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Emergency director concerned about Louisiana residents reluctant to evacuate for storms

2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago Tuesday, May 28 2024 May 28, 2024 May 28, 2024 3:34 PM May 28, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — After last week's prediction that the North Atlantic Ocean would see an above-average hurricane season, attention turned Tuesday to whether Louisiana is prepared for upcoming storms.

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said it's been working for months to get local governments on the same page when it comes to hurricane prep, including evacuation protocols.

"What concerns me about Louisiana is our inability and our desire not to evacuate," said Jacques Thibodeaux, GOHSEP's director. "We try to preach that out there. We try to tell everyone, 'Make sure you have not only a shelter-in-place plan but also an evacuation plan.

"Make sure your plan deals with your family, business and pets. And you have to stay informed, and when that local official tells you it's time to go, it's time to go," he said.

Administrators also reviewed when parishes might expect to receive state aid following natural disasters. In general, pre-incident emergency declarations are unlikely for anything other than a tropical storm or hurricane. After the storms, parishes must be able to meet at least three of six criteria before being eligible for state aid.

The criteria are as follows: a parish's own declaration, a confirmed tornado, power outages to at least 50 percent of the parish, meeting a FEMA dollar amount threshold, fatalities or mass casualties, and confirmed straight-line winds in excess of 74 mph. 

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