Gov. John Bel Edwards on Saturday requested a federal emergency declaration from the White House, as Tropical Storms Marco and Laura are forecast to impact Louisiana in quick sequence early next week.
On Friday, Gov. Edwards declared a state of emergency in Louisiana and began hosting meetings of the state’s Unified Command Group and receiving daily briefings on the two storms. The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has activated its Emergency Operations Center to monitor the storm and will switch to 24 hour operations beginning tomorrow.
So far, 14 parishes have issued parish emergency declarations, five parishes are in the process of completing their emergency declarations, and more are anticipated over the next 24 to 48 hours. This allows GOHSEP to coordinate assistance to these parishes. Louisiana State Police, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the Department of Transportation and Development and other state agencies are activated and preparing in anticipation of the storms’ impact on Louisiana. The Governor will begin media briefings about the storms tomorrow morning.
“In the past 24 hours, the tracks of these two storms have changed dramatically and in a way that is unfavorable for our state. This is unlike anything we have seen, with two hurricanes expected to impact our state nearly back to back. This may mean that people will have to shelter in place for more than 72 hours and that there may not be time to do things like restore lost power between the two storms,” Gov. Edwards said. “I encourage everyone to begin their emergency preparations now, as some areas of the state may be impacted by two storms. You should be heeding the advice of your local officials, and it is incredibly important that you take precautions to account for COVID-19, including having masks and sanitation supplies if you do leave your home. If you shelter in place, you should only do so with your immediate household to continue to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the state.”
GOHSEP provides preparedness advice on its GetAGameplan.org website. People should check their emergency supplies and remember to include any items needed to sustain each family member for at least three days, if not five, days.
Supply kits should include:
The Governor’s office will share updates about potential severe weather and COVID-19 through its texting system. People may opt-in by texting LAGOV to 67283 and sign up for phone calls by going to Smart911.