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Power out after a storm in New Orleans? Here's a map of local emergency resource centers

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Aubri Juhasz
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WWNO
After Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans and southeast Louisiana as a Category 4 storm, it left behind significant damage and downed trees and power lines that caused mass power outages.

After most of southeast Louisiana's residents were without power — some for weeks and months — due to Hurricane Ida, New Orleans city government and community leaders have responded by setting up emergency resources for people to use after another disaster.

For the City of New Orleans, they have designated 15 city-owned properties as emergency resource and cooling centers.

New Orleans Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness NOHSEP Public Engagement Director Anna Nguyen said their office and Entergy New Orleans have installed, and plan to install more, transfer switches on these sites, allowing the City to place temporary generators to be able to activate when needed.

WWNO has compiled a map that shows where these 15 sites are located across the city.

According to Nguyen, the activation of emergency resource centers depend on the severity of damages to the building, city staffing capacity and access to power, which means that it “is not a guarantee that all 15 locations would be activated at a given time.”

NOHSEP Director Collin Arnold said that these service areas can provide a variety of resources to residents.

“We can make resources such as food, water, ice, Wi Fi, air conditioning and the charging of devices available to the public in the event of post-storm needs, and in the event of longer term power outages,” Arnold said.

Arnold urged residents to make sure that they have signed up for alerts by texting NOLAREADY to 77295 and learn more information here. The website and alert system will notify which sites will be active.

New Orleans City Government Sites – not all sites activated at a given time:

  • Sanchez Multi-Service Center, 1616 Fats Domino Ave.
  • Carrollton (Hollygrove) Multi-Service Center, 3300 Hamilton St.
  • Arthur Monday Center, 1111 Newton St.
  • Nix Public Library, 1401 S. Carrollton Ave.
  • Milton H. Latter Public Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave.
  • Cita Dennis Hubbell Library, 725 Pelican Ave.
  • Algiers Regional Library, 3014 Holiday Drive
  • Cut-Off Community Center, 6600 Belgrade St.
  • Gernon Brown Recreation Center, 1001 Harrison Ave.
  • Rosenwald Recreation Center,1120 S. Broad St.
  • Treme Recreation Community Center, 900 N. Villere St.
  • Joe Brown Recreation Center, 5601 Read Blvd
  • Stallings St. Claude Recreation Center, 4300 St. Claude Ave.
  • Lyons Recreation Center, 624 Louisiana Ave.
  • Milne Administration Building, 5420 Franklin Ave.
  • New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, 900 Convention Center Blvd.

The Get Lit Stay Lit Program is a joint initiative between Half Glass Full and Feed the Second Line. The former is Louisiana’s only glass recycling facility, while the latter group aims to provide food and other resources to New Orleans culture bearers.
Get Lit Stay Lit aims to equip local restaurants with a microgrid to ensure that these places will still have power following a natural disaster that knocks out the power.

The goal is for these participating restaurants to utilize the microgrid to keep food from rotting, feed neighbors, serve as a cooling center and allow residents to grab ice.

Feed the Second Line founder Devin De Wulf came up with the idea last year after Hurricane Ida when De Wulf’s house, powered by solar panels and two batteries, ended up being a charging station for his neighbors.

So far, the Queen Trini Lisa restaurant in Mid-City has been up and running as of June, and the group is expected to have three to four more restaurants ready in the coming months.

“It’s important to have something for the immediate neighborhood and have residents be within walking distance of a microgrid,” De Wulf said. “With climate change and the intensification of storms, we want to build resiliency block by block.”

To find out more about installation costs and joining Get Lit Stay Lit, click here.

Get Lit Stay Lit Site:

Queen Trini Lisa, 4200 D'Hemecourt St.

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Kezia Setyawan
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WWNO
Footprint Project program manager Jamie Swezey shows Dularge resident Mary Champagne how to use the portable solar battery in December, 2021.

The Footprint Project works to deploy mobile solar power after natural disasters strike not only in Louisiana, but across the country. Program manager Jamie Swezey said that they do have several portable solar generators and trailers staged with community partners around New Orleans and southeast Louisiana. These trailers and generators do not have a set location where they will be deployed.

She said that the group prioritizes where the grid is expected to be down the longest, and they still have a limited amount of resources compared to demand.

“The essence of our work — mobile solar generators — allows us to be super nimble after a disaster, but pinpointing charging sites beforehand is tricky,” Swezey said.

However, Swezey hopes to continue to build awareness about their program so that they can connect to more first responder groups before a disaster. She said this will enable the Footprint Project to expand their resources and resilient energy infrastructure around the state.

“The more people that know we exist, the more we can get connected to communities in need of emergency resources,” Swezey said.

The Community Lighthouse Project, an initiative of Together New Orleans (TNO), also aims to create a community-wide network of nonprofit resilience hubs powered by solar power and backup battery capacity. The project envisions providing neighbors with charging and cooling stations, lights, food and access to information during extended power outages.

The pilot proposal aims to have 16 sites across New Orleans and eight more across the state.

The first site will be completed at CrescentCare Community Health Center in the 7th Ward as soon as November, according to Citizen Voice and Together Louisiana community advocate Stephanie Riegel.

“CrescentCare is expected to be the first lighthouse completed because it received a special, standalone grant of $750,000 to jumpstart construction specifically at that location from one of its longtime funding partners — the California-based humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief,” Riegal said. “Direct Relief has done solar- and battery-powered resilience hubs in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria and believes very much in the solution.”

Community Lighthouse Project ready as soon as November 2022:

  • CrescentCare Community Health Center, 1631 Elysian Fields Ave.

Riegel expects these sites to be ready for the 2023 hurricane season:

  • Household of Faith, 9300 I-10 Service Road
  • New Wine Fellowship, 1929 W. Airline Highway in LaPlace 
  • Broadmoor Community Church, 2021 S. Dupre St.
  • Central Missionary Baptist Church, 1438 Alabo St.
  • First Grace United Methodist Church, 3401 Canal St. 

This story came as a question gathered from readers for this year's hurricane season from reporter Carly Berlin.

If you have questions about how to prepare for this year's hurricane season, we'd love to hear from you.

Kezia Setyawan is a coastal reporter for WWNO and WRKF and is based out of Houma.

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