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September 1, 2021
This message is to alert partners that Healthcare Ready is ENGAGED for Hurricane Ida
Wednesday, September 1: This report includes an assessment of the potential impacts to healthcare and public health due to Hurricane Ida.

High-Level Situation Summary
  • As of Wednesday, September 1, Ida further downgraded from a Tropical Depression to a Post-Tropical Cyclone with widespread heavy rain and areas of life-threatening flash flooding through the rest of today.  
    • Ida is continuing its track east-northeast. 
    • Flood and Flash Flood Watches are in effect for portions of the central Appalachians, Mid-Atlantic, and into southern New York and southern New England. 
    • There is a risk of several tornadoes forming across parts of the mid-Atlantic this afternoon and evening. 
    • The latest information on Post-Tropical Cyclone Ida can be found here
Expected Impacts
  • Power outagesJust under one million customers across the state of Louisiana are still without power, as of September 1. There is still no definitive timeline on when power will be restored, however the power company Entergy is assessing damages and will provide estimated times of restoration as soon as possible. 
    • The morning of September 1, Entergy crews turn power on for some customers in Eastern New Orleans with generation supplied by the New Orleans Power Station however the full restoration process will take time.  
    • Entergy has stated they will be sharing estimated times of restoration in several ways: 
      • Sending them via outage texting 
      • Updating them on their view outages map  
      • Posting them to their online storm center  
      • Posting them on their social media feeds 
    • Jefferson, Orleans, and Baton Rouge continue to be the most impacted parishes ranging from 94,000 to just over 200,000 affected customers. 
      • Tangipahoa and Lafourche have also been impacted with 40,000 to 50,000 affected customers. 
    • In Mississippi, about 30,000 people are without power. 
  • TransportationAs of Wednesday, September 1, while many roads are opening due to the demanding work from local authorities and officials, damages are still being assessed to restore access to affected parts of Louisiana. Louisiana 511 is continuing to report any road closures throughout Louisiana.  
  • COVID-19: Due to ambiguous mask mandates and lower vaccination rates in the Gulf coast surrounding states, the increasing surge of COVID-19 infections will likely impact sheltering and hospital capacity. We are tracking this closely and will continue to report on any analysis we have.
  • Resource StagingToday, the State of Louisiana created a website for residents affected by Hurricane Ida to find updates, information, and resources to recover from the storm.  
    • Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) announced that the State of Florida is deploying resources to assist Louisiana and Mississippi with recovery from Hurricane Ida.  
    • FDEM continues to work closely with the states of Louisiana and Mississippi to identify remaining needs. 
Emergency Declarations
  • On Monday, August 30, US Department of Health and Human Services determined that a public health emergency exists and has existed since August 26, 2021, in the State of Louisiana, and since August 28, 2021, in the State of Mississippi. 
  • Additionally, on August 30, the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced an Emergency Declaration that provides truck drivers flexibility to move critical freight to areas damaged by Ida - making it easier to supply essential items such as food, water, fuel, and power restoration equipment to help support emergency relief efforts. 
    • Affected states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas 
  • Virginia 
    • State: Governor Ralph Northam declared a State of Emergency for the Commonwealth of Viriginia which will allow for the quicker mobilization of resources to response to impacts. 
  • Pennsylvania 
    • State: Governor Tom Wolf signed a proclamation of disaster emergency on August 31, in anticipation of significant rainfall and widespread flooding expected from Ida.  
  • Louisiana   
    • State: A State of Emergency has been in effect for all parishes since Thursday 8/26.  
    • Federal: A Federal disaster declaration was approved for all parishes on Thursday 8/26. This declaration authorized FEMA to identify, mobilize, and provide equipment and resources needed to respond to the emergency.  
    • Food waivers
      • Louisiana participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can use their benefits to purchase “hot” or prepared foods through September 28, 2021, following a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). This helps as many displaced individuals do not have access to a kitchen to prepare meals. 
    • Transportation waivers:  
      • Weight Waiver in place for commercial motor carriers travelling on public highways in Louisiana for the purpose of emergency preparedness and disaster relief. For these carriers, the total gross weight of any vehicle or combination of vehicles shall note exceed 88 thousand pounds.  
      • Toll Waiver in place for tolls under the operation of the state of Louisiana, specifically LA 1 Toll Bridge from Leeville, Louisiana to Grand Isle and Port Fourchon.  
    • Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center are at LEVEL I full activation
      • More information on Louisiana's emergency activation levels can be found here.  
