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Old 12-12-2010, 12:34 PM
8 posts, read 15,576 times
Reputation: 10


First of all, I think you all are great in this forum! No suck up intented .

My husband, daughter and I plan to move in Fall 2011 and I am trying to get our savings in order. I am the type that must always have a back-up plan. We currently live in Oklahoma so we only deal with tornadoes. No biggie here! I have lived in Florida but never in a spot where a hurricane was more than rain. (no really high winds.)

How much sounds like a good 'hurricane emergency' fund?

How fast do hotels in 'safer' hurricane areas fill up in the event of a hurricane coming into New Orleans?

Where is the best place to go? I have always thought Metarie, but am I going to be able to find a place if the time comes?

Thanks for all the replies.
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:22 PM
Location: New Orleans, LA
310 posts, read 819,125 times
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What is your perception of evacuation? I just want to make sure I'm reading your question correctly.

We've evacuated to Houston, Jackson, and Memphis. It all depends on which direction the storm is moving. When the need to evacuate comes, you can't just hunker down in a hotel room in Metairie (this is where I'm confused). Metairie is in neighboring Jefferson Parish - it'll be no safer than the area you're evacuating from. Not to mention that if a mandatory evacuation is in place, everything in the area will be ordered to close. There is no "safe" place to go in or around the city if a hurricane is coming. If evacuation is necessary, the only true safety is getting out of the area, period. Not to just a neighboring parish because they're going to get hit with the same storm.

We keep about $2000 aside for these purposes. We never spend that much, but there are so many "what ifs" in an evacuation situation. Gas, maybe needing to drive further because a city has filled up with evacuees, hotel snafus, being away from home much longer than you ever anticipated, etc. As long as you have the will to keep driving, you'll find a place. We make week-long hotel reservations wherever we anticipate going the minute a storm is imminent.

We keep a list of cities we'd go to, along with pet friendly hotels located in them, so we don't have to do much research if the time comes. You can't ever expect to stay close by anymore.

If there's a mandatory evacuation and you don't have the money to leave, the city will evacuate you, but that should only be a very LAST resort. State-run evacuation shelters aren't the best places to be.

Last edited by Pook77; 12-12-2010 at 01:39 PM..
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:33 PM
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I don't know what I had in my head as far as evacuation goes. Please forgive my ignorance. I really thought it was only NO that was evacuated in the case that a hurricane was headed for them. But what do I know, I'm from Oklahoma. Boy, I feel dumb! I was thinking $1500. Not a bad guess for an Okie! LOL Thanks for the advice and the head ups. I can't wait to make New Orleans my home!
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:45 PM
Location: New Orleans, LA
310 posts, read 819,125 times
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You're good. I'm sure you're not the only one around who thinks that. The media has put in everyone's head that it was only New Orleans who was hurt in that nice little storm.

Unless you've been through it, you really have no idea what an evacuation entails, so you're asking all the right questions! Keep asking questions when you get here too - stay informed about what everyone in your neighborhood does, get some ideas there, maybe share rides with them to save money. The resources are vast if you look for them.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:45 PM
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Hurricane evacuations in Southeast Louisiana ain't no joke, everythang south of Interstate-12 is vulnarble big time. If you leave late thangs get bad quick, Hurricane Ivan 12 hours to get threw Baton Rouge, Hurricane Gustaf 12 hours to get threw Slidell 2 eamples I can thank of. The levee's are good for no more than a medium cat 2 and then there's no guarentee's. Make sure your vehicle is ready, make sure your flood ins. is paid up, don't listen to neighboors, politicians are any one else, go to fox news and listen to Bob Breck and when he says leave leave. 1500$'s cash on hand is generaly what I leave with, with small bills as I don't like to flash large amounts of cash in a evacuation. Take pictures, ins policys, and other small valuables as anythang you leave behind you may never see again, welcome to the big easy.
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:17 PM
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Thanks guys! Also, as far as flood insurance goes, if I am a renter what should I do. Does a renter's policy cover floods or do they have seperate flood policy for renters?

As silly as my question seemed to me, I'm glad I asked!!
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:52 PM
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mommagalpin, hi there

We lived in Lake Charles for 4 years, and had to evacuate once for Hurricane Lili in 2002 ( which veered and hit the area near Intercoastal City, where lots of my neighbors had fled to), and then again in 2005 for Hurricane Rita, which was a few weeks after Katrina. A couple of highlights, there's way too many to list here:

Don't think there's going to be gas, because there usually won't be...but even if you found gas, unless you are in the habit of buying big gas containers in normal times, all the local stores will have sold out of them and you can't get the gas, anyway...and you can't carry full gas cans in your vehicle, either...do ya'll have a trailer or a pickup?

I stood in line at the bank about 4 days before the storm hit for over 2 hours, behind everyone else either cleaning out a large chunk of their bank account, or trying to get small bills to travel with...cuz in lots of hurricane areas, they stop using the credit cards or ATM machines, and AFTER the storm hits, none of them work, anyway...cash is everything.

If you have animals, please make sure you buy them evacuation stuff as soon as you settle in, even if it's not even hurricane season...kennels dis-assemble and store easily, so do travel dishes, a HARNESS ( trust me, you need a harness) ...and then you won't have to jam the highways and then the pet supply stores trying to get a crate/cage, or equipment, or have a fight in the store like I did trying to get a large cage for my two large dogs, and some lady screamed I couldn't have it, and actually stood on TOP of it, so the clerk couldn't take it apart for me to buy....

