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TLP:WHITE

September 8, 2021
This message is to alert partners that Healthcare Ready is ENGAGED for Hurricane Ida
Wednesday, September 8: 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 8, Flash Flood Watch remains in effect in portions of northeast New Jersey and southeast New York from 5 pm to late tonight. The area is susceptible to flooding due to wet antecedent conditions.  

  • Heat will remain a concern in areas without electricity and for those spending extended periods outdoors on storm recovery, A heat advisory is in effect in areas of southeast Louisiana, but a cold front will move through tonight, September 8, providing relief at the end of the week.  

    • Damage assessment in Louisiana is now complete of Hurricane Ida’s devastation to Entergy service territory. The number of poles damaged or destroyed from Ida (30,679) is more than hurricanes Katrina, Ike, Delta and Zeta combined.  

    • Entergy has released estimates for when power could return to storm-battered areas in Louisiana. Power in most areas of Louisiana is expected to be restored by September 8. However, full restoration to heavily impacted areas may occur closer to the end of the month. 

    • Power outages are also leading to shortages in groceries, cleaning supplies, fuel, and other essentials. 

Expected Impacts
  • Power outages: Across the states of Louisiana and Pennsylvania there are still customers without power, as of September 8. 

    • Louisiana 

      • As of September 8, over 300,000 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. 

        • The hardest hit parishes are St. Charles, St. James, St. John the Baptist, Lafourche, Terrebonne, lower, non-urban Jefferson, and farther Plaquemines.    

    • Pennsylvania 

      • Over 3,000 people are without power as a result of remnants of Ida passing through.  

  • 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.  

      • As of September 7, airlines at Louis Armstrong International Airport have resumed flights with many operating on a limited schedule.  

      • New Orleans Regional Transit Authority have restored all bus routes to a modified Saturday schedule beginning Monday, September 6 and has announced an extension of service hours from 6 am to 7:30 pm beginning Wednesday September 8.  

      • Uber will offer two free rides, up to $25 value each for up to 1,000 residents to get resources in New Orleans with the code “IDARELIEF2021.”. 

      • Lyft will offer two free rides, up to $20 value each through September 14 to resources in New Orleans with the code “IDARELIEF21”. 

      • As of September 7, Amtrak service restoration plans for New Orleans City of New Orleans service is now temporarily suspended south of Jackson, Mississippi.  

    • New Jersey 

      • Teterboro Airport and Newark Airport are open. 

    • New York 

    • 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 7, 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: More than 1,000 FEMA employees have been deployed to support Ida response and recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast and in the Northeast. There are eight FEMA Incident Management Assistance Teams deployed to support states affected by Hurricane Ida. Five are in Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania each have one team in the state. Seven AmeriCorps FEMA Corps teams are supporting Louisiana recovery efforts.  
    • Disaster Legal Services may be able to low-income disaster survivors who need help with disaster-related needs. To access, call 1-844-244-7871. FEMA provides this service through an agreement with the Young Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association. 

    • As of September 4, businesses and residents in the 25 declared parishes can now apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, or (DUA) if their employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Ida. DUA will be available for unemployment beginning August 29, 2021, until March 5, 2022. Visit LAWorks.net to apply. 

      • The deadline to file a DUA claim is October 4, 2021. 

    • Individuals and households who have immediate or critical needs because they are displaced from their primary dwelling may be eligible for FEMA’s Critical Needs Assistance program, which covers food, water, prescriptions, medical supplies and other life-saving and life-sustaining items. Critical Needs Assistance is a one-time $500 payment per household. To be eligible, survivors need to be residents of a parish that was included in the federal disaster declaration, and need to first apply for assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov, through the FEMA app, or by calling (800) 621-3362. 

    • Federal low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to businesses, homeowners and renters. You may call SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955, email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call 800-877-8339. 

    • The Crisis Cleanup Hotline is in operation for survivors who need help with clean up and removal of damage from Hurricane Ida. The hotline will connect you with volunteers, local relief organization and faith and community groups to help with cutting fallen tree, drywall, floor and appliance removal, tarping roofs and mold mitigation. Call 844-965-1386 to request assistance. The hotline will remain open until Sept. 17, 2021. 