  • Mississippi  
    • State: A State of Emergency has been in effect since August 28. It allows the state government to deploy state resources and state assets for the purpose of search and rescue.  
    • Federal: A Federal disaster declaration was approved for the state on August 28. 
      • Any expenses accrued by the state and specific counties in preparation of Hurricane Ida are now eligible for federal reimbursement. 
  • Alabama  
    • State: Governor Kay Ivey declared a State of Emergency for coastal and western counties on August 28.  
Evacuations and Curfews
  • Louisiana: 
    • Following the widespread impacts of Ida, several parishes are keeping curfews in affect while assessing damages to determine whether residents can return to their homes. 
      • Terrebonne Parish 
        • Residents who had evacuated are strongly discouraged from returning to the parish until further notice. 
        • Curfew is still in place until 6 pm, there have been no updates on when this may be lifted. 
      • Lafourche Parish  
        • Residents will be allowed to return home beginning at noon today, August 31.
        • Checkpoints are set up, and you must show proof of residency such as your driver’s license. 
        • A nightly curfew remains in place from 7 pm to 6 am. 
      • Jefferson Parish  
        • A mandatory curfew is in place from 6 pm to 6 am.  
        • Residents who had evacuated should wait until further notice before returning home. 
      • Orleans Parish 
        • curfew is in place for the City of New Orleans from 8 pm to 6 am until further notice. 
        • Residents who had evacuated should wait until further notice before returning home. 
      • St. John Parish 
        • Curfew is currently in place from 7 pm to 8 am. 
      • St. Charles Parish 
        • Curfew remains from 8 pm to 5 am until further notice. 
      • Plaquemine Parish 
        • There is an active nightly curfew from dusk to dawn. 
        • Residents and individuals conducting official business are allowed to enter.
  • Mississippi 
    • There are no active curfews in place.
    • Residents are encouraged to stay home unless it is necessary to leave. 
Sheltering
  • Louisiana  
    • To find updated information on statewide shelters, individuals can text “lashelter” to 898-211. They can also call 211 to speak with representatives who will determine whether the individual needs to be diverted to a medical shelter. 
      • New Orleans residents should text DELTA to 888777 or text NOLAREADY to 77295. 
  • Mississippi  
    • Shelter openings by county are available from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.  
    • Masks must be worn at all shelters. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided. 
  • Other Organizations 
    • Individuals can also search for open American Red Cross shelters here
      • They can call 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or download the free Red Cross Emergency app for shelter locations. 
    • The non-profit Airbnb.org is offering to support responders and displaced households in need of a temporary place to stay.   
      • For more information about placement for individuals in need, please reach out to alerts@healthcareready.org and we will connect you directly with Airbnb.
Point of Distribution Sites and Cooling Centers
  • New Orleans officials and their nonprofit partners are distributing food and water at various locations for residents in need of supplies after Hurricane Ida.  
  • Please click here to find a full list of cooling centers, supply distribution sites, and meal distribution sites in the New Orleans area.  
  • As of September 1, several other parishes are also offering free meals at multiple locations that can be found here
  • Point of Distribution (POD) sites and cooling centers are also being stood up across the affected areas.  
    • St. James Parish has established two POD sites that will be open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. As of now, the only items being distributed here are MRE's and water.  
      • West Bank Location: St. James High School in Vacherie 
      • East Bank Location: Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Gramercy 
      • Additionally, St. James’s parish transit busses will be delivering water and MRE's to hard-hit areas where debris has prevented residents from traveling to the POD site. 
    • Tangipahoa Parish has established three POD sites that will be open every day from 8 am - 6 pm. The supplies that are being distributed are water, ice, MREs, and tarps. The POD sites are at three different Walmart locations: 
      • Hammond 
      • Amite 
      • Ponchatoula 
    • Jefferson Parish has established two POD sites that are distributing water, ice, MREs, and tarps. 
      • Alario Center (2000 Segnette Blvd) 
      • Shrine on Airline (6000 Airline Dr) 
    • Lafourche Parish has established four POD sites that will be open from 8 am to 6 pm and will supply various supplies such as water, MRE’s, and tarps. 
      • Thibodaux Family Church 785 North Canal Blvd. Thibodaux, LA 
      • ‍Raceland Ag Center 100 Texas Street, Raceland LA 
      • ‍Lockport Central Station 806 Crescent Ave, Lockport, LA 
      • ‍Out Lad of Promt Succor Church 723 North Bayou Dirve, Golden Meadow, LA 
    • St. Bernard Parish has established a cooling and charging center for residents. 
