Plaquemines Parish’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP) has achieved great success over the past few weeks that put the office in a unique class of emergency management. The parish government is excited to share all that OHSEP has accomplished.
Plaquemines Parish is now a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador. Plaquemines Parish is the first parish to receive this certification in the state of Louisiana. The Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador initiative is an effort to formally recognize NOAA partners who are improving the nation’s readiness against extreme weather, water, and climate events. As a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador, Plaquemines Parish is committing to work with NOAA and other ambassadors to strengthen national resilience against extreme weather.
Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Guy Laigast, received certification from the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Practitioner Program last week. Director Laigast is officially one of two emergency managers in the state to obtain the qualifications and standards necessary to be named an emergency practitioner.
Deputy Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Patrick Harvey, attended a FEMA Course at the NOAA National Weather Service National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida last week entitled Hurricane Preparedness for Decision Makers. He attended this course along with members of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), St. Tammany Parish and St. John the Baptist Parish.
Deputy Director Harvey’s course objectives were as follows: develop a better understanding of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast process and products; NHC forecasts have significant uncertainties that must be considered in emergency management decision making; develop a great knowledge on how to use NHC storm surge information; understand the components of Hurricane Evacuation Studies and how to plan for a hurricane threat; learn about the available resources and real time products for evacuation decision making.
The participants in the course had open discussions with NHC personnel, learned about the challenges of operational hurricane forecasting, hurricane hazards with a particular focus on storm surge and analyzed decision making actions during a hurricane simulation exercise.
The National Hurricane Center is a component of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) located at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. The NHC mission is to save lives, mitigate property loss and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts and analyses of hazardous tropical weather and by increasing understanding of these hazards. The NHC vision is to be America’s calm, clear and trusted voice in the eye of the storm and, with its partners, enable communities to be safe from tropical weather threats.
Pictured above: Deputy Director, Patrick Harvey studying storm surge models in the FEMA training course along with other participants in the course.