    • The Defense Logistics Agency has been activated for fuel support and leasing of additional generators. High output generators are being used in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

    • ASPR TRACIE has created a tip sheet for mold virtual resources. The tip sheet can assist community residents, business owners, and healthcare facility executives with dealing with cleaning up after floods, to include preventing, identifying, and getting rid of mold.  

    • The U.S. Department of Energy authorized the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to conduct an exchange of 300,000 barrels of crude oil between fuel storage companies in Louisiana to alleviate any logistical issues of moving crude oil within areas affected by Hurricane Ida. This action will help ensure the region has access to fuel as quickly as possible as they continue their recovery. 

    • Additional resources for disaster survivors can be found here

Emergency Declarations 

  • New York  

    • On September 5, the President 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. 

  • New Jersey 

    • On September 5, the President 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. 

  • Louisiana    

    • StateDUA (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 

    • State/Local: Montgomery County, PA will operate a Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) for residents affected by Hurricane Ida. The MARC will be open Wednesday, September 8 from 12 noon to 7 p.m. and on Thursday, September 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

      • At the MARC, residents will have access to representatives from non-profit disaster relief organizations; municipal, County, and State emergency management agencies; elected officials; and various County and State government human services agencies. 

Healthcare Response Updates and Needs
  • Emergency Medical Services 

    • New Orleans EMS releases portable generator safety video.  Days after Hurricane Ida, New Orleans EMS has responded to 18 incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning with two deaths and 16 hospital transport.   

  • Healthcare Facilities 

    • Louisiana 

      • Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) takes formal regulatory action against seven nursing homes that failed to execute an evacuation plan that upheld residents’ human dignity. Individuals looking for loved ones evacuated from one of the seven nursing homes should call 211, which is coordinating with the LDH. LDH’s Office of Aging and Adult Services which directly helps to connect families. LDH is proactively reaching out to families of nursing home residents. 

      • 18 assisted living facilities on generator power. 

      • Wellness checks are ongoing at private facilities and the public is encouraged to call 3-1-1 to report dangerous living conditions in senior apartment complexes. 

      • Louisiana's Office of Behavioral Health is providing resources for anyone experiencing a crisis. 

        • Trained and compassionate individuals are available to support Louisianans with a listening ear, provide information and connect to confidential mental health and substance abuse services 

      • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) deployed more than 180 medical providers and other staff from the National Disaster Medical System to support the triage and treatment of patients in Louisiana.  

        • This includes three teams that will be providing Emergency Department decompression to three hospitals in Thibodaux, Kenner and Raceland. A 250-bed healthcare facility federal medical station at the New Orleans Ernest Morial Convention Center began seeing patients this weekend.  
        • The station is staffed by Disaster Medical Assistance personnel and a group of credentialed medical volunteers identified by the Louisiana Department of Health. 
    • Dialysis Centers 
      • As of September 7, approximately 24 dialysis facilities remain closed in Louisiana.  

        • Of the closed facilities, it is anticipated that several will come back online by the end of the week. 

        • 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 you 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.  

        • Many facilities continue to operate on generator power, and it is reported that most have adequate fuel and supplies, with fuel tankers topping generators.   

      • 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.  

        • There are also 1-800 numbers on the Kidney Community Emergency Response (KCER) website to help get patients placed in facilities. 

  • COVID-19 Status
    • Pennsylvania 

      • Pennsylvania Department of Health reports 4,268 new COVID-19 cases reported to the state as of September 7.  

        • Pennsylvania reported that there are 2,082 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, 506 patients in ICU, and 250 COVID-19 patients on ventilators. 

    • Louisiana  

      • Louisiana Department of Health reports 5,532 new COVID-19 cases reported to the state as of September 8.  

        • Louisiana reported that there are 2,003 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, 398 COVID-19 patients on ventilators.  

    • Mississippi 

    • New Jersey 

      • New Jersey Department of Health reports 3,079 COVID-19 cases reported to the state as of Wednesday, September 8.  

