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Planning for the Hurricane Season - 6/1/2012 -

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June 1st is the declared first day of the 2012 Hurricane Season and hurricane forecasters are calling for a below-average hurricane season this year. Regardless of the forecast, the key is to always be prepared with a storm safety plan during this time of year.

The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is an important facility to the community, especially during an emergency. We participate in preparedness exercises and training for all types of disasters every year because our number one goal in an emergency is the safety of our passengers, our neighbors and staff. The Airport prepares for many types of emergencies, including Tropical Storms and Hurricanes. Our Hurricane Readiness Plan includes coordination with local, state and federal government officials, as well as airlines, tenants and vendors who operate at the Airport. The Airport staff conducts a yearly review of the plan to monitor any changes that may be in effect since the last storm season.

Here are some important things that our readers should know regarding the Airport’s operation prior to the impact of a storm. If a tropical storm or hurricane is approaching the New Orleans Metro area and River Parishes, the Airport will remain open to the flying public for as long as flights continue to operate. It is important to note that the airline’s decisions to cease flight operations will vary from airline to airline. They determine when to terminate their operations, not the Airport. If you plan on traveling by air out of the region due to an impending storm, plan early. If you are traveling with pets, check with your air carrier prior to coming to the airport to verify that they allow pets to travel on their aircraft. Please be aware that not all of the airlines allow pets and there are federal limits as to the number of pets allowed on each flight.

If you are traveling on a scheduled flight when a storm is approaching, please carry with you some form of flight confirmation and personal identification. The flight confirmation can be an "email” flight confirmation, boarding pass or ticket receipt. If you do not have the necessary documentation, it may delay your entrance to the Airport terminal. In the event of the impending landfall of a tropical storm or hurricane to our area, necessary law enforcement will be deployed to the Airport to ensure a secure environment and access to the Airport facilities. At the peak of the storm, access to the Airport will be restricted.

For the latest storm information regarding your scheduled flight, refer to your airline’s web site, or reservation telephone number. The latest information about the status of an impending storm may be found at the Airport website, as well with updates posted as warranted.

If an air evacuation is deemed necessary, transportation for airlift evacuations will be managed and operated through a designated government agency, not the Airport. Those who plan to participate in a city or parish assisted air evacuation should follow the directions of their city or parish authorities and proceed to the designated pick up locations. It is important to remember that as in the past, the Airport is not an authorized storm shelter. For safety reasons, the general public will not be allowed to ride out a storm at the Airport.

If a call for evacuation is made this season, please monitor your radio and/or television and follow the instructions given. It could save your life and the life of your loved ones. In the event a storm does pass our way, it is imperative that everyone be prepared to stay out of harm’s way. If you have not made storm evacuation plans for this year, please do so immediately.


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