In times of crisis, access to good information is critical. In the days and weeks after Hurricane Gustav blew through the Baton Rouge area, patrons turned to the library for their needs. Here are some of the questions we answered and services we provided.
- Patrons wanted to know if we were open and had Internet access so they could check their email.
- Patrons were calling about the status of Hurricane Ike (coordinates, projected path, local wind speeds). We turned to the National Hurricane Center website and Weather Underground for up-to-date tropical weather information.
- A patron called wanting to know which hotels in Baton Rouge were “FEMA approved”. FEMA approved hotels in Baton Rouge can be found at this website: FEMA Evacuee Hotel List.
- Patrons wanted to know where they were on the Entergy power restoration map.
- Patrons wanted to know how to apply for emergency food stamps.
- One patron was looking for murder mysteries to watch since their cable was out. We showed her the series we have on DVD: Inspector Morse, Miss Marple, Murder She Wrote etc.
- Patrons wanted to know where they could get MREs and tarps in Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes. Information about MREs and tarps, along with a lot of other information could be found at http://emergency.louisiana.gov/.
- Patrons have wanted to use our computers to apply for FEMA aid and to check on the status of their applications.
- A patron who evacuated to Mississippi was traveling through Jackson to come back home. But she desperately needed to find a Chik-Fil-A in Jackson. We found two and gave her the phone numbers and addresses. (Everything doesn’t have to be an emergency, does it?)