If a hurricane threatens New Orleans, IATSE Local 478 procedures for closure are as follows:
All 478 members will be notified by IATSE Local 478 if an evacuation is being considered, and if they will be required to vacate the premises of stages and locations.
It is up to each production/employer to notify all their crew members/employees of the evacuation procedures and departmental preparations.
IATSE Local 478 will secure the perimeter of the office. The security systems will be set on emergency mode, access to the office will be no longer possible, all doors and gates will be locked.
The phone system and website will be updated with information about when the facility will reopen.
The website will have the possibilities for members to communicate.
Re-opening will occur once clearance is given by the City of New Orleans.
The posted IATSE Local 478 Weather Policy has been prepared to ensure the safety of our members.
This policy is provided to all the productions in our jurisdiction; although please note it is not contractual and non-enforceable.
Please contact the business office with any weather-related concerns.
The National Weather Service announces a Hurricane Watch when hurricane conditions (sustained winds at or exceeding 74 miles per hour) can be expected in a specific coastal area.
Because hurricane preparedness becomes difficult as a storm approaches the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical force winds. At this stage in a storm’s development storms often stall, meander, and otherwise delay landfall by hours or even days.
Hurricane Watch “cones” (the triangular shaped area where landfall is predicted) may shift several times before actual landfall.
There are logistical problems in evacuating the metropolitan area of New Orleans. Drive times that normally would take fractions of hours can take four to eight hours.
Consequently, Local 478 and many local authorities would prefer watches to be issued earlier, but since the National Weather Service will only issue a hurricane watch 48 hours before possible landfall it is Local 478’s policy that once a Watch is issued production will cease by the end of the workday on which the watch is issued.
Production should consider ending the workday at the end of the eight (8) hour minimum workday.
The day a watch is announced should be the last workday until the storm has passed.
Upon this last workday employees can be requested to assist production in securing equipment and locations.
At the close of the workday Local 478 employees (and those working in a Local 478 covered craft) must be released from work until the weather threat has passed.
If a watch is issued prior to the start of a workday production may choose to not start on that day. Essential personnel may be asked to report to work for a brief period to assist production in securing sets, equipment, and locations but it is, as always, to the discretion of the employee to accept the work call.
The National Weather Service issues a Hurricane Warning when sustained hurricane force winds of 74 miles an hour or more are expected in an area within 36 hours.
Since a watch always precedes a warning Local 478 covered craft employees should have already been released from work and production should have ceased and secured sets and equipment.
Production should be in the evacuation process for all personnel.
New workdays should never be scheduled once a warning is announced.
For more information regarding hurricane preparedness visit the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) website at http://www.noaa.gov