On June 3, city officials unveiled one of 17 new "Evacuspots" — 14-foot sculptures that identify pickup points in the event the city activates its mandatory hurricane evacuation plan — at a ceremony outside Armstrong Park on North Rampart Street.
"We can't be ready enough," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "Every season is different." (Two days after the event, the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season — Tropical Storm Andrea — formed in the Gulf of Mexico.)
The stick-man sculptures, created by artist Doug Kornfeld, indicate a pickup location where anyone can meet for a city-assis-ted ride out of New Orleans in the event of a mandatory evacuation. Robert X. Fogarty, founder of the group Evacuteer, which developed the Evacuspot idea, said the Evacuspots create public art that also serves a purpose, rather than "signs the size of a two-hour parking sign. ... These sculptures signify an evacuation we hope to never have to use," he said.
"Arts and culture intersect directly with civic goals," said Kim Cook, president of the Arts Council of New Orleans, the organization that funded the $200,000 project.
Attached to the sculpture is a reminder about what to bring (and what not to bring) if you evacuate on city-provided transportation: only one piece of luggage no larger than 15 inches by 22 inches. Pets must be in a carrier or on a leash and have proof of vaccinations. No drugs, guns or "prohibited substances" are allowed, and all evacuees must bring identification.
All Evacuspot locations are listed on the city's website at new.nola.gov/ready/evacuspots/map/.
— Alex Woodward