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Healthcare Ready is ENGAGED for Hurricane Ida

Sunday, September 12: This report includes an assessment of the potential impacts to healthcare and public health due to Hurricane Ida.
  • Due to sustained power outages in Louisiana, reports estimate four weeks before Ochsner Health system hospitals are back up in Raceland and Houma. 

  • The death toll in New Jersey has risen to 29, as search efforts continue to find missing persons after the floods caused by Ida. 

  • An official with Entergy reported that they have about 26,000 people on the ground in Louisiana trying to get power back up. 

Expected Impacts
  • Power outages: Louisiana continues to be the state with most power outages as of September 12. 

    • Louisiana 
      • As of September 12, over 139,000 people remain without power in Louisiana. It is the number one state with the most outages.   
        • Estimated restoration schedules by parish have now been released. Detailed maps are now available showing restoration timetables for specific neighborhoods in hard-hit areas and are being regularly updated.   
      • Power outages have increased generator usage, and that has increased the number of carbon monoxide poisoning incidents. The New Orleans Health Department is giving away free carbon monoxide detectors.
    • Pennsylvania
      • Outages have dropped significantly to just over 600 customers without power.    
  • Transportation: 
    • Louisiana
      • Residents should stay off the roads until power lines, trees and other debris can be removed from all roadways. Visit 511LA.org for the latest on road closings.  
      • The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority announced the restoration of streetcar service along the Canal Streetcar line.  
        • Beginning Friday, September 10, streetcar service will run along the 47-Canal/Cemeteries and 48-Canal/City Park until midnight daily. 
    • Pennsylvania
      • Residents should stay off the roads until power lines, trees and other debris can be removed from all roadways. Visit 511PA.com for the latest on road closings.    
        • Several Montgomery County, PA bridges and the roads remain closed as a direct result of Hurricane Ida.
        • Roads impacted by downed trees or utilities in North Central Pennsylvania as of September 10, can be found here. 
  • COVID-19: Nationally some US hospitals are getting close to full capacity as Covid-19 continues to spread, and soon officials could be making choices about who gets an ICU bed. Concerns are rising that the combination of the storm and the virus may result in Covid-19 outbreaks spreading far beyond areas hit by Ida. We are tracking this closely and will continue to report on any analysis we have.
  • Resource Staging: The State of Louisiana has activated a special website for Hurricane Ida. The site provides access to recovery information and state services and aid for hurricane survivors. Additional resources can be found at https://hurricanerecovery.la.gov.  
    • FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are working in 16 parishes in Louisiana: East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, Rapides, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. Helena, St. James, St. John, St. Mary, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Washington.  
      • FEMA has approved more than 234,000 applications for disaster assistance and more than $259 million to help Louisiana residents recover. 
    • Louisiana survivors who purchased or rented a generator and/or chainsaw as a result of Hurricane Ida may be eligible for reimbursement. Survivors must first apply for FEMA assistance by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov or calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). 
    • FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is ready to assist policyholders who experienced losses due to flooding from Hurricane Ida. Contact your insurance agent to report your loss. If you can’t remember the name or number of the insurance company, call NFIP at 877-336-2627. 
    • Additional resources for disaster survivors can be found here

Emergency Declarations 

  • New York
    • On September 5, President Biden approved a Major Disaster Declaration for the state, making Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Bronx, Kings, Queens, Richmond, and Westchester. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. 
  • NewJersey
    • On September 5, President Biden approved a Major Disaster Declaration for the state, making Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, and Somerset. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.
    • Governor Murphy extended the federal disaster declaration to four additional counties, including Essex, Hudson, Mercer, and Union counties, allowing residents the ability to apply for disaster assistance.    
  • Louisiana
    • State: DUA (Disaster Unemployment Assistance)  is available to unemployed workers or self-employed individuals who became unemployed as a direct result of Hurricane Ida that are otherwise ineligible to receive state unemployment insurance benefits. 
      • The deadline to file a DUA claim is October 4, 2021. 
    • Food waivers:
      • As of September 5, recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in 18 Louisiana parishes impacted by Hurricane Ida will receive automatic 55% replacement benefits due to power outages affecting at least half of their residents, following a waiver approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). 
        • The benefits – 55% of each household’s monthly allotment for August – will automatically be loaded onto recipients’ SNAP EBT cards on September 11. 
  • Pennsylvania
    •  On September 8, Governor Tom Wolf requested a federal disaster declaration as a result of heavy rainfall, severe flash flooding, and tornadoes from Tropical Depression Ida. 
      • The Governor requested a major disaster declaration for Individual Assistance for the following Pennsylvania counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York.  
      • The Governor also request Public Assistance for the Pennsylvania counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Fulton, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York Counties; and for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to be made available to all 67 counties of the Commonwealth. 
Healthcare Response Updates and Needs
  • Healthcare Facilities 