      • Val Riess Recreation Complex
Communications
  • Healthcare facilities across the affected areas are working to restore communications, which may cause delays in reporting unmet needs. Healthcare Ready is in communication with a few companies and has asked for healthcare facilities to be prioritized and will share that information as it becomes available.Verizon announced on August 30 that the company will provide unlimited calling, texting, and data to its customers in Louisiana and Mississippi through September 5 due to Ida. 
    • As of September 1, Verizon Network teams continue to make strong progress in our restoration efforts, especially in the hardest hit areas of LaPlace, Port Sulphur, Thibodaux, the Southern coastline of Lake Pontchartrain, Hammond, St. Helena Parish, and Houma. Overnight, Verizon engineers were able to restore partial service to many of those areas. 
      • Verizon crews have also mobilized portable generators to restore power to areas without commercial power or permanent generator backup. 
  • T-Mobile announced on August 29 that the company will be offering free talk, text and unlimited data from August 29 through September, for T-Mobile, Sprint consumer and business customers (except Enterprise and Government accounts), and T-Mobile Pre-Paid who are not already on unlimited plans in select areas of Louisiana and Mississippi.  
    • As of As of August 31, T-Mobile announced that majority of T-Mobile’s network in the Southeast U.S. continues to function normally, and that Wi-Fi calling is a suitable alternative if Wi-Fi connection is available.  
    • As a reminder, Metro by T-Mobile customers always have unlimited talk and text on all plans. 
  • Hurricane Ida had caused significant impacts to ATT network in Louisiana from the massive power outages and storm damage. Alabama is operating normally and there is only a small wireless impact in Mississippi at this time. 
    • As of August 31, AT&T announced that their wireless network in Louisiana is currently operating at more than 90 percent of normal. In addition, their wireless network in both Alabama and Mississippi is operating normally. They also have 16 mobile satellite cell towers on air with additional assets on the way to aid in the recovery efforts. 
    • AT&T announced on August 30 that the company will be waiving overage charges to provide unlimited talk, text and data for AT&T Postpaid & PREPAID customers with billing addresses in 388 zip codes across Louisiana and Mississippi from August 29 through September 4. 
      • Customers in these areas may still receive alerts during these dates, but accounts will reflect the credits and/or waived data, voice and text charges. 
  • No Public Service Access Points (PSAPs) were reported as being affected in Mississippi or Alabama. In Louisiana, the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Tangipahoa Parish Comm, and West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office are reported as down. St. Mary’s Parish has re-routed 911 calls to other telephone lines with no location information. St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office has re-routed 911 calls to another PSAP with location information. St. Bernard’s Fire, St. Bernard’s Sheriff’s Office, St. Charles County LA, and Terrebonne Parish Comm have re-routed 911 calls to the administrative lines without location information. 
    • 17.1% of wireless cellphone sites in affected areas are out of service. 
      • 38.1 % of Louisiana cell sites are out of service 
      • 1.1% of Alabama cell sites are out of service 
      • 1.8% of Mississippi cell sites are out of service 
  • There are 4 Television Stations (KFOL, WGNO, WNOL-TV, WYES-DT), 8 FM Radio Stations (KKND, KKND, KMEZ, KVDU, W208FC, WJDR, WSSM, WZRH) and 4 AM Radio Stations (WCJU, WHSY, WSHO, WYLD) reported being out of service. 
Access and Reentry
  • No significant changes since August 31 (8/31 sit-rep
  • Louisiana 
    • Louisiana has a statewide credentialing and access program to facilitate post disaster re-entry. The system permits individuals and organizations to register for re-entry credentials. Access and re-entry decisions are communicated by the Louisiana State Police and the Emergency Responder ID Trust Network (ER-ITN).  
  • Mississippi  
    • Mississippi also utilizes the ER-ITN statewide credentialing and access program to facilitate post disaster re-entry. The system permits individuals and organizations to register for re-entry credentials. Access and re-entry decisions are communicated by the Mississippi State Police and ER-ITN.  
  • Alabama  
    • Alabama does not have a statewide credentialing and access program to facilitate post disaster re-entry. County-level Emergency Management Agencies are authorized to manage access and re-entry decisions.  
Port Closing
  • As of August 28, at 2 pm CT, the US Coast Guard’s Caption of the Port (COTP) New Orleans set Port Condition ZULU for the Lower Mississippi River. Traffic control measures that are in effect include no vessel movement (entry or transit) on the Lower Mississippi River in affected areas.  
