Officials coordinate efforts to get hurricane evacuees home

Published 2:38 pm Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Today, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (AEMA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other Gulf Coast state officials are identifying the transportation schedule for Louisiana evacuees’ eventual return home.

“Safety is our first priority,” said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer for Alabama Mike Moore. “We know residents brought here by bus are anxious to return to their homes. As soon as parish officials in Louisiana determine it is safe, return transportation will be provided by the State of Alabama.”

Alabama is working closely with the State of Louisiana to arrange bus transportation for evacuees back to their home state. FEMA is supporting the state’s sheltering and repatriation efforts by sending 18 Community Relations Teams into shelters today to gather address and hometown information from evacuees. Information gathered by these Community Relations teams will help the state determine where buses will transport evacuees once local officials are ready to start receiving individuals returning from out of state.

“Local emergency management directors and volunteers in Alabama are working hard to keep the evacuees comfortable and informed,” said AEMA Director Brock Long.

AEMA’s current priority is safety for the evacuees in Alabama. The agency’s next priority is making sure shelter guests are returned as quickly and safely as possible. Today it’s estimated there are more than 8,100 evacuees located shelters throughout the State of Alabama.