The latest resilience news from around the world

Hurricane Laura: recovery updates for impacted businesses

Hurricane Laura made landfall on Thursday August 27, 2020, as a Category Four hurricane. This Continuity Central update page will track recovery information for businesses that have been impacted by the storm.

Advice from Ready.gov for returning to premises after a hurricane:

  • Listen to local officials for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.

Links for local emergency management information and contacts

Business recovery information

Information for local businesses will be posted here as it becomes available. If you know of a useful resource please email details to editor@continuitycentral.com

Five important questions businesses should ask their insurer following Hurricane Laura

Major flooding and wind damage caused by Hurricane Laura will likely involve a long-term recovery for businesses that suffer storm-related losses, especially those still struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to FM Global, one of the world’s largest commercial property insurers. The resilience of already fragile businesses, especially those that supply necessities like food, shelter, fuel, power and paychecks, may very well hinge on a quick settlement of their storm-related insurance claims, says the insurer. Affected businesses should press their insurers for rapid claims response and, when in doubt, challenge their insurer to answer these five questions:

  1. Are adjusters on the ground, ready right now to assess the damage to my business?
    If your situation requires a site visit, the answer should be yes.  Once you have determined it’s safe to be on site, the adjuster should arrive within 48 hours of your call, or better yet, call you proactively.
  2. Can your adjuster authorize payments?
    Ideally, your adjuster will have the authority to make decisions and issue prompt payments to help you quickly restore operations.  If your insurer employs independent adjusters, however, that authority may not exist.
  3. When can I expect payment?
    You should expect payments from your insurer early and often during the restoration process. Under the best circumstances, the relationship between the policyholder and the insurer is established well before a loss ever happens, to help prevent surprises should a claim arise.
  4. How long will it take to complete a damage assessment?
    It varies with the complexity of the loss. The claims adjustment process is a dynamic one.  If both the policyholder and the adjuster are working in a spirit of cooperation, the damage assessment process can often be completed quickly, and the entire claim can usually be settled in a matter of months.  During this process, interim loss payments can be made. The more closely the insurer and insured work together, the greater the chance the claim will be settled quickly and satisfactorily.
  5. How long will you be on site to help with restoration and recovery?
    You should expect your insurer to be with you until the job is done, on site, partnering with you and answering your questions about restoration and policy response.  This will ensure you recover as quickly and smoothly as possible and that you make plans for risk mitigation in the future.

FEMA response updates:

Tuesday September 2:

State/Local Preparations/Response:

  • LA & TX EOCs at Partial Activation; State of Emergency declared
  • Water / Power Task Force operational with FEMA Planners supporting

Federal Preparations / Response:

  • NRCC at Level II day shift; Level III night shift
  • National IMAT Red deployed to LA
  • Select members of National IMAT White deployed to LA and TX
  • National IMAT Gold demobilized Aug 30
  • Region I IMAT deployed to Lake Charles, LA
  • Region V IMAT deployed to Little Rock, AR; will redeploy to Camp Beauregard on Sep 4
  • Region VI RRCC at Level II with select ESFs
    o IMAT-1 demobilized from TX
    o IMAT-2 deployed to Baton Rouge
  • Logistics HQ: SMT Atlanta deployed to Camp Beauregard, LA, SMT, Fort Worth deployed to Roseland, LA, National ISB Team deployed to
    Craig Field, AL
  • MERS deployed to Baton Rouge and Lake Charles, LA
  • US&R Blue IST demobilizing Sep 3
  • DMAT: 1 operational (Lake Charles), 2 requested
  • USACE conducting temporary emergency power assessments at 59 locations, including 35 (+3) at water/wastewater facilities; 13 preinstallation inspections in progress, 13 pending, 8 complete (5 at
    water/wastewater facilities)
  • Emergency Declarations approved for PR, LA, MS, TX and AR
  • Major Disaster Declaration approved for LA

