May 2021 Hurricane Preparedness Toolkit

Click here to view FEMA’s May 2021 Hurricane Preparedness Toolkit as a PDF.

INFO: May 2021 Toolkit – Hurricane Preparedness

Good Morning Stakeholders,

Art tells a story. Stories can help us heal. Stories allow us an opportunity to reflect upon moments in our life, both happy and sad, tragic, and triumphant, to reassess and release.

Terrance Osborne grew up in New Orleans. There, his family fostered his love of painting as he attended a creative arts high school. While working as an art teacher, Hurricane Katrina forced his family to evacuate to Georgia. When he returned two years later, he devoted his life to painting full time and the theme of rebirth and rejuvenation came through in his signature brightly colored paintings depicting the rebuilding and everyday struggles of a bent, but not broken, New Orleans.

Evacuation Plan” depicts a New Orleans resident’s struggle with evacuation. An entire house sits atop a Volkswagon Van, television, grill, and laundry on a line in tow. It tells the story of packing up and getting out, the suddenness of evacuation planning, and the heartache of picking what someone needs when they evacuate and what someone wants to bring when they evacuate.

Hurricane Solution #1” Offers folks an alternative when rebuilding: why not rebuild in one of the live oaks of Louisiana? The classic shotgun-style home is depicted here perched high atop a tall tree, immune from the rising flood waters of hurricanes. Is it realistic? No. Even the sturdiest of live oaks would struggle with this proposition, but the desperation to remain and rebuild comes out in bright yellows, blues, and greens.

Finally, “Hurricane Solution #3” offers yet another alternative to escape hurricanes: why not build on a boat? Not a houseboat, mind you, but upon the famous pirogue boats that dot the bayou’s and channels of southern Louisiana. The traditional New Orleans-style shotgun homes sit docked upon the muddy waters, mailboxes insinuating a sense of permanence as those who live, love, and work New Orleans show their sense of strength in staying in the place many call their home.

Preparing for a hurricane is a bit of an artform. For some of us, it’s routine. For others, it’s as foreign as a warm Abita on a cold New Orleans day. Regardless, we hope you’ll check out and share this month’s toolkit on hurricane preparedness. Past hurricanes and storms, through different lenses, legends, lore, and lessons, can help us prepare for the day when we need to act, respond, and rebuild.

John DiSpaldo
Federal Emergency Management Agency- Region III
Regional Preparedness Liaison
Individual and Community Preparedness Division
615 Chestnut Street
One Independence Mall, Sixth Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106-4404