Today, the Governor's office of John Bel Edwards released this press statement regarding their "tabletop" exercise:
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) hosted a tabletop exercise today based on the threat of a major hurricane impacting the state while portions of the Gulf Coast region are beginning recovery from a previous event.
Gov. John Bel Edwards ordered the exercise last week as state agencies handled response to Hurricane Harvey and the threat of Hurricane Irma grew. The scenario in today’s exercise involved a Category 3 hurricane moving across Florida and impacting New Orleans and several south Louisiana parishes. As part of the tabletop exercise, state agencies and local emergency managers were asked to take actions based on the fact much of Texas was not available for support due to the real-life impact of Harvey.
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Gov. John Bel Edwards said, “With Hurricane Harvey behind us, our attention is focusing on the next possible threat. The exercise today helps reinforce our plans based on strained resources at all levels of government due to multiple emergencies. This is a real possibility and it will help us prepare for potential problems from Hurricane Irma or any storm that follows. Many of our people are still living in temporary housing after the 2016 floods. It is important for us to factor all of those type issues into our emergency plans.”
“Louisiana has faced this type of test in the past,” said GOHSEP Director James Waskom. “Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Louisiana coast within weeks of each other in 2005. In some areas, we are beginning the damage assessment work from Hurricane Harvey with our local partners. We must remain on guard for any new threats like Irma. Texas has historically been one of our strongest allies during an emergency, but much of that support may not be available now while their recovery begins. That means making alternative plans and making adjusts to our operations.”
Governor Edwards releases Hurricane Irma tabletop preparation information--talk about this subject below
Ken Graham, Meteorologist-in-Charge for the National Weather Service New Orleans/Baton Rouge, provided exercise participants with changing weather conditions similar to the way those reports are delivered for an actual event. Graham said, “This is the heart of hurricane season, when multiple tropical events are a reality. It is important to stay prepared and monitor our forecast. Take advantage of the time you have to make sure you and your family are safe.”
Visit www.511la.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.