as warranted. Facebook and Twitter will also be used to keep the public informed.

If an air evacuation is deemed necessary for citizens, transportation for airlift evacuations will be managed and operated through a designated government agency, not the Airport. Those who plan to participate in a city or parish assisted air evacuation should follow the directions of their city or parish authorities and proceed to the designated pick up locations.

If a call for evacuation is made this season, please monitor your radio and/or television and follow the instructions given. It could save your life and the life of your loved ones. In the event a storm does pass our way, it is imperative that everyone have a personal storm plan. If you have not developed a storm plan for this year, please do so as soon as possible.


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