In contrast to Entergy New Orleans' much-derided post-Isaac customer communications, City Hall put out a near-constant flow of specific and useful information during and after the storm. Among the people responsible for that was Sara Hudson, the city's "community preparedness coordinator" — who singlehandedly operated the @NOLAReady Twitter account.
"I just say I'm the resident functional catch basin," she told Gambit. "I grab everything that falls through the cracks and make sure it disappears without clogging the system."
During Isaac, Hudson helped update the city's much-improved NolaReady website (ready.nola.gov) and sent out more than 1,600 Isaac-related tweets — providing breaking news, answering residents' questions and keeping an optimistic spirit throughout. Hudson said she slept on a cot in City Hall from Aug. 27 through Sept. 4, when she was able to return home for the first time since Isaac threatened the city.
The frequent updating let a nervous and uncomfortable populace know "the city is here," Hudson said, adding there were city employees whose homes flooded but who still came in to work in the aftermath of Isaac. "There are hundreds of people who've been working 24/7, and you don't necessarily see them," Hudson told Gambit. — Charles Maldonado