Landrieu, Melancon Announce $8.4M to La. for Gustav, Ike-Related Expenses
United States Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Representative Charlie Melancon, (LA-03) today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will repay multiple Louisiana agencies a total of $8,437,666 for their emergency work during hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
"The 2005 storms taught us that thorough planning is critical to a successful recovery effort," Sen. Landrieu said. "When the 2008 storms Gustav and Ike struck our state last year, all levels of government were much better prepared to successfully evacuate hospitals, special needs patients, and pets. As another hurricane season approaches, we are working with the Administration to ensure that FEMA is better equipped to respond to catastrophic disasters, be they natural or manmade."
"Gustav and Ike were our first real tests since the storms of 2005 and, for the most part, Louisiana met the challenge," Rep. Melancon said. "Our citizens heeded evacuation warnings and our emergency response workers were prepared to assist those who needed additional help. These federal grants will help reimburse several state agencies for the precautions they took to prepare for the storms, reinforcing the policy that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and Office of Public Health will receive $1,505,068 for emergency preparations prior to Hurricane Gustav. The Department of Health and Hospitals helped evacuate New Orleans hospitals, coordinated EMS transport of certain hospital and medical special needs evacuees, staffed and operated six medical special needs shelters and supported the medical monitoring of critical transportation needs shelters.
The Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness will be reimbursed $1,714,751 for supplying Meals-Ready-to-Eat (MREs) to Regional Staging Areas as Hurricane Ike approached. The MREs were then distributed to 65 points of distribution in the state to feed the public.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry will receive $3,276,852 for fuel purchases and overtime labor expenses that followed Hurricane Ike. Before the storm, the Department activated a contract with Macro Oil Company to purchase and distribute fuel. Following Hurricane Ike, five fuel distribution centers were opened and staffed by 110 employees. These centers operated from September 13 to October 26, 2008.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development will receive $1,940,995 for transporting pets in advance of Hurricane Gustav. The state's Department of Transportation and Development deployed 105 air-conditioned and ventilated animal transport trailers. They also covered the cost of cleaning and sanitizing the trailers.