  • As of August 30, the Port of Southern Louisiana is operating on restricted Operations as per the COTP. 
    • Essential personnel are assessing the situation and will follow up with updates as soon as possible.   
    • As of September 1, the Port is reporting that multiple facilities within took damage
  • At the Port of New Orleans, the New Orleans Terminal and Ports America for containerized operations remain closed as of September 1. Additionally, Empire, Coastal Cargo, Gulf Stream Marine, and Ports American also remain closed as of September 1. The Inner Harbor Navigation Canal will continue to be closed until further notice. 
    • Initial reports have indicated no major damage at this time. The Port is coordinating with navigation partners, local, and state officials to resume operations safely and quickly. 
  • The St Bernard Port reported that all maritime operations ceased starting 6 pm on August 27.  
    • The Administration Office is closed until Monday, September 6.  
    • They anticipate re-opening on Tuesday, September 7. 
Healthcare Response Updates and Needs
  • Emergency Medical Services
    • According to media reports, 911 services are down for 6 Parishes, including:  
      • Lafourche: 985-772-4810 & 985-772-4824 alternative numbers 
      • Tangipahoa: 985-748-3246 alternative number 
      • Acadia Parish: 337-788-8772 alterative number 
      • St. Bernard: 504-579-4888, 504-442-5739, & 504-784-3087 alternative numbers 
      • St. Tammany: no service line 
      • St. Charles: no service line 
    • 911 emergency services have been fully restored in Orleans Parish
      • Residents should call 911 for emergencies and 311 (504-658-2299) for non-emergencies. 
      • Residents with medical needs can sign up for the Special Needs Registry at specialneeds.nola.gov or call 3-1-1 to sign up. 
    • 911 emergency services have been fully restored in Terrebonne Parish
  • Healthcare Facilities
    • Healthcare systems are largely operational in the NOLA region, but some in the Bayou region have been evacuated. Emergency departments in the Bayou region remain open, but communications are reported to be spotty. 
    • Several provider types subject to Center for Medicare Services (CMS) Emergency Preparedness Rule, including nursing homes and long-term care centers, must ensure that temperatures in patient care settings do not exceed 81 degrees during power outages. Facilities that cannot meet the requirement may need to consider evacuating for the health and safety of patients.
    • Oxygen re-supply concerns are at the forefront of healthcare facilities and patients minds. With power outages affecting just under a million people in the state of Louisiana, any patients that rely on electricity-dependent oxygen devices are going to need a re-supply soon.
    • Hospitals  
      • Some Louisiana hospitals are reporting challenges, finding shelter and fuel for relief staff traveling to and from the hospital.  
      • As of Tuesday evening (8/31), there were more than 2,600 COVID-19 patients hospitalized and another 500 on ventilators, which require electricity to run.   
      • As Ida is now moving away, the hospitals now facing dual challenge of shouldering the anticipated storm-related health emergencies on top of COVID-19 care looms large for the area’s hospitals. 
      • In rural parishes, a lot of smaller hospitals are being stretched thin. With the continued surge of the Delta variant on top of Ida’s impacts, the need for additional staff is there, however it is hard to attract more staff.     
      • Intensive care units across Mississippi remain at or near capacity as hospitals manage staff shortages and high numbers of COVID-19 patients   
      • As of September 1, no other significant impacts have been reported by Mississippi facilities.   
    • Dialysis Centers
      • As of September 1, a number of dialysis facilities remain closed in the New Orleans area. 
        • Staffing continues to be one of the greatest barriers to reopening facilities. Facility damage and generator issues are also causing closures in the area.  
        • Transportation continues to be a challenge, but facilities are working with local Offices of Emergency Management and the National Guard to identify solutions.  
        • Teams are working with hospital partners to move non-emergency patients out of the area.  
        • Large dialysis organizations are working to ensure all patients are accounted for. As communications are starting to come back online, dialysis organizations are contacting shelters to request information on unaccounted for patients.  
        • Fuel tanker has been out topping on generators and water tankers are en route to assist with water related issues as needed. 
          • It has been reported that facilities relying on city water were experiencing issues, but they are now using tankers to supply water. 
      • An emergency hotline has been set up for dialysis patients displaced by Hurricane Ida 
        • Any person who needs dialysis or has questions about where to receive care before, during, or after the storm is asked to call 1-800-626-1297. The line is available 24 hours a day and will be up for at least a week. 
        • It has been reported that triaging patients in New Orleans area continues to be an issue due to poor service.  
