The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is deploying employees and coordinating assistance from other state agencies for response and recovery efforts related to Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The island nations of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) were battered by the storms that struck within a matter of days. The employees on the missions are being deployed after requests for help made through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

“Louisianans know all too well what our fellow Americans are going through as they work to recover from the devastating impacts of major back-to-back hurricanes, which is why we have wasted no time in answering their calls for help,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards. “We’re sending experienced teams of emergency responders to the affected areas who will be able to help the survivors overcome some of the unique logistical and geographical challenges they’re battling, and we stand ready to answer any additional requests for help. We are also working with our parish emergency managers to collect specific items from the concerned public to deliver to hurricane survivors. We encourage everyone to join us and get involved by finding out how they can help these families on their road to recovery.”

Donations will be accepted now through October 11. It is important to only donate the following items:

  • Diapers
  • Non-perishable formula
  • Baby wipes
  • Bottles and nipples
  • Feminine care products

Here is a list of collection sites in participating parishes: http://gov.louisiana.gov/PuertoRico.

Gov. Edwards also released a video encouraging all Louisianans who are able, to participate in the donation drive. Click here to view the governor’s video message.

EMAC offers assistance during governor-declared states of emergency through a responsive, straightforward system that allows states to send personnel, equipment, and commodities to help disaster relief efforts in other states. Through EMAC, states are able to join forces and help one another, as needed, during each phase of the emergency. The state-to-state system was developed after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and established in 1996.

Current Louisiana EMAC Missions:

U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI)

EMAC Advance Team (A-Team): This three member team consisting of GOHSEP and Louisiana Army National Guard (LANG) staff will assist Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) with the drafting, review, and processing of mutual aid resource requests within the EMAC system. The mission length is 14 days.

Puerto Rico

LANG is providing a 167 person Horizontal Engineer Company with water provision assets and four (4) HIPPO’s (water supply tanks) with trailers, to provide engineering and hydration support for 30 days.

LANG is providing a 163 person Military Police Company to provide wide area security for 30 days.

Anticipated Mission: GOHSEP is putting together a Housing Strike Team Mission to assist with planning & development of housing solutions for displaced citizens. The 11 person team consisting of GOHSEP and LANG personnel will work along with the Secretary of Housing for Puerto Rico.

For more information on the Emergency Management Assistance Compact visit www.emacweb.com.

GOHSEP's highly trained EMAC teams have been called upon to assist in past emergencies such as Hurricane Harvey is Texas in 2017, the 2011 tornado outbreaks in Alabama and Missouri, the Hurricane Irene response in Maryland and Vermont, and the 2012 Hurricane Sandy response and recovery in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and  Connecticut.

Visit www.511.org for road updates during an emergency.  Keep your phones charged and near you while the threat continues in order to receive potential emergency messaging.

 

Find more tips on weather and preparedness on GOHSEP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App.  It is free for basic service.  The Get A Game Plan App is another resource available to help you and your family prepare for any type emergency. You download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at www.getagameplan.org.