Parish, state officials discuss emergency preparedness _lowres

Photo provided by Erin Foster -- Kevin Davis, director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, standing, far left, spoke to West Feliciana Parish and state officials June 16 about working together during emergency and crisis situations.

The Emergency Operations Center at the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office was packed June 16 with parish and state officials who met to discuss plans for local emergencies — specifically hurricanes.

“The bottom line is that we want to make sure we’re able to take care of our people,” said Brian Spillman, director of homeland security and emergency preparedness for West Feliciana Parish.

Representatives from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, West Feliciana Parish Citizen Corps; Sheriff’s Office; Fire District 1; hospital; Public Works Department; School Board; St. Francisville police; EMS; and Entergy were in attendance.

The groups discussed several topics, including the importance of communication; sandbag distribution; parish shelters; clearing debris; and documenting activity for state reimbursement, according to Erin Foster, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office.

Kevin Davis, GOHSEP director, complimented the group for coming together and working for the common good.

“It’s exciting to see a group this size working so well together. It’s nice when you are familiar with the folks you’ll be dealing with during a crisis,” Davis said. “Our commitment is that when your EOC sends a resource request to GOHSEP, you’ll receive documentation on exactly when it will arrive, and it will be sent to you immediately so that you can then plan accordingly. When a call is made to me, I’ll ensure you get what you need.”

Louisiana 211 representative Kristen Knox spoke briefly about the LA 211 service.

“Getting the word out now is critical,” she said. “LA 211 can be accessed by dialing 211 from any phone, and callers will be given access to information about food, health care, shelter, cleanup and anything else they may need in a crisis situation.”

“Overall, I feel strongly that our parish is prepared for an emergency situation and that we will continue to work well together as we have done in the past,” Spillman said.

For information about the LA 211 service, visit www.louisiana211.org.

For information about West Feliciana Parish homeland security, visit www.wfpso.org and select “Community” then “Homeland Security.”