Abramson, U.S. Mayors to Address Hurricane Recovery
Wednesday September 21, 2005
Mayor Jerry Abramson will join mayors from across the country today through Friday to discuss Hurricane Katrina’s impact on American cities. Emergency preparedness, disaster-recovery efforts and the assistance of hundreds of thousands of dispersed Gulf Coast residents will be the primary topics of discussion at the fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors later this week in Long Beach, Calif.
“Hurricane Katrina was a disaster along the Gulf Coast region, and its aftereffects are rippling through scores of cities all over our nation,” Abramson said. Louisville has been accommodating about 2,000 displaced Gulf Coast residents and deployed dozens of emergency responders to assist in the disaster zone.
“Louisville and cities like ours have been fully engaged in assisting the hurricane-relief effort,” Abramson said. “The concern among the mayors is that our communities’ compassion, energy and resources are directed to where they are of most value, while being assured of continued federal funding for the types of programs that serve both our long-time citizens and our newest residents.”
The conference includes scheduled presentations from Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans and Mayor Michael Dow of Mobile, Ala., as well as well as officials from the White House, Federal Emergency Management Agency and U.S. Housing and Urban Development.
Abramson said he will share Louisville’s recent advancements in emergency preparedness at the conference. “One of the lessons from Hurricane Katrina is the importance of communications and regional cooperation in an emergency,” Abramson said. He cited last week’s implementation of Louisville’s MetroSafe emergency communications network and deployment of 16 emergency-supply trailers to five area counties as significant steps in preparing a coordinated, regional response in a disaster.
Abramson sits on the U.S. Conference of Mayors executive committee and served as the organization’s president in 1993 and 1994.