SHREVEPORT, La. - Local emergency officials say they don't expect a need for any evacuees coming from down south in the wake of Tropical Storm Barry. However, they're prepared to deal with any scenario.
Shreveport and Bossier City have been shelters to storm victims in the past. Most dramatically, Shreveport's Hirsch Coliseum was used as a shelter for storm victims during Hurricane Katrina back in 2005. As many as 1,300 people found shelter there. Another 800 were housed at Expo Hall.
Local officials don't expect anything like that headed our way, but they say they have everything they need in order to respond to an emergency.
Right now, Caddo has three types of shelters. Critical Transportation Needs Shelters are for people without cars or other transportation to get out of harm's way. They're put on Louisiana Department of Transportation buses and brought to shelters. Shreveport has two of these, the old Sam's club on Jewella is the first option. If that fills up, they'll open a shelter at a facility on Atkins Drive and West Park Road.
General Population Shelters are for people who have the ability to leave the danger, but don't have a place to stay. These are run by the American Red Cross. They generally use the gym at LSU-S. Southern University's gym is also available if needed.
There are also other pre-approved facilities in the community that meet the criteria to house evacuees.
Caddo's Deputy Homeland Security Director Robert Jump says many of the procedures in place today are based on lessons learned during Hurricane Katrina.