Louisiana ambulance teams deployed to Florida for Hurricane Dorian

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Louisiana ambulance teams head to Florida for Hurricane Dorian emergency assistance.

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is coordinating support for states expected to be impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Seven ambulance teams with a total of 35 units and 80 personnel arrived in Florida Saturday as emergency officials there prepare for this dangerous system.

"This is one of several requests Louisiana offered to fill to help Florida deal with this emergency," said GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom. "Some requests have been cancelled due to changing conditions. We will also continue to look for ways to assist other states that may see an impact from this major hurricane. Gov. Edwards has made it clear that we should always look for ways to assist our state partners in the same way they assist us in times of need. Many states look for Louisiana's support due to our experience and knowledge in dealing with emergencies."

There is an established state-to-state assistance program used to coordinate support through GOHSEP. The Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) offers assistance during governor-declared states of emergency or disaster through a responsive, straightforward system that allows states to send personnel, equipment, and commodities to assist with response and recovery efforts in other states.

EMAC establishes a firm legal foundation for sharing resources between states. Once the conditions for providing assistance to a requesting state have been set, the terms constitute a legally binding agreement. The EMAC legislation solves the problems of liability and responsibilities of cost and allows for credentials, licenses, and certifications to be honored across state lines.

We are now in the heart of hurricane season, when we typically see the most tropical activity. There are other potential threats being monitored by weather officials.

GOHSEP urges everyone to check your supplies and review for preparedness information.

During a tropical event, the state could be impacted by tidal surge, flooding and wind damage. It is important that you listen for crucial information from GOHSEP, other state agencies, local officials and your local weather experts.

A list of hurricane supplies, evacuation information and other critical information can be found on the website. Here are some examples of what you and your family may need in the event you must evacuate or shelter in place:

--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 your family's 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.

--Sanitation supplies.

--Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.

--An extra pair of glasses.

--Important family documents in a portable, waterproof container.

--Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels.

--Paper and pencil.

--Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.

--Infant formula and diapers.

--Pet food and extra water.

Contributed by GOHSEP