On Sunday Mr. Hailey let himself into her apartment when she did not answer the door. He found her lying on the floor and tried to resuscitate her, but it was too late. That evening, the neighbors played brass-band music in the courtyard and danced for Ms. Bergerol, recalling her vivid blue eyes and frequent, wide smile.
By then, city health officials had begun to realize the danger that older residents were facing. A day before Ms. Bergerol’s death, they evacuated eight apartments for older residents, including several where people had died. Now, city officials are considering mandating, during natural disasters, that subsidized apartments serving older or disabled residents have generators, conduct welfare checks or have a building manager on the property at all times, a spokesman said.
The proposed measures are gaining momentum partly because of deaths like that of Mr. Joseph, the man stuck in apartment 312.
Mr. Joseph was well known at Village de Jardin, a relatively affordable complex in New Orleans East for people 55 and older. It is owned by the Louisiana Housing Corporation, a state agency, and managed by Latter & Blum, a large real estate company that manages properties across several states. The housing agency said Latter & Blum had encouraged tenants to evacuate and then, after the storm, brought cooling buses to the property and supplies to tenants who chose to stay.
Mr. Joseph had retired years ago from a job selling car parts. He frequently chatted with neighbors, and his routine included grabbing coffee and beignets around town. He was known for his faith, his love of his family and, to some, his trademark reply, “Yes, indeed,” which led his grandchildren to call him Grandpa Yes Indeed. Many more people knew him for his humor, which is how he became friends with Mr. Righteous, 45, who was drawn to Mr. Joseph when he was cracking jokes at an event hosted by the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church.