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Healthcare Ready is ENGAGED for Hurricane Ida
This report includes an assessment of the potential impacts to healthcare and public health due to Hurricane Ida.

High-Level Situation Summary
  • Hurricane Ida made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane on August 29 at 12:55pm EST over Port Fourchon, Louisiana. As of Monday, August 30, Ida has passed through Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane and has since downgraded to a Tropical Storm. Ida made landfall today in Mississippi at 11 am CT  as a Tropical Storm. 
    • Ida is expected to continue to travel through Mississippi until Tuesday morning when it will cross into Alabama and Tennessee. 
    • The latest advisory predicts heavy rainfall and flash flooding over much of Mississippi, Alabama, and the western Florida panhandle. 
  • The latest information on Hurricane Ida at this time can be found here.
Expected Impacts
  • Power outages: Widespread power outages are being reported across the state of Louisiana, Entergy and Cleco have reported a combined 960,000+ customers without power.  
    • Based on historical data, officials have advised that some may be without power for at least three weeks.  
    • Most of the southeast portion of the state has reported 100% power outage.  
    • The phone lines at the Emergency Operations Center in St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, are down. 
    • In New Orleans, Louisiana, 911, and power remain out across the city
    • Parts of southwestern Mississippi are reporting 30-60% power outages. There are over 100,000 reported power outages as of 12:18 pm EST.    
  • Transportation: High water as well as trees, power lines and other debris have forced law enforcement and other officials to close entire roads or sections of roads across the region. Louisiana 511 is reporting widespread road closures in the southeastern part of the state as of midday Monday, August 30. Sections of Interstate 10 in the New Orleans area, as well as several I-10 ramps, were shut down.
    • According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, U.S. Highway 90 from Bay St. Louis to Biloxi, Mississippi, is also closed, mainly due to flooding.
    • In Alabama, the Battleship Parkway Causeway (U.S. Highway 98) is closed in the Mobile area. The I-10 eastbound ramp to the Battleship Parkway Causeway is also closed, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation
    • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is conducting damage assessments and expecting all flights to be canceled on August 30.  
      • All passengers are advised to check directly with their airlines for the most accurate flight information.  
  • 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 evacuation and sheltering. We are tracking this closely and will continue to report any situation reports and analysis we have.
  • Resource Staging:  The Louisiana National Guard joined the search and rescue efforts early Monday (August 30) morning as Tropical Storm Ida continues to move inland. The National Guard is staging engineering teams across the state to assess the structural integrity of damaged buildings and assist local crews with removing debris.
    • The National Guard has activated 4,900 Guardsmen and has readied d 195 high-water vehicles, 73 rescue boats, and 34 helicopters to assist with the recovery efforts.  
    • They will also be delivering food, water, and supplies to residents who rode out the storm. 
Emergency Declarations
  • On August 30, U.S 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.
    • Over 5,200 National Guard personnel have been activated to Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and Alabama to help in recovery efforts. 
    • FEMA has deployed over 3,600 employees. 
  • 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. 
    • 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 not 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 State of Emergency has been in effect since August 28. 
  • Alabama 
    • State: Governor Kay Ivey declared a State of Emergency for coastal and western counties on August 28. The declaration activates the state’s emergency operations center by the Alabama Emergency Management Agency and includes a warning that price gouging during an emergency is unlawful.  
    • Local: Schools in several counties will be shut down through Monday in preparation for impacts from the storm.  
Evacuations
  • Louisiana:
    • Mandatory Evacuations: More than 200,000 residents of coastal Louisiana parishes are under mandatory evacuation orders.  
      • Acadia Parish – lower and flood-prone areas  
        • Voluntary evacuation order for lower and flood-prone areas.
        • A dusk to dawn curfew went into effect on Sunday, 8/29 and will continue until it is safe to travel into the parish.  
      • St. Charles Parish - all residents 
        • All St. Charles Parish residents are required to leave the parish no later than 5 p.m. CT Saturday, 8/28.  
      •  Terrebonne Parish – all residents    
        • Mandatory parish-wide evacuation notice effective 6 a.m. CT and a parish-wide curfew will go into effect at 6 p.m, Saturday, 8/28.  
        • All patients from Chabert Medical Center in Houma, LA, will be evacuated following damage on Sunday, 8/29.   
      • Lafourche Parish – all residents 
        • Mandatory parish-wide evacuation notice effective 5 a.m. CT and a parish-wide curfew will go into effect at 6 p.m, Saturday, 8/28.  
        • Evacuated residents of Lafourche Parish will not be able to return to survey damage or offer aid on Monday, 8/30. 
        • All patients from St. Anne Hospital in Lafourche Parish will be evacuated following damage on Sunday, 8/29. 
      • Plaquemines Parish - residents in East Bank and West Bank from Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery to Venice. 
