This month at evacuteer.org has been in a word…productive! I owe that productivity to the amazing team of summer interns, as well as the dedicated volunteers of our Executive Leadership Committee.
June kicked off with the Hello Hurricane Season Summit, a hurricane preparedness event presented in conjunction with the City of New Orleans. Attendees were introduced to the work of evacuteer.org by our Founder, Robert Fogarty; keynote speakers included Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Lt. Col. Jerry Sneed, and City Councilmember District “C”– Kristin Palmer– spoke on the state of hurricane preparedness as well as the importance of the City Assisted Evacuation Plan(CAEP). From there, we broke out into sessions held in galleries throughout the New Orleans Museum of Art on the topics of “How to start a emergency preparedness committee at your organization”, “Shelter for CAEP evacuees”, and “Personal hurricane preparedness: what you need to know”.
At the end of June, evacuteer.org was part of a CAEP drill. State officials worked hand in hand with local government agencies and evacuteer.org to execute a run through of a hurricane evacuation with 50 students acting as evacuees. The drill went well and shed light on areas in need of improvement. It was great to see all our planning in action!
While we hope all the planning this summer will not be utilized and a hurricane will never come to fruition, it is great to see all the hard work so many people put into making sure our city is safe for years to come.
Also in June–the Tulane CPS VISTA packed our bags and took a trip up to a little town called Baton Rouge. VISTAs from across the state of Louisiana, from as far as Hammond and Alexandria, all took part in a conference put on by Louisiana Court Appointed Special Advocates (LACASA). The topic was poverty, an area Americorps members address often. It was an interesting approach to poverty, and covered many areas we don’t normally discuss; the importance language has
on how we perceive different classes, the effects of the middle class, and the relativity of poverty in different geographic areas. It was also a great chance to see some old friends from the start of my VISTA term and meet new VISTAs with similar interests. While Tulane VISTAs made up the largest group from any one location, there was such a diverse mix! An older woman working in City Council in rural Louisiana, some fellow northerners doing policy work in New Orleans, and even those who were raised and stayed in Baton Rouge.
Sign up to be an evacuteer here: http://evacuteer.org/join-us
- Emma Storm Herr, Tulane AmeriCorps VISTA, Evacuteer.Org.