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RTA Holds Annual Hurricane Preparedness Meeting

20170720_101431.jpgThe New Orleans Regional Transit Authority held its annual hurricane preparedness meeting with senior and disabled riders on Thursday morning. The meeting, organized by RTA Commissioner Earline Roth, aimed to inform the riders about standard city-wide evacuation procedures as well as how they can better prepare themselves, family members, and friends.

“Our phrase for this hurricane season is get informed, get prepared, and get ready,” stated Marc Popkin, Risk Management Counsel. Popkin and Karen Wilson-Sider, ADA Compliance Manager for the RTA, helped coordinate the event with Commissioner Roth.

On hand were members from the city of New Orleans, NOLA Ready, Evacuteer, as well as WDSU Meteorlogist Damon Singleton. Singleton cautioned attendees that the 2017 hurricane season was predicated to be above average in the number of storms that will form in the Atlantic basin. Storms that form off the west coast of Africa have the ability to gain large amounts of strength as they travel through the warm waters of the Atlantic. If those storms proceed into the Gulf of Mexico, Singleton said, then everyone needs to take notice and begin preparing, even if the storm is not projected to hit New Orleans.

“Not seeing a hurricane hit us directly does not mean we cannot be impacted,” Singleton mentioned. “Even if it is headed to Gulfport, we can still experience bad weather.”

Laura Mellem, NOLA Ready’s Public Engagement Manager, echoed Singleton’s suggestions that the New Orleans community should keep an eye on any tropical disturbances that enter the gulf.

“It is important to keep up with the news,” Mellem stated. “You can even sign up for text alerts from your favorite news station or from the city of New Orleans.”

The annual meetings started in 2009 as a way to better inform the senior and disabled community of New Orleans about RTA’s evacuation initiatives with the city.  

This year’s meeting was attended by over 60 riders and community members.

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