City of New Orleans Issues Emergency Declaration for Excessive Heat
NEW ORLEANS — Mayor LaToya Cantrell today signed an Emergency Declaration in anticipation of peak hurricane season and the ongoing, unprecedented extreme heat New Orleans is experiencing.
City officials stressed concerns that, in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane, any significant power utility disruption while under extreme heat conditions will likely greatly increase the danger of injury or death, especially among the elderly and vulnerable, due to heat related illnesses.
“Thinking about the unprecedented times and challenges we are living in and having to work through, the City recognizes the need to be proactive to the excessive heat that we know is not going to slow down,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “What is unique to New Orleans is that we are on the frontlines of an already-changing climate in the midst of peak hurricane season, which makes this even more critical for us to meet our people where they are and put safeguards in place for what could come our way. While there has been no federal or state declaration on excessive heat, we need to recognize that this heat has become an unparalleled ongoing crisis for communities across the country. Now, more than ever, we must work together with our partners to ensure our communities get the resources they need to respond to emergencies and prepare for the challenges of tomorrow.”
The National Weather Service (NWS) indicates that 2023 has already broken or approached multiple records for heat, including:
- Most excessive heat warnings (EHW), that is, feels like temperatures of 115 degrees or higher with 18 (record was 5 in 2021)
- Most consecutive days with excessive heat warnings (9)
- Most 95+ degree days (38)
- 2nd most heat advisories with 26 (record is 27 in 2021)
- 2nd most 80+ degree nights with 14 (record is 15 in 2016)
- New Orleans Emergency Medical Services (NOEMS) reports that heat-related calls for service (cfs) have increased from a monthly average of 25 cfs to an average of 100 cfs this year
- Coroner’s Office reports six heat-related deaths so far this year
- In a five-year comparison, New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) reports a drastic increase of 24 vegetation fires for 2023, including two active marsh fires in Bayou Sauvage and Maple Ridge subdivision - from the previous average of 14 vegetation fires between 2019-2022
New Orleans Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP) activated and continues to maintain a City Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) Level III for this excessive heat warning period, which means the City will continue to monitor these dangerously hot temperatures daily.
“One of the biggest challenges for the City has been trying to figure out how to sustainably incorporate heat relief into regular City operations and services,” said Collin Arnold, Director of NOHSEP. “This emergency declaration will allows us to continue extreme heat response efforts, as well as enhance preparations ahead of peak hurricane season.”
Through this emergency declaration, the City will be able to:
- Expand hours for nine of 15 NORDC locations to be available seven days a week until Oct. 1;
- Activate resources and personnel to support the City’s existing unhoused outreach and heat relief efforts;
- Mobilize an overnight cooling center equipped with emergency generator switch connectors for unhoused residents through Oct. 1;
- Pre-stage designated NORDC sites with generators in case of tropical weather impacts;
- Require senior living facilities and nursing homes to report any ongoing challenges or challenges to the City on a daily basis; and
- Expedite emergency repairs through emergency contracting to protect City employees, outdoor workers and first responders from the ongoing extreme heat
Earlier this summer, the City of New Orleans launched the NOLA Ready Heat Relief Map, which can be found at ready.nola.gov. This interactive map lists free, indoor air-conditioned locations for the general public.
Businesses or organizations that are willing to act as a free community cooling site should email firstname.lastname@example.org with the address, dates and hours to be added to the map.
Residents can visit weatherwise.nola.gov to find localized updates on weather conditions when considering outdoor activities.
HEAT RELIEF RESOURCES THROUGH OCT. 1:
- Algiers Courthouse is open Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 2:45 p.m. (225 Morgan St., Room 209)
- Arthur Monday Community Center is open Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (1111 Newton St., Suite 101)
- Carrollton-Hollygrove Senior Center is open Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (3300 Hamilton St.)
- Edna Pilsbury Center is open Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4 pm (2222 Simon Bolivar Ave., 2nd floor)
- Louisiana SPCA is open Monday - Saturday, 12 p.m. - 7 p.m. (1700 Mardi Gras Blvd.)
- OHL Sobering Center is open 24/7 (732 N. Claiborne Ave.)
NORD locations are open Monday - Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., as follows:
- Annunciation Recreation Center, 800 Race St.
- Desire-Florida Multi-Purpose Recreation Center, 3250 Industry St.
- St. Bernard Recreation Center, 1500 Lafreniere St.
Through the emergency declaration, the following NORD locations have also extended hours on Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., through Oct. 1:
- Andrew P. Sanchez Multi-Service Center, 1616 Fats Domino Ave.
- Cut-Off Recreation Center, 6600 Belgrade St.
- Gernon Brown Rec Center, 1001 Harrison Ave.
- Joe W. Brown Recreation Center, 5601 Read Blvd.
- Lyons Recreation Center, 624 Louisiana Ave.
- Milne Rec Center, 5420 Franklin Ave.
- Rosenwald Recreation Center, 1120 S. Broad St.
- Stallings St. Claude Recreation Center, 4300 St. Claude Ave.
- Treme Recreation Community Center, 900 N. Villere St.
All New Orleans Public Library locations are open Monday - Thursday, from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Friday - Saturday, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., with the following exceptions:
- Main Library is open Monday - Thursday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Friday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Keller Library & Community Center are closed due to facility maintenance
SUSPENSION OF SERVICE DISCONNECTIONS
Entergy New Orleans does not disconnect on days that NWS has issued a heat advisory, which is expected to last throughout the rest of this week. Residents can call 1-800-ENTERGY to report outages.
For more information and safety tips visit ready.nola.gov. To receive up-to-date alerts, text NOLAREADY (one word) to 77295.
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