New Orleans

CULTURAL AWARENESS

New Orleans is 199 square miles (516 sq km). It is located at the southeast of the state of Louisiana, between Lake Pontchartrain and a big bend, called a crescent, of the Mississippi River. Its population in March of 2007 was 1.2 million. (Post Katrina) In October of 2007, the city was estimated to be at 70% of its Pre-Katrina population. Also, many of the surrounding areas were estimated to be slightly higher in population than before Hurricane Katrina.


New Orleans as a Place to Live

New Orleans is a big city, but the people are very friendly and helpful. The people here love music, parties and events, and we do have a lot. New Orleans has a nice zoo and aquarium, with all kind of activities for smaller children, plus a Children‟s Museum with activities.
This is a special city, not looking like most American cities. It is filled to the roof with history. There are lots of restaurants from many different nationalities. Music from classical to jazz fills the city nightly. Several universities in the city further enrich its citizens‟ lives.
Most ex-pats live in the Garden District/Uptown or Metairie. Some Shell families have chosen to live north of Lake Pontchartrain in what is called “The North Shore”.


Creole and Cajun

Creoles were the first settlers of New Orleans, being descended from French, Spanish and African-American colonists who spoke their own French dialect.
Cajuns, also known as Acadians, are descended from French colonists who settled in Nova Scotia, Canada in the 17th and 18th centuries. These Cajuns were exiled by a victorious British army in 1765, and many fled to the nearest francophone colony in Southern Louisiana. The parish of Acadiana is named for them.


Difference between Creole and Cajun food

We found an answer in a book called: “Eating New Orleans” by Pableaux Johnson. He describes them thus:
‘Creole food is the food of a vibrant port city - a sophisticated cuisine that mixes a lot of influences from three centuries of international trade and cultural. Marked by butter-rich sauces and reliance on fresh caught seafood, Creole cuisine often bears a striking resemblance to continental French cooking while still showing influences from West Africa. The early city’s history, classical cooking techniques of early French aristocrats melded with those of African slave cooks’.


‘Cajun food, in contrast, is more rustic cuisine that developed in the swampy countryside of south Louisiana. The originators were the Acadians, French refugees from Canada. They adapted their elemental one-pot dishes to the swamps, prairies, waterways of coastal Louisiana’

New Orleans Weather

Average temperature and rainfall for New Orleans (2000).

 

Temperature

Temperature

Rainfall

 

Low ('F)

High ('F)

(inches)

Jan

43.4

61.8

5.87

Feb

46.1

65.3

5.47

Mar

52.7

72.1

5.24

Apr

58.4

78.0

5.02

May

66.4

84.8

4.62

Jun

72.0

89.4

6.83

July

74.2

89.4

6.20

Aug

73.9

91.0

6.15

Sept

70.6

87.1

5.55

Oct

60.2

79.7

3.05

Nov

51.8

71.0

5.09

Dec

45.6

64.5

5.07

The weather in New Orleans is hot, humid and wet!
The moody Gulf of Mexico is the state's weather-maker and gives Louisiana its semi-humid subtropical climate. Most of Louisiana is humid and subtropical.
Snow falls approximately once every 50 years, most recently on 25th December 2004.
New Orleans has an average of 57 days each year when the temperature exceeds 90'F.


Hurricanes

New Orleans is located in the Gulf of Mexico, an area which is prone to hurricanes.
Most locals keep an eye on hurricanes when they enter the Gulf of Mexico passing Cuba.

When is the hurricane season?
The beginning of June until the end of November, 6 months.
The most active months are usually August and September.

How to prepare when a hurricane is heading for New Orleans:

· Always make sure your car is filled up with petrol. There may not be any petrol for sale just before you evacuate!
· Make a hotel reservation by telephone as soon as possible. Using the internet may be slower when the whole area you live in is making reservations online.
· Ensure you have enough cash available as ATMs and credit cards may not work.
· Ensure you have new batteries for your radio so you can receive up to date coverage of the hurricanes activity.
· Have at least 7 days supply of water at home if you are not evacuating, and plenty for a long car journey if you are evacuating. The guidelines are 1 gallon a day for adults, children and the elderly may need more. Buy non perishable food items. Don't forget water, food and a leash for pets. Buy these supplies in advance because the stores quickly run out when a hurricane is approaching and everyone starts stocking up.
· Make sure you know the evacuation routes!
· In case you cannot go to the office, try to contact the office in New Orleans or Houston to tell them where you are. This was vital information the office needed, when New Orleans was affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
· Schools - see the 'Education' section of this website for information on schools in Houston, in case an evacuation results in a prolonged stay in the city.

It is suggested that the following information is shared with the Shell employees supervisor:
· phone numbers where you can be reached; include at least one number that can receive text messages (e.g. mobile phone)
· location you plan to be at throughout the storm
· non-Shell e-mail address that can be accessed from any computer with Internet access (if you don't have one, get one free from services like Hotmail or Yahoo).
· Check www.shell.com for updates


Websites for information about storms and hurricanes:

www.trac4la.com
www.weatherunderground.com
www.weather.com
www.lsp.org (the Louisiana police site, with all the evacuation routes)
www.weather.gov

Radio stations providing information before and during an evacuation:

New Orleans: AM 870 WWL or FM 101.9 WLMG
Baton Rouge AM 1150 WJBO or FM 102.5 WFWF



Outpost New Orleans

Focal point: Andrea Escobar
Office hours: by appointment
Languages: English, Dutch
Contact >>

Quicklinks