        • New Jersey reported that there are 1,186 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, 270 patients in ICU, and 128 COVID-19 patients on ventilators.

    • New York  

      • New York Department of Health reports a daily average from the last 7 days of 1,511 cases., as of September 7.  

        • New York reported that there are at least 56 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 8. As of this update:  

      • 1.1% of participating pharmacies in Alabama were reporting Closed or Unknown.    

      • 16.2% of participating pharmacies in Louisiana were reporting Closed or Unknown.     

      • 0.3% of participating pharmacies in Mississippi were reporting Closed or Unknown. 

      • 1.2% of participating pharmacies in New Jersey were reporting Closed or Unknown.  

      • 2.2% of participating pharmacies in New York were reporting Closed or Unknown.  

      • 1.2% of participating pharmacies in Pennsylvania were reporting Closed or Unknown.  

    • Additional pharmacy closures are expected to be reflected in the next update of the map. The map will be updated the afternoon of Thursday, September 9.
       

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 

    • Maryland through 09/10/21  

    • Pennsylvania through 09/08/21  

    • Alabama through 09/28/21  

    • Connecticut through 09/11/21  

    • New Jersey through 09/11/21  

    • New York through 09/11/21  

    • Virginia through 09/8/21  

    • West Virginia through 09/8/21  

Evacuations and Curfews 

  • Louisiana: 
    •  Throughout Southern Louisiana, curfews have been implemented due to the threat of damage from Hurricane Ida. A list of regional curfews can be found here

Sheltering 

  • Louisiana   
    • 45,000 applicants in the Blue Roof program – first instillation planned for Wednesday September 8. 

    • The City of New Orleans continues to provide transportation assistance to State-run shelters for New Orleans residents who wish to temporarily leave the Hurricane Ida impact areas. 

      • Residents who wish to use this service can now go to one of 8 RTA pickup locations between 8 am and 4 pm to get RTA bus transport to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.  

      • At the Convention Center, they will get registered for transportation assistance and board a motor coach bus to a State-run shelter in Northern Louisiana or in a neighboring state. 

      • The 8 RTA pickup points can be found here.  

        • The 8 pickup points also serve as the NORD Cooling Centers, where residents can access water, ice, charging stations, and meals served at various times a day.  

  • Pennsylvania
    • Individuals in Philadelphia, PA with property that is uninhabitable, contact the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or head to one of the city and Red Cross-operated reception centers, which are now open for those who were affected by Ida. 
  • Mississippi
    • Shelter openings by county are available from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

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 2 through September 10 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. 

    • Current priorities are shifting towards feeding operations for survivors, which will need to be sustained for the next few weeks. 

  • 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. 

  • All PODs reported to the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) can be found here.  

Communications 

  • Louisiana 

    • As of September 7, emergency services have been stabilized through Louisiana. 

    • As of September 7, 81% of cell service coverage has been restored. 

    • As of September 7, 4.6% of the state is reporting out of service.   

    • Cable and wireline companies reported over 200,000 subscribers out of service.    

    • During Hurricane Ida, there have been 3 Special Temporary Authority permits granted as of 11 am September 7. 

Port Closing 

  • As of September 6, the Captain of the Port (COTP) New Orleans has set port condition NORMAL and rescinded daylight transit only restrictions for deep draft vessels operating south of MM 114, AHP on the Lower Mississippi River.   

Boil Water Advisory

  • Louisiana   

    • As repairs are made, the grid is restored, and new generators are installed, the number of water system outages has continued to fall. 150,000 fewer customers were under boil water advisories on September 7, compared to the previous day. 

    • The Louisiana Department of Public Health is now providing regular updates on public water systems that have discontinued boil orders

    • 227 water systems and 14 parishes are under Boil Water Advisories as of 10 am September 8. This impacts over 580,000 people.  

    • 43 water systems and 12 parishes are facing water outages as of 10 am September 8. Over 60,000 people remain impacted by these outages.    

  • Mississippi  

Potential Oil/Resources Impact

  • Louisiana   

    • As of September 8, about half of gas stations in Baton Rouge (47.8%), New Orleans (55.6%) and Lafayette (44.3%) 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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