La. emergency teams assist Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands

La. emergency teams assist Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands

Information provided by Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP)

BATON ROUGE, LA - The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is deploying employees and coordinating assistance from other state agencies for response and recovery efforts related to Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The island nations of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) were battered by the storms that struck within a matter of days. The employees on the missions are being deployed after requests for help made through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

"Louisianans know all too well what our fellow Americans are going through as they work to recover from the devastating impacts of major back-to-back hurricanes, which is why we have wasted no time in answering their calls for help," said Gov. John Bel Edwards. "We're sending experienced teams of emergency responders to the affected areas who will be able to help the survivors overcome some of the unique logistical and geographical challenges they're battling, and we stand ready to answer any additional requests for help. We are also working with our parish emergency managers to collect specific items from the concerned public to deliver to hurricane survivors. We encourage everyone to join us and get involved by finding out how they can help these families on their road to recovery."

Donations will be accepted now through October 11. It is important to only donate the following items:

Non-perishable formula
Baby wipes
Bottles and nipples
Feminine care products
Here is a list of collection sites in participating parishes:

Gov. Edwards also released a video encouraging all Louisianans who are able, to participate in the donation drive. Click here to view the governor's video message.

EMAC offers assistance during governor-declared states of emergency through a responsive, straightforward system that allows states to send personnel, equipment, and commodities to help disaster relief efforts in other states. Through EMAC, states are able to join forces and help one another, as needed, during each phase of the emergency. The state-to-state system was developed after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and established in 1996.

Current Louisiana EMAC Missions:

U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI)

EMAC Advance Team (A-Team): This three member team consisting of GOHSEP and Louisiana Army National Guard (LANG) staff will assist Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) with the drafting, review, and processing of mutual aid resource requests within the EMAC system. The mission length is 14 days.

Puerto Rico

LANG is providing a 167 person Horizontal Engineer Company with water provision assets and four (4) HIPPO's (water supply tanks) with trailers, to provide engineering and hydration support for 30 days.

LANG is providing a 163 person Military Police Company to provide wide area security for 30 days.

Anticipated Mission: GOHSEP is putting together a Housing Strike Team Mission to assist with planning & development of housing solutions for displaced citizens. The 11 person team consisting of GOHSEP and LANG personnel will work along with the Secretary of Housing for Puerto Rico.