The City of Dallas has quickly put together a response to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. As of September 1, over 500 Katrina evacuees were being housed in Reunion Arena. Additional evacuees will be housed in the Convention Center. We are estimating that that we could receive as many as 20,000 evacuees. The City is coordinating our response with Dallas County, as well as surrounding counties, so that we can comprehensively address the issue.
The City’s Office of Emergency Management has been the nerve center coordinating the City’s response, and department heads have been meeting continuously the last few days to meet the challenges of housing and caring for the evacuees. The City met with Dallas County officials today.
In addition to the City of Dallas, other local organizations are playing key roles in responding to this crisis: Dallas Area Rapid Transit, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Dallas Health Department, the Texas Workforce Commission, and the Dallas Housing Authority.
DART will distribute 1000 rail and bus passes good for two weeks. The City’s Parks and Recreation Department is going to provide recreational facilities in the Arena garage. The Zoo and other city recreational facilities will be open for free to evacuees. The Library is issuing cards to evacuees and stationing the Library on Wheels at the Arena on Saturday. The Texas Workforce Commission is going to begin scheduling an on-site job counseling service at the Arena.
Residents of Dallas have shown an outpouring of support for evacuees. If you want to help, please visit the City’s website on Hurricane Katrina relief.