NOLA Ready offers free online training June 4 for hurricane evacuation volunteers

(Photo: The evacuspot located at 801 N. Rampart St. Todd Van Hoosear | CC Flickr.)

Online training for evacuation volunteers will be offered by NOLA Ready as New Orleans approaches the 2020 hurricane season, which starts on June 1.

The free online classes is for volunteers who want to help residents get out of the city and reach safety after officials issue a mandatory evacuation order.

The training will be held on June 4 from 6 to 7 p.m. Registration is found on Eventbrite.

An “above normal” hurricane season is predicted this year, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasting 13 to 19 named storms with winds 39 miles per hour or more, including between three and six storms with sustained winds of at least 111 MPH.

The city estimates 35,000 New Orleans residents will be unable to evacuate ahead of a dangerous storm. In 2019, Tropical Storm Barry brought more than six inches of rain on July 10, flooding parts of the French Quarter and temporarily disrupted transportation systems before reaching Category 1 hurricane status on July 13.

Volunteers who complete the introductory training will join the Medical Reserve Corps and be assigned to help people board buses at one of 17 “evacuspot[s]”—including five for seniors—or bus stops designated as evacuation locations where volunteers will assist with boarding and registration.

Evacuees are then taken and triaged at the Smoothie King Center, where they will be taken to state or emergency shelters out of the city.

Evacuspots are designated by a stick figure statue raising its arm. The closest one to the French Quarter is located at 801 N. Rampart St. in front the entrance to Louis Armstrong Park.

All staff, volunteers and evacuees will be provided with personal protective equipment and will be required to socially/physically distance due to COVID-19.

For more information on the hurricane and tropical storm preparedness, visit NOLA Ready’s website.

Portion of Toulouse Street building collapses

A parapet wall in the 600 block of Toulouse Street partially collapsed on Saturday, dropping bricks from approximately three stories high onto the sidewalk. No injuries were reported. Photo courtesy of the New Orleans Fire Department.

A portion of a French Quarter building crumbled and dropped debris from three stories high onto the sidewalk in the 600 block of Toulouse Street on Saturday morning, according to the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD).

No injuries were reported.

NOLA Ready reported the collapse on Twitter at 10:45 a.m. The NOFD identified the portion of the building that broke apart as the parapet, or a wall at the edge of a roof.

The NOFD identified 627 Toulouse Street as the exact location of the collapse.

Police and fire personnel temporarily closed the 600 block of Toulouse Street for a brief period of time. City code inspectors are evaluating the building.