      • St. Mary Parish – all areas south of the Intercoastal Waterway 
        • Effective starting 8 a.m. CT Saturday, 8/28 
        • Other areas are under voluntary evacuation  
      • Jefferson Parish – Grand Isle, Lafitte, Lower Lafitte, Crown Point, Barataria  
      • St. Charles Parish – areas with limited levee protection 
      • Orleans Parish – all areas outside the levee system 
        • Voluntary evacuations are highly encouraged for all residents, but mandatory evacuations are only in place for those outside the levee system. 
  • Mississippi
    • Mandatory Evacuations:
      • Mandatory evacuation orders are in place for Hancock County – all residents in low-lying areas 
        • Effective 10 a.m., Saturday, 8/28 
        • Other residents are under voluntary evacuation 
      • Shelter openings are in place in 11 counties as of Friday 8/27. 
    • Voluntary Evacuations:
      • Jackson County  
    • Mississippi residents are urged to take back roads and leave interstates for those evacuating from Louisiana.  
  • Alabama
    • Evacuation routes have been provided by Mobile County Emergency Management Agency. 
Sheltering
  • Louisiana 
    • Individuals seeking shelter information in Louisiana can text LASHELTER to 898-211 or call 211. New Orleans residents should call 311 or text DELTA to 888777. 
      • A shelter has been established for St. Mary Parish residents at the Rapides Coliseum, 5600 Coliseum Blvd., Alexandria, La. The shelter opens at 6 p.m. Saturday, 8/28.
      • Individuals can also search for open American Red Cross shelters here
  • Mississippi 
    • Shelter openings by county are available from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency
    • Hancock County: There will be COVID protocol in the shelter and masks are required. Volunteers will check the temperatures of those who come in and social distancing is also mandated. For people who are exhibiting the signs of COVID, Hancock County will offer a separate shelter on Highway 43, which will be open on an as-needed basis. 
  • Non-profit Airbnb.org is offering to support responders and displaced households in need of a temporary place to stay.  
    • Contact Sadie Bynum, sadie.bynum@airbnb.com, for more information about placement for individuals in need. 
Communications
  • Healthcare facilities across the affected areas are working to restore communications, which may cause delays in reporting of 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. 
    • 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.  
    • Hurricane Ida has caused significant impacts to AT&T network in Louisiana from the massive power outages and storm damage. Service is in the process of being restored. Service in Alabama is operating normally and there is only a very small wireless impact in Mississippi at this time
      •  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. 
Port Closing
  • As of August 28 at 2:00pm 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.
    • At the Port of New Orleans, the New Orleans Terminal and Ports America for containerized operations are closed though August 30. Additionally, Empire, Coastal Cargo, Gulf Stream Marine, and Ports American will be closed for breakbulk operations through August 30.
    • The Inner Harbor Navigation Canal will be closed through August 30 as the Floor Protection Authority closed the gates starting August 28.
    • The St Bernard Port reported that all maritime operations ceased starting 6:00 pm on August 27. The Administration Office is anticipated to reopen on August 31. 
    • Port of Mobile/USCG Sector Mobile is at status YANKEE as of 8 am ET August 30. 
Access and Reentry
  • No significant changes since August 29 (8/29 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. 
Healthcare Response Updates and Needs
  • Emergency Medical Services
    • All New Orleans EMS operations were suspended due to dangerous winds from Hurricane Ida, authorities say. EMS will resume responding to emergency calls once conditions are safe. 
      • FEMA sent deployment orders to Carnegie EMS 
    • The Terrebonne Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness announced the following fire stations have suspended service in Terrebonne Parish: Bayou Black Fire Department, Houma Fire Department, Coteau Fire Department, Little Caillou Fire Department, Dularge Fire Department, Grand Caillou Fire Department, Village East Fire Department and Bourge Fire Department. 
      • The Bayou Cane Fire Department can only respond to fire alarms.
      • Acadian Ambulance Service has also suspended service. All of these first responders will resume service when it is safe to do so. 
  • Healthcare Facilities
    • Louisiana Hospitals 
    • Mississippi Hospitals
      • Mississippi hospitals are being stretched thin by the new COVID-19 wave. Of the 895 staffed ICU beds reported across the state, about 92% of them are in use and more than 59% are occupied by COVID-19 patients.
      • Much like the impacts seen in Louisiana, the impacts of Hurricane Ida will only strain the hospital systems further. In southern Mississippi, health officials have been diverting critical care patients to northern hospitals.
        • Federal health care teams — which were already responding to the COVID-19 surge in Louisiana and Mississippi — will assist in that effort. 
      • About 70% of contract healthcare workers have been mobilized to help with staffing however licensing requirements have been causing issues for the other 30%.  
