God forbid you need to evacuate your home. I'm still having trouble fathoming the list of trials awaiting our friends, relatives and everyone else in the the Gulf coast states right now.
However, in case another disaster ever encroaches upon your hometown--I thought this was helpful advice. When we moved (from Alaska to Kansas) last year and more recently, for just weekend stays, we have booked all of our hotel stays online. Perfectly fine when everything else falls into line. You can even get great discounts.
However, reading this article from a newsman in New Orleans who was trying to get accomodations for his grandmother--looks like nothing beats good 'ol Ma Bell. After striking out a few times, more than once, he was able to find lodging online. He called to confirm though (good Boy Scout: be prepared) only to find out that the hotel's computers had been down for days and they had NO rooms even though the internet said they did! You could arrive, confirmation number in hand and be out of luck!
If any disaster causes you to seek shelter at higher ground in your future---call ahead to see if there really is room at the inn!