Monday August 31:

State/Local Preparations/Response:

  • LA & TX EOCs at Partial Activation; State of Emergency declared
  • TX: Governor mobilized National Guard
  • TX & LA declared Public Health Emergencies

Federal Preparations / Response:

  • NRCC at Level I, 24/7
  • N-IMAT Gold demobilized from Lake Charles, LA; reconstituting
  • National IMAT Red deployed to Baton Rouge, LA
  • Region I IMAT deployed to Lake Charles, LA to replace N-IMAT Gold
  • Region V IMAT deployed to Little Rock, AR
  • Region VI RRCC at Level II with select ESFs o IMAT-1 deployed to Austin; IMAT-2 deployed to Baton Rouge
  • Logistics HQ: SMT Atlanta deployed to Camp Beauregard, LA, SMT Fort Worth deployed to Roseland, LA, National ISB Team deployed toCraig Field, AL
  • MERS deployed to Baton Rouge, Pineville, and Lake Charles, LA
  • US&R deployed to LA: TN-TF1, IN-TF-1, CO-TF1, OH-TF1 & Blue IST
  • DMAT: 1 operational (Lake Charles), 2 requested
  • 1 CDC LNO deploying to the area
  • HSS will coordinate medical evacuation support of ill/injured patients from staging areas
  • USACE deployed teams to LA & TX.

Friday August 28:

FEMA has mobilized federal response teams to support Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas response efforts to the Hurricane.

  • Regional Incident Management Assistance Teams (IMATs) are in place in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas state operations centers. National IMATs are also deployed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Denton, Texas. Additionally, several members of the national IMAT are deployed to Louisiana and Texas operation centers to coordinate with the regional IMAT in the state. An additional fully missional capable IMAT is ready to deploy, if needed.
  • Impact assessments began this morning along the Gulf Coast.
  • Four Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) Teams have deployed to Texas and Louisiana. A FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Incident Support Team in n Louisiana to coordinate with the state. Six additional water rescue capable US&R Teams are en route to Louisiana and two additional teams en route to Texas. Additional teams, including up to three Quick Response Teams, are on alert to deploy if necessary.
  • FEMA deployed staging management teams to Camp Beauregard Louisiana and Roseland, Louisiana. A National Incident Support Base Team Delta is in Selma, Alabama to support staging commodity missions.
  • Mobile disaster communications equipment is prepositioned in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Austin, Texas to support staging and command and control operations. Additional equipment and personnel have been deployed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Fort Worth, Texas.

FEMA pre-positioned commodities such as meals and water ahead of Hurricane Laura.

  • More than 500,000 meals and 800,000 liters of water are prepositioned at the Roseland Staging Area and Camp Beauregard in Louisiana. Blue Roof Sheeting, Infant Toddler Kits and generators are also pre-positioned at Camp Beauregard. Additionally, FEMA placed more than 3 million meals and 970,000 liters of water on standby at its distribution center in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Further commodities including meals, water, Infant and Toddler Kits and generators have been requested by Region 6.

FEMA and its federal partners are moving assets and teams into areas impacted by Hurricane Laura.

  • Temporary Roofing planning and response teams are in Louisiana and Texas.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Temporary Emergency Power Teams, an Advanced Contract Initiative contractor, 249th Prime Power Battalion personnel and debris subject matter experts are in Texas and Louisiana.
  • USACE is providing flood fight support with technical assistance to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West using the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System. Additionally, USACE is implementing response plans for dam safety teams, deploying a sand bagging machine and operators to Hancock County, Mississippi and issuing sandbags and sandbagging machines for areas in Louisiana and Texas.
  • U.S. Coast Guard pre-positioned assets including rotary and fixed wing aircrafts, shallow watercrafts and supporting units in Alabama and Louisiana.
  • Additional personnel from across the federal government, including the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Transportation, Health and Human Services and the Department of Energy deployed and available to provide support.


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