    • Hospitals
      • Louisiana 
        •  The majority of Ochsner facilities, clinics, and hospitals are now open. Some locations in areas most affected by Hurricane Ida remain closed until further notice. A list of closures can be found here
        • Ochsner health has added new appointment availability for patients impacted by Hurricane Ida who are seeking cancer care, cardiology, or women's services. Patients can call for an appointment, phone lines will be open 8 am to 5 pm weekdays. 
          • Women’s Services: (504) 354-3950
          • Cardiology: (504) 354-4243
          • Cancer: (504) 354-4242 or cancernavigation@ochsner.org 
        • A mobile unit is treating patients outside Terrebonne General Medical Center as the hospital works to restore services knocked out by Hurricane Ida. 
          • The Medical Center is operating a walk-in clinic from 7 am to 5 pm on Liberty Street. 
          • COVID vaccine Drive Thru Center is also operational. Hours are Monday-Fridays 8 am-4 pm, offering Pfizer 1st/2nd for ages 12+ and 3rd doses for immunocompromised patients. 
        • As of September 9, Thibodaux Regional Medical Center was the only fully operational hospital in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes.  
          • Others in the area have been closed since sustaining hurricane damage and patients were evacuated to other hospitals. 
    • Dialysis Centers
      • As of September 9, approximately 17 dialysis facilities remain closed in Louisiana.  
        • Of the closed facilities, it is anticipated that several will come back online in the coming days, although a few will be closed long term due to severe damage. 
        • Several facilities will be down for a longer period of time due to damage caused by Ida. Patients at these clinics have been transferred to nearby sites.  
        • Patients who need paratransit to get to a cooling site, dialysis center, food distribution site, or oxygen exchange can call 311 to be connected to RTA paratransit. 
        • Staffing continues to be a barrier to reopening facilities as many staff evacuated the area in advance of the storm.  
          • Teams are working to identify direct patient care staff outside of the disaster area who may be able to support relief efforts and locating long-term housing for them.  
        • Some facilities continue to operate on generator power, and it is reported that most have adequate fuel and supplies, with commercial fuel tankers topping generators.   
        • Major dialysis organizations have made considerable success in locating patients and staff following the hurricane.  
  • COVID-19 Status
    • Pennsylvania
      • Pennsylvania Department of Health reports 3,431 new COVID-19 cases reported to the state as of September 11.  
        • Pennsylvania reported that there are 2,183 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, 535 patients in ICU, and 280 COVID-19 patients on ventilators. 
    • Louisiana
      • Louisiana Department of Health reports 2,173 new COVID-19 cases reported to the state as of September 12.    
        • Louisiana reported that there are 1,755 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, 337 COVID-19 patients on ventilators.
      • Due to the storm, testing is down 45% as of September 9. 
    • Mississippi
    • New Jersey
      • New Jersey Department of Health reports 1,744 COVID-19 cases reported to the state as of September 12.    
        • New Jersey reported that there are 1,104 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, 234 patients in ICU, and 119 COVID-19 patients on ventilators.   
    • New York  
      • New York Department of Health reports a daily average from the last 7 days of 1,489 cases., as of September 12.  
        • New York reported that there are at least 66 people hospitalized with COVID-19.  
  • Pharmacy Operations 
    • Rx Open is activated for Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The map was last updated at 2 pm ET, September 12. As of this update:    
      • 3.6% of participating pharmacies in Alabama were reporting Closed or Unknown.    

      • 10.9% of participating pharmacies in Louisiana were reporting Closed or Unknown.     

      • 4.8% of participating pharmacies in Mississippi were reporting Closed or Unknown. 

