Louisiana communities empowered for the 2020 hurricane season 

Published 9:39 pm Friday, June 5, 2020

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With the 2020 hurricane season already seeing three named tropical storms in Arthur, Bertha and Cristobal, Facebook is providing Louisiana governments and residents additional tools and resources to prepare and manage what NOAA has predicted to be a more active hurricane season. Louisiana is no stranger to these storms, including recent Tropical Storm Barry.

Louisiana communities depend on localized, timely communication during these storms, including information on evacuations, changing storm paths, and damage to area infrastructure. According to best practices from the American Red Cross, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Louisiana residents should prepare to adjust any previous hurricane plans including evacuation plans, shelter options, and adding supplies to your evacuation kit (“go bag” of emergency supplies) such as face coverings and other personal safety equipment, food, water and extra medication.

Facebook provides tools for law enforcement and emergency services to share critical information with those in the storm’s path, while also making it easier for communities to support one another.

Says Facebook Vice President, State Policy Will Castleberry: “Facebook knows the devastation that hurricanes can cause in local Louisiana communities, and we’re focused on providing new tools and resources to support Louisiana residents when they need it the most. With many Louisianians continuing to stay home due to the coronavirus, we hope these tools help get timely information into their hands, while helping them let their loved ones know they’re safe and get help with things like shelter, food and supplies.

Here is how Louisiana residents and local governments can use Facebook in preparation for hurricane season:

Follow your city, town, county and state first responders on Facebook to get Local Alerts for critical information such as road closures, weather alerts and evacuations.

Visit Crisis Response on Facebook to:

Quickly let your loved ones know you’re safe via Safety Check; and if you know people near the affected area, you can also ask them to mark themselves safe.

Find first-hand information about the storm from the impacted community.

Connect with other people affected by crises to give or get resources like water, supplies or shelter from one another.

Donate to GlobalGiving to support local nonprofits in the impacted area.

Download Messenger to connect with loved ones to let them know you’re okay, share information about your situation and reliably coordinate rescue or relief efforts.

Create or find a Facebook Group in the wake of a storm to share information and get help and support from those in the community and surrounding area.

Create or donate to a fundraiser on Facebook to help or get help with recovery and relief efforts. You can create or donate to a fundraiser for yourself, a loved one or emergency response nonprofit.

While nobody can predict when and how bad these storms will be, past hurricanes like Hurricane Katrina reinforces how damaging these storms can be. In Louisiana, many communities have already used some of these tools. For example, local alerts have been utilized by Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s OfficeTangipahoa Parish GovernmentPort Fourchon and St. Tammany Parish Government last fall during hurricane season.