BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards participated in a briefing organized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Friday.
Gov. Edwards was joined by governors from other hurricane impacted states, as well as President Donald J. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke, FEMA Administrator Brock Long and other cabinet and federal agency leaders.
During the meeting, the President was briefed on the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season forecast by the acting director for the National Hurricane Center. Acting Secretary Duke discussed the government-wide year-long hurricane preparedness efforts, working with all levels of government, the private sector, and individuals – highlighting the shared responsibility of preparedness. FEMA Administrator Long discussed the nation's readiness posture for hurricane response and the Agency's response and recovery capabilities.
"We are entering peak hurricane season, and it's critically important for everyone – state, local, and federal officials – to be in constant communication and coordinating efforts," said Gov. Edwards. "We know all too well how important it is for state and federal officials to share information when a storm is approaching, and this briefing was extremely helpful. I appreciate the collaborative approach the administration is taking to keep everyone informed, and I would encourage everyone in Louisiana to get a game plan now.
"Natural disaster preparedness is a joint effort between state and local partners, the American people, and the federal government. We at DHS and FEMA are ready to respond quickly, efficiently, and effectively when a disaster occurs," said Acting Secretary Duke. "We take this responsibility seriously, and like today will continue to coordinate closely with our state and local partners to support our nation's collective ability to respond."
Several governors shared their state-specific preparedness efforts, as well as ongoing coordination with their federal counterparts.
"Incidents begin and end locally, and FEMA's role is to support the efforts and capabilities of states, local governments, tribes, and territories impacted by disasters," said Administrator Long. "FEMA stands ready to coordinate federal capabilities in our shared responsibility for response and recovery. Every level of government and each individual have a role to play."
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30. More information on safety measures the public can take can be found here. The FEMA App (available in English and Spanish) puts safety tips, directions to shelters, emergency supply checklists and more, into the palms of users' hands.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has developed a "Get A Game Plan" App to assist Louisianans prepare for a storm. More information is available at getagameplan.org.
Visit WAFB's Hurricane Center for more information, including an interactive radar.