NOLA Ready strives to ensure that messaging is simple and actionable for residents. Our core strategy is to consistently deploy communications that are values-based and solutions-oriented. The result is emergency messaging that is easy to understand and participate in, and which fosters residents’ commitment to connecting with emergency information.
NOLA Ready provides accessible emergency information to residents using a variety of tools and methods:
- NOLA Ready web site: ready.nola.gov
- Online resource calendar
- Social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
- Emergency text alerts
- Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)
- Paper brochures
- Door hangers and flyers
- Resource guides
- Town halls
- Emergency information printed on giveaways
- Interviewing and liaising with TV, radio, digital, and print media
- Video advertisements on television channels
- Advertisements on billboards, buses, and bus stop signage
- Participation in City of New Orleans press conferences
- Trainings and presentations to residents
- Volunteer trainings
Community engagement and outreach is essential in reaching residents who are unable to easily connect with emergency information or services due to barriers in access.
NOLA Ready invests in outreach year-round to build relationships and trust with members of the community. We collaborate with community partners engaged in the full disaster lifecycle. Through our partnerships, we develop and manage innovative outreach and engagement programs that enhance community resilience and emergency preparedness.
By committing to this work in blue skies, NOLA Ready is able to communicate vital information to community members in grey skies when a disaster hits. NOLA Ready’s community engagement efforts include developing and staffing trainings, speaking at events, tabling, and other opportunities to speak directly with residents about emergency preparedness, response, recovery, and hazard mitigation.
In addition to outreach and engagement, NOLA Ready maintains more than one hundred relationships with nonprofit groups that identify as Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD). These VOAD groups activate during grey skies disasters to directly support residents in disaster response, and complement City of New Orleans response efforts.
Check out the Disaster Partners page for a full list of our community partners.
Volunteer Programs & Engagement
The NOLA Ready Volunteer Corps (NRVC) was formed in June 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for a more expanded City-based volunteer group. Since the formation of the NOLA Ready Volunteer Corps, more than 4,000 New Orleanians have signed up to volunteer with us.
Since its formation, NRVC has supported the City of New Orleans with emergency activations and public safety support, including but not limited to:
- Hurricane Laura Resource Center
- City Assisted Evacuation Exercises
- COVID-19 Testing, Outreach, & Vaccines
- Hurricane Supply Distributions
- Hurricane Ida Cooling Centers
- Emergency Sheltering
- Mardi Gras First Aid Stations
Volunteer engagement for NRVC is multipronged and includes both training and activations. NRVC hosts trainings throughout the year for volunteers to enhance their skills in support of emergency operations.
Trainings are either developed in-house or are given by a qualified and experienced partner. Once volunteers have trained up, they are able to support emergency operations run by the City of New Orleans.
Check out our Volunteer page for more information.
Functional & Language Access
NOLA Ready recognizes that translations and interpretation are only one component of language access. We also work directly with partners in communities that speak languages other than English and continue to foster deep and trusting relationships, utilizing appropriate social media platforms to distribute translated information more effectively, including but not limited to Facebook and WhatsApp.
NOLA Ready created an Access and Functional Needs Working Group to identify existing gaps and challenges in emergency planning for individuals that require assistance or support. We also invite partners to participate in our live exercises to improve the City’s plans by helping us to make the necessary reforms.
Accessibility in communications
In order to make emergency information accessible to a wide audience, NOLA Ready produces written information primarily at a 5th grade reading level.
While maintaining this standard of accessibility, we prioritize our work with limited English proficient (LEP) speakers, especially residents’ whose primary language is Spanish, Vietnamese, or ASL.
Our work toward institutionalizing language access includes but is not limited to: the production of translated flyers, social media posts, vaccine & testing site information, website copy, and PSAs on Spanish radio stations.
language access in outreach
The emphasis on language access across NOLA Ready’s work this year also extended to community engagement. NOLA Ready worked closely with Spanish speaking community groups and built deep and trusting relationships.