Area 15 Education Community Members:
I was about 2 hours too early in bringing you the "latest" update on the Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts today. Sorry for this additional email message, but I wanted to be sure that you all have the most current information. Following is an Update that I just received from Kathi Slaughter, Communications Specialist, at the Department of
TO: AEA Hurricane Relief Coordinators, LEA Superintendents, AEA Chiefs, DE staff --
Our latest information regarding hurricane evacuees is that two flights from New Orleans to Des Moines are scheduled today. Each plane has a capacity of 100. If no passengers or not enough passengers arrive to board the planes in New Orleans, the flights will be cancelled.
If passenger-evacuees arrive in Des Moines, they will be transported to the State Fairgrounds, where medical screening and Red Cross intake has been set up. Pets are being allowed on these flights, so veterinarian services also have been arranged. The plan is to find hotel rooms for each person/family by this evening.
Even if evacuees arrive, we do not know how long they will stay in the area, or where they will settle for the next several months. Nonetheless, schools should be prepared with the appropriate paperwork and social service resources (including interpreters) to enroll students. Any questions about enrollment (waivers for fees or immunizations, for instance), should be directed to the DE school improvement consultant for your area.
Also, if you know of evacuees who have arrived through private means (connections with friends or family), please encourage them to use the attached sheet to register with the Red Cross in your area so they can be eligible for federal relief services.
Volunteers and workers already have been assigned and given credentials here in Des Moines, so please discourage any others from showing up at the fairgrounds to volunteer or with donations. They will not be allowed in. To get more information about donation needs, please visit the USDE website, www.ed.gov/katrina.