  • Pharmacy Operations
    • Rx Open is activated for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The map was last updated at 2 pm ET, September 1. As of this update: 
      • 31.6% of participating pharmacies in Louisiana were reporting Closed or Unknown.   
      • 2.0% of participating pharmacies in Mississippi were reporting Closed or Unknown.   
      • 3.7%% of participating pharmacies in Alabama were reporting Closed or Unknown. 
    • Additional pharmacy closures are expected to be reflect in the next update of the map. The map will be updated the afternoon of Thursday, September 2.  
  • COVID-19 Status
    • Louisiana   
      • Louisiana is currently 41.6% fully vaccinated.  
      • According to the COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI), Louisiana’s overall vulnerability ranks at a 0.78, on a scale from 0 to 1, indicating communities to be more likely to be diagnosed with the virus, more likely to die, less likely to have been tested, and less likely to have been fully vaccinated.  
      • Governor Edwards reinforced the statewide indoor mask mandate by extending the Louisiana's public health emergency declaration through the month of September.  
      • COVID-19 reporting is lagging due to the impacts of Hurricane Ida. Statistics reported on a weekly basis will be updated next week. 
      • COVID-19 testing sites by the state’s National Guard and health department remain closed as of August 31.  
    • Mississippi  
      • Mississippi is currently 38.4% fully vaccinated.  
      • There is no mask mandate for the Mississippi state-wide, but counties with high rates of COVID-19 are required to wear masks in indoor settings.  
      • As of September 1, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 2,939 new cases of COVID-19.  
        • Mississippi is reporting that 88.5 percent of ICU beds are full with 57.1 percent of ICU beds in use for COVID-19. 
    • Alabama  
      • Alabama is currently 38.4% fully vaccinated.  
      • According to the COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI) Alabama’s overall vulnerability ranks at 0.96, which is extremely high.  
      • Alabama encourages but does not require residents to wear masks when within 6 feet of someone from another household.  
      • According to the Alabama Hospital Association, there are 2,873 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state; the state has 1,537 staffed ICU beds and there are 84 more ICU patients than that. But Hospital Association officials say space is not the issue – having enough staff is the issue. 
Emergency Prescription Refills
  • No significant changes since August 31 (8/31 sit-rep
  • Louisiana  
  • Mississippi   
    • TRICARE authorized temporary prescription refill waivers for Mississippi and Louisiana through 09/03/21 due to the storm. 
      • To get an emergency refill, individuals should take their prescription bottle to any TRICARE retail network pharmacy. To find a network pharmacy, either call Express Scripts at 1-877-363-1303 or search the network pharmacy locator
  • Alabama 
    • Prescription refill waivers are authorized for Alabama through September 4. 
Oxygen Supply
  • Oxygen re-supply needs, particularly in regions with high COVID-19 rates whose resupply is dependent on transportation through the areas impacted by Ida, will continually be monitored throughout the week. 
  • The oxygen supply concern goes beyond just hospital supply – individual canisters and tanks used by discharged COVID-19 patients and those with disabilities were also in high demand. 
Boil Water Advisory
  • Louisiana  
    • Twelve parishes, and 95 water systems, are under Boil Water Advisories as of 10 am CT September 1. This impacts over 400,000 people.  
    • Sixteen parishes, and 212 water systems, are facing water outages as of 10 am September 1. Around 600,000 people remain impacted by these outages. 
    • In Jefferson parish, water will be out for at least five days. As of September 1, 70 watermain breaks remained, with 17 being repaired on Tuesday. 
    • There are concerns that saturated ground will lead to uprooted trees compromising plumbing and leading to low or no water pressure. 
  • Mississippi 
Potential Oil/Resources Impacts 
  • Fuel (both gasoline and diesel) are expected to be primary limiting factors for supply chain operations throughout the rest of the response due to the considerable number of facilities and utilities running on generator power.  
  • Initial reports from fuel suppliers and distributors indicate that gas station shortages may be upcoming. We are tracking this with a specific lens to the impact on the health sector. 
  • Louisiana  
    • Port Fourchon, where Ida made landfall, serves as the land base for the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port. They were forced to shut down production, which accounts for 90% of the Gulf’s deep water oil production. As of September 1, Port Fourchon remains shutdown.   
    • Exxon’s refining and petrochemical assets were undamaged, and the Baton Rouge facility began restart procedures as of August 31.  
    • The Alliance Refinery flooded and damages are uncertain at this time. 
  • Texas  
    • There are reports from a fuel supplier and distributor that fuel trucks can reach Lafayette and Covington, Louisiana, from Texas.  
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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