New Orleans Braces for Storm

Tropical storm Gustav is heading for Jamaica.

Forecasters are predicting that Gustav will turn into a hurricane later today, and the National Hurricane Center is warning that heavy rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides in Jamaica.

Meanwhile in New Orleans, the city is busy preparing to face the storm. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin left the Democratic National Convention in Denver early to prepare, and Governor Bobby Jindal has declared a state of emergency. Forecasters say Gustav could hit between the Gulf of Mexico with winds as strong as 111 mph.

New Orleans has already ordered a mandatory evacuation if a Category 3 or stronger hurricane comes within 60 hours of the city. The state has arranged for buses and trains to take people to safety and already 8,000 people have signed up to be moved.

The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency is also working with the state. FEMA says it has 4 million meals, 478 electric generators and 267 truckloads of blankets and cots in place for shelters in the Gulf states.
The storm comes on the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which flooded 80% of New Orleans and caused massive death and destruction.

Learn more about how you can prepare for a disaster.