Nashville responds: In addition to sending trained response teams to the areas effected by Katrina, Nashville is becoming a destination for people leaving those areas. There are lots of folks here opening their homes to friends and relatives.
I have heard there will be some formal announcements about response plans and ways in which Nashville residents and businesses can ease the burden on these visitors. For example, I have heard that the Opryland Hotel has dramatically slashed its nightly rates for those fleeing southern Louisiana and Mississippi. I’ve also heard that area museums and attractions are waiving admission fees for those who find themselves in Nashville as unintentional refugees. Additionally, there are plans being developed for other, more ambitious responses as well.
Update: The Nashville City Paper has more details about the city’s (official government departments and the local hospitality businesses) response.
Area attractions providing free admission to hurricane victims include the Parthenon, Centennial Park Sportsplex, Adventure Science Center, Nashville Zoo, Country Music Hall of Fame, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and the Jazz and Blues Music Festival on Saturday and Sunday.
Local hotels and motels are working with the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) to aid hurricane victims with special discounts and other services, he said.
Also, the paper reports that the state’s governor has announced that students attending accreditied colleges closed by Katrina are being invited to study at Tennessee universities during the coming weeks.