National Hurricane Conference: Checking out helpful storm inventions & talking to FEMA


NEW ORLEANS— At the National Hurricane Conference at the Hilton Riverside, hurricane experts are all in one place showcasing the best in storm protection.

Paula Eaves with “The Sandbagger” said, “The Sandbagger was designed to make sandbags quickly. Communities will get one of these machines. This machine will fill over 1,600 sandbags in one hour. This helps easily prepare for floodwaters coming our way.”

Other helpful hurricane inventions found at this conference are “The Water Bob”-which stores up to 100 gallons of fresh drinking water and the “Chef 5 Minute Meals,” which could come in handy if the power goes out.

“The Chef 5 Minute Meals are self-heating meals, no electricity to store it or to heat it up,” Laura Schoonmaker said.

With a saltwater activator, the meal is heated up right inside the box.

“The steam is what heats up your meal and it only takes five minutes. It is nice to have a hot meal in a disaster,” she said.

These products help during a storm, but once a hurricane hits, FEMA offers resources to help families pick up the pieces.

“The first thing people need to do is check with their local insurance company and personal insurance company to see what’s covered. If you don’t have coverage, then reach out to FEMA if a disaster is declared to register for assistance,” Deanne Criswell, FEMA Administrator said.

Criswell said this hurricane season is predicted to be a busy one like last year, so they’re prepared and ready to help.

“We learned so much from last year and how we can provide our services to implement our programs. We are taking those lessons into this year,” Criswell said.

The FEMA help line is 1-800-621-3362, or for more information click HERE.

The National Hurricane Conference continues tomorrow.

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