It's a college town. Which means all the university students have to evacuate, too, which means when it looks like the storm may actually hit, all the college students descend on the local Walmart/Kmart and buy every last plastic bin/storage container they have, right down to the giant Tupperwares, cuz a lot of them are from out of town, and don't have big cars to stash a lot in....all buckets, totes, suitcases, footlockers, trunks, etc., disappear as well.

Bottled water, propane tanks of any size, all go like wildfire. So do flashlights, batteries, tarps, diapers, ice, plywood, baby food, pet food...all basic can type food, really...well, Walmart had mustard left by the time I slogged my way down the aisles...

Lots of places you think you'll have time to get supplies in, close up shop...or are so short handed you wait for literally hours. Employees who work in these places have to supply themselves, too, and get their families ready to go...hospital personnel, fast food workers, bank employees, store clerks and anyone else you normally are used to seeing....they don't want to be in the storm, either. They leave.

There will be no storage units to rent, no trailers to rent OR buy, because the other 30,000 people who also decide, " hey, we really might need a trailer for all our stuff", have already got them. (btw, there aren't 30,000 trailers in Lake Charles, but you get my point...)

As far as WHERE to go? We actually did not end up leaving town until the day before the storm hit, due to my husbands job....we were some of the last ones to go, and the streets were deserted....but we had friends call and tell us all hotel rooms had been booked even the week before,[i] clear up to Dallas, Texas[i] .....there were no rooms in the entire state of Louisiana to be had, or SW Texas, forget Houston....we drove and drove and drove up into Mississippi (no rooms) thru the tip of Alabama (no rooms) clear up to Tennessee ( no rooms) and Kentucky! No rooms. In fact, Kentucky had large signs posted on the exits ( which they had closed down) NO HOTEL ROOMS...PLEASE KEEP DRIVING. All the fast food places we stopped at (when we were allowed to get off an exit) were running out of food, gas stations the same way, or there was a line of cars forever....

We ended up driving 26 hours in a pickup, evacuating clear up to NW Pennsylvania, where we had family....there simply was no place for us to stop, unless you wanted to stop by the side of the road or in a parking lot...I can't even tell you how many parking lots we saw full of vehicles doing just that, parked with no place to go....and on a practical note, there's no restrooms in a sea of vehicles, in a parking lot....and no room service.

I mention all this to drive home one point...if there's a mandatory evacuation...please just do yourself a favor and leave, unless you are the extremely rugged type that likes to be nearly drowned, or killed by a falling tree when the storm hits....or enjoy the fact that if you break a leg or something, you're going to lie there in a lotta pain, cuz emergency services can't reach you, and most of the docs have evacuated, too.... if you enjoy no power, no water, no food except what you maybe had in cans, no toilets, and no AC in the extreme heat and humidity of south Louisiana ( cuz hurricanes hit when its hot) for up to 2 weeks or more, then you'll be okay

Hurricanes are no joke...you cannot believe the utter destruction until you experience it...I've gone thru tornadoes, and they are bad, too, but they are quick bad. They don't last for hours in one spot, and they don't drown you.
They can destroy blocks or entire small towns, but you don't have to drive for hours ( and hours and hours) to be able to find a place to sleep....as bad as tornadoes get, something is usually left standing, or the next town over is okay. There are no next towns over in a hurricane...EVERYTHING is drowned and wrecked. Everything. For miles and miles and MILES around, in a big circle. When we made the return trip, we saw trees in Jackson, Mississippi that had been damaged....and it's nowhere near Lake Charles!

Listen, email me at louisianamoon2000@yahoo.com if you want to, and I can answer anything you like, and give you detailed details, and no, you're not dumb....good heavens, if you don't ask, you can't find out Hurricane Prep lists are good for basics, but there's a TON of small stuff that makes a big difference, they do not list....feel free to email me, okay? I'll help as much as I can
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:23 PM
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Thanks so much zarabeth!

Actually, alot of the stuff you mentioned I was planning of purchasing as soon as we got there to have a 'hurricane' closet. LOL I'm sure it will take a closet to fit everything I think we will need in it! I was in New Orleans after Katrina and I saw how things like bottled water were a luxury. And I hot meal...oh my! What a delight! But still, there is something about the city that I cannot give up. I have loved it since my first visit and I am determined to live there and thrive with my fellow New Orleanians no matter what.

After all I have heard, I plan to evacuate back to Oklahoma in the case of emergency evacuation. We will use it as an excuse to see family.

It is 12 hrs from NO to Oklahoma City where we live...our family lives here. I'm sure wih traffic it may be more like 20 hrs, but ya do what ya gotta.

Again, thanks so much for everyone'
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:34 PM
72 posts, read 288,885 times
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Hurricane closet, hope it's a big one

New Orleans is a great city We'd love to be able to move back down South....I miss the people so much....good luck to you!
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:57 PM
Location: Mostly in my head
19,856 posts, read 63,070,289 times
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My ex-husband left their cat in the house b/c they thought they'd be back in a day or so, when they left for Katrina. They came back in about 6 weeks. While the cat ws alive b/c someone came and fed her after a few days, she died from something she ate or drank that was polluted. Take those pets with you!
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