      • 2.9% of participating pharmacies in New Jersey were reporting Closed or Unknown.  

      • 3.8% of participating pharmacies in New York were reporting Closed or Unknown.  

      • 3.1% of participating pharmacies in Pennsylvania were reporting Closed or Unknown.  

  • Additional pharmacy openings are expected to be reflected in the next update of the map. The map will be updated the afternoon of Monday, September 13.     
Emergency Prescription Refills
  • TRICARE authorized the following temporary prescription refill waivers due to the storm: 
    • Mississippi through 09/27/21  
    • Louisiana through 09/27/21   
    • Alabama through 09/28/21   

Evacuations and Curfews 

  • Louisiana 
    • Throughout Southern Louisiana, curfews have been implemented due to the threat of damage from Hurricane Ida. As of September 10, the only two remaining in effect are St. James Parish and Livingston Parish. 

Sheltering 

  • Louisiana 
    • 350 residents have been transported back to New Orleans on September 9 from state-run shelters.
    • FEMA has activated the Transitional Sheltering Assistance Program, for those with a property that is uninhabitable, which will cover lodging accommodations for eligible residents impacted by Hurricane Ida. 
      • Individuals must apply for disaster assistance at disasterassistance.gov in order to be deemed eligible for this hotel program. 

Point of Distribution Sites and Cooling Centers 

  • A full list of cooling centers, supply distribution sites, and meal distribution sites in the New Orleans area operating from September 10 through September 12 can be found here.   
  • Point of Distribution (POD) sites and cooling centers are also being stood up across the affected areas. An updated list of POD set up by the National Guard as of September 9 can be found here. As of September 9, 78 PODs are active. 
  • All PODs reported to the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) can be found here.  
  • The Salvation Army mobilized feeding kitchens and emergency response vehicles in Albany, Baton Rouge, Hammond, Houma, Thibodaux, Gonzales, Kenner, LaPlace, Napoleonville, New Orleans, and Raceland, Louisiana. 
  • Point of Distribution (POD) sites and cooling centers are also being stood up across the affected areas. An updated list of POD set up by the National Guard as of September 6 can be found here. As of September 8, 70 PODs are active. 
  • The following drive-thru points of distribution in Orleans Parish will continue throughout the weekend: 
    • Skelly
    • Joe Brown
    • Dryades YMCA
  • Phone carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon have supplied mobile charging stations at all 8 of the New Orleans NORD Cooling Centers. 
    • AT&T has delivered tabletop charging stations, mobile charging trucks, and will be providing free cell phones and phone calling cards to residents. 
    • T-Mobile/Sprint has provided over 2,000 portable charging devices for residents and first responders and has donated more than 600 pre-lit cell phones, in addition to providing mobile charging stations. 
    • Verizon has also supported the recovery with mobile charging stations at all NORD cooling centers. Both T-Mobile and Verizon have supplemented the City’s WiFi coverage at these NORD sites to ensure all residents can have a place to connect to the internet. 

Communications 

  • Louisiana 
    • As of September 11, 2.6% of the state is reporting out of service.
    • Cable and wireline companies reported over 124,000 subscribers out of service.   
    • During Hurricane Ida, there have been 4 Special Temporary Authority permits granted as of 11 am September 11. 

Port Closing 

  • No significant changes since September 6 (9/6 sit-rep

Boil Water Advisory

Potential Oil/Resources Impact

  • Louisiana 
    • As of September 10, about half of gas stations in Baton Rouge (41.7%), New Orleans (50.8%) and Lafayette (39.2%) were without gas, according to outages compiled by GasBuddy. Those outages are being driven by a combination of spiking demand and complications supplying the fuel caused by power outages. 
    •  Long term, it is expected the fuel demand will be greater than previously in the response as rebuilding efforts continue. 

Other Actions 
If you become aware of situation(s) that may adversely affect healthcare supply or care in the affected area, or if you would like to request the assistance of Healthcare Ready, please contact us at Alerts@HealthcareReady.org or call 1.866.247.2694. 
 
We are standing by, ready to assist those in the impacted areas. For those of you in the affected areas, our thoughts are with you. 
 
Thank you, 
Healthcare Ready Support Team 


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