    • Dialysis Centers
      • Today, 8/30, there has been 133 total reported dialysis facility closures as a result of Hurricane Ida.  All dialysis providers are assessing damage to the facilities and will have additional information available tomorrow, 8/31. 
        • Assets (generators, water tankers, security teams, etc) had been staged in Texas and Mississippi in advance of the storm which will be moved into the area today, 8/30.
        • There are plans to reopen larger clinics first, with increased shifts, and transport patients into those facilities until smaller facilities can be reopened. Four larger clinics in the downtown New Orleans area will be reopened first, with smaller clinics opened as additional assets and resources become available.
      • 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.
  • Pharmacy Operations
    • Rx Open is activated for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The map was last updated at 2:00pm ET, 8/30. As of this update:
      • 47.4% of participating pharmacies in Louisiana were reporting Closed or Unknown 
      • 19.5% of participating pharmacies in Mississippi were reporting Closed or Unknown
      • 5.7% of participating pharmacies in Alabama 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 on the afternoon of Tuesday, 8/31. 
  • COVID-19 Status
    • No significant changes since August 29 (8/29 sit-rep). 
    • Louisiana  
      • Louisiana is currently 41.4% 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. ” 
      • According to the Louisiana Department of Health, more than 3,4028new cases were confirmed as of Monday, 8/30. 
        • Louisiana is reporting that nearly 479 COVID patients remained on ventilators and 92% percent of ICU beds were full. 
      • New Orleans is seeing a severe outbreak with a seven-day average of 220 new infections.  
        • This surge in COVID-19 cases, cascading with issues from Hurricane Ida, will surely impact the state’s healthcare system.  
    • Mississippi 
      • Mississippi is currently 37.7% fully vaccinated.  
      • According to the COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI)Quitman County, MS, is in the top 10 list of counties most vulnerable to COVID-19. Additional Mississippi counties that are vulnerable to COVID-19 include:  
        • Humphreys, Tunica, Leake, Noxubee, Issaquena, Sunflower, Sharkey, Claiborne, Copiah, Wilkinson, Yazoo, Scott, Attala, Holmes, Tallahatchie, Yalobusha, Neshoba, Montgomery, Calhoun, Benton, and Jefferson Counties. 
      • 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. 
      • According to the Mississippi Department of Health, more than 7,971 new cases were confirmed as of Sunday, August 29.
        • Mississippi is reporting that nearly 317 COVID patients remained on ventilators and 84 percent of ICU beds were full. 
      • All Mississippi State Department of Health COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites will be closed Monday, August 30, and sites in central and south Mississippi will remain closed Tuesday, August 31.
    • Alabama 
      • Alabama is currently 37.9% fully vaccinated.  
      • According to the COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI), Alabama’s overall vulnerability ranks at a 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 Department of Health, more than 3,433 new cases were confirmed as of Sunday, August 29. 
        • The state currently has 2,829 people hospitalized with COVID, including 2,781 adults and 48 pediatric patients. 
Emergency Prescription Refills
  • No significant changes since August 28 (8/28 sit-rep). 
  • Louisiana 
  • Mississippi  
    • TRICARE authorized temporary prescription refill waivers for Mississippi and Louisiana through 09/03/21 due to the storm. 
      • Prescription refill waivers are authorized for Alabama through 09/04/21.
Boil Water Advisory
  • The New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board (SWBNO) urges residents to conserve water. Water impacts will continue to be monitored throughout this event. Water boil advisories are particularly impactful to healthcare facilities and homes with patients who rely on water for reconstituting medications or medical devices (such as nebulizers).   
    • Louisiana
      • No water is available south of Raceland and there are at least two major hospitals in that area.  
      • As of 11:17 am EST, there is no way for New Orleans to reach the emergency hotline for the Sewage and Water Board to report stoppages or overflow in homes and facilities.   
      • Five parishes are under Boil Water Advisories as of 10 am August 30. This affects over 100,000 people, including Jefferson Parish where the Advisory is anticipated to last for five days.  
      • Eight parishes are facing water outages as of 10 am August 30. This affects over 300,000 people.  
Potential Oil/Resources Impacts 
  • There are no specific concerns for fuel availability to affected regions. Risks and issues will be discovered after assessment from damages in the coming days.   
    • Representatives from Atlas Oil have shared that gas station shortages may be upcoming, which may impact the ability for healthcare staff and critical utility crews from being able to get to work. 
    • The Colonial Pipeline shutdown on August 29. However, supplies continue to be available at terminals throughout the Southeast US. The company may restart the pipeline after conducting a safety assessment, sometime Monday. 
    • 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.  
      • Exxon is reducing refinery production in Baton Rouge, however, no major damage has been reported so far. 
    • Texas
      • Atlas Oil is reporting that fuel trucks are able to 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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