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PRESS RELEASE

Governor Jindal Urges Louisianians to Monitor Weather in the Gulf & Remain Vigilant as Height of Hurricane Season Nears

BATON ROUGE (August 10, 2010) - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal said the state remains on alert and continues to monitor the weather system in the Gulf. The Governor urged Louisianians to remain vigilant about the weather in the Gulf, especially as the height of hurricane season nears.

Governor Jindal said, “While the weather system is not expected to be severe, all state agencies are taking the necessary steps to prepare for a quick response should this system strengthen. As we enter the height of hurricane season and because of the oil that remains off of our coast, we cannot take anything for granted. We know weather systems can quickly strengthen and that’s why we always hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Now is the time to ensure that you and your family have a game plan should a severe storm threaten our coast. I urge all Louisiana families to visit www.getagameplan.org right away to find out how they can protect themselves and their homes in the event of a bad storm.”



STATE AGENCY UPDATES

Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP)

  • GOHSEP is activated at a level three, with staff monitoring developments in the storm.
  • The GOHSEP Joint Information Center will provide critical information to the media and the public about storm preparations and response.
  • GOHSEP is in contact with EOC’s in coastal parishes to provide any needed support in case parishes decide to evacuate low lying or coastal areas.


Louisiana National Guard (LANG)

  • LANG has personnel and equipment ready to respond as needed and has reached out to parish officials and is ready to provide support as needed. LANG has 1.8 million sandbags ready to push out to low lying areas as needed.


Louisiana State Police / Department of Public Safety

  • LSP Crisis Response personnel continue to monitor storm activity from the LSP EOC in Baton Rouge. LSP Personnel are on standby for potential deployment as needed to areas that may be affected by the storm.
  • Troop Commanders are working with local officials and law enforcement to provide assistance and assets as needed to areas that may be affected, particularly low-lying coastal areas.
  • LOSCO is also monitoring the storm situation for possible impact to BP Oil spill clean-up efforts and will make recommendations as needed.


Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration (OCPR)

  • OCPR will monitor both the Caernarvon (St. Bernard) and Davis Pond (St. Charles) Freshwater Diversions and may need to close both in accordance with standard operating procedures during tropical storms and hurricanes. Diversions will be reopened when water levels return to normal following the storm.
  • OCPR is coordinating with the Corps of Engineers as well as area levee and conservation districts to monitor rising water levels to determine appropriate times to close flood and navigation gates on area waterways. Closures of floodgates on area waterways in St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, Lafourche and Terrebonne are expected as water levels rise over the next 24-36 hours.
  • OCPR is coordinating with levee districts and parish EOCs to monitor water levels on area levee systems to determine if additional assets are needed for potential flood fighting from elevated tides, storm surges or rainfall.


Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)

  • DCFS’s Emergency Preparedness section has initiated its phase 1 communications plan, which includes coordinating communications with American Red Cross and reviewing current resources available in Southeast and Southwest LA.


Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

  • DEQ is working with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on a plan to provide air monitoring services as quickly as possible should the storm impact Louisiana.
  • All vehicles, boats, airplanes and equipment are prepared for emergency use/response.


Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF)

  • LDWF has all of its enforcement agents on alert at this time to respond to any potential tropical storm. Agents in coastal areas are preparing their equipment for transport to safer areas of the state. The Enforcement Division has more than 200 agents and boats for search and rescue operations after the storm.
  • The Forward Mobile Command Center is prepared and ready to deploy.


Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ)

  • OJJ has informed all appropriate staff of the tropical weather system and all are on alert.
  • Bridge City Center for Youth near New Orleans will evacuate youth to Jetson Center for Youth in Baker if necessary. Jetson is ready to receive the youth. Detention centers in south Louisiana are on alert and OJJ will evacuate youth in our custody to safer locations inland if it becomes necessary.


Department of Corrections

  • The Department of Corrections is in contact with the Orleans Parish Prison regarding the possibility of moving offenders as it did in the case of Tropical Storm Bonnie in July. At the current time, there are no plans to move offenders from parish/local facilities.


Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA)

  • Both the Southeast LA Veterans Home in Reserve (St. John the Baptist Parish) and the Southwest LA Veterans Home in Jennings are conducting patient preparation in anticipation of possible evacuation.



STAY INFORMED/BE PREPARED
Throughout any tropical storm or hurricane, public information will be released through GOHSEP and the state Joint Information Center. A list of hurricane supplies, evacuation information and other critical information can be found on the www.getagameplan.org website.


Preparedness kits include:

  • A three to five day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won't spoil
  • One change of clothing and footwear per person, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person
  • A first aid kit that includes prescription medications
  • Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries
  • An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler's checks
  • Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members
  • And, important family documents in a waterproof container.

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