Gustav Makes Landfall, Just Missing New Orleans

Despite his situation, Finholt said he wasn't too worried.

"I'm very religious, so I count on God to get me through," he said.

To the side of the lines of evacuees ready to board buses, Talmadge Toney Jr. sat, waiting.

"I'm trying to figure out how to get out of here," Toney said. "During Katrina, my house in the Ninth Ward was 17 feet under water."

But like so many who have fled their homes this weekend, Toney says he'll come back.

"I'll come back – I was born and raised here," Toney said.

Authorities and volunteers seem so pleased with the way evacuation efforts went they've begun to prepare for the storm's potentially devastating aftermath.

In a press conference this morning, Nagin had harsh words for anyone thinking about looting after the storm.

"Looting will not be tolerated," Nagin said. "We have doubled our police force. We have doubled the National Guard Force we had for Katrina and looters will go directly to jail."

The days and weeks following Hurricane Katrina saw an onslaught of looters and crime, an aspect of the storm nobody wants to see happen again.

"I want to make sure that every looter understands that you will go directly to Angola Prison and god bless you when you go there," Nagin added.

Authorities, Residents Agree: Evacuation Is Going Smoothly

Jim Guidone, an American Red Cross volunteer, said he thinks Nagin's impassioned statements have done their job: People are leaving in droves.

"The tone was incredibly serious – to get out," Guidone said. "It's working."

Working so well that Guidone already has been able to secure 3,000 volunteers on the perimeter of New Orleans to re-enter the city as soon as it is safe after the storm. There are 500 shelters around the city already prepared with supplies and food.

"As soon as they say, 'Get in,' we're in," Guidone said of the Red Cross' first response team.

Guidone, who was in New Orleans during Katrina, said compared to three years ago things are going much smoother.

"People can't believe it's happening again, and a lot of them are upset and simply need a hug," he said.

"But the lesson has definitely been learned – they're leaving."

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