Be Prepared & Stay Informed
While Plaquemines Parish officials hope never to have to deal with a terrorist attack, we must prepare for such an event. That means every resident in the Parish should also have a plan, just as you have a hurricane plan, in the event there is a terrorist attack in the area.
Terrorism is defined as "the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."
When terrorism strikes, communities may receive assistance from State and federal agencies. In Louisiana, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is the lead State agency for supporting local response. In the event of an attack impacting Plaquemines Parish, Parish officials will be coordinating with the State on response and recovery.
Being prepared is the best thing you can do for you and your family and there are some simple steps you can take to be prepared:
Create an Emergency Communications Plan
Choose an out-of-town contact your family or household will call or email to check on each other should a disaster occur. Your selected contact should live far enough away that they would be unlikely to be directly affected by the same event, and they should know they are the chosen contact. Make sure every household member has that contact’s, and each other’s, email addresses and telephone numbers (home, work, pager and cell).
Establish a Meeting Place
Having a predetermined meeting place away from your home will save time and minimize confusion should your home be affected or the area evacuated. You may even want to make arrangements to stay with a family member or friend in case of an emergency.
Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit
If you need to evacuate your home or are asked to "shelter in place," having emergency kit on hand will make you and your family more comfortable. Keep in mind, your emergency kit needs to include supplies in the event of a chemical threat, which will be handled differently than other emergency events. In the event of a chemical release, close and lock all windows and exterior doors. Turn off all fans, heating and air conditioning systems. Close the fireplace damper. Go to an interior room without windows that’s above ground level. Keep listening to your radio or television until you are told all is safe or you are told to evacuate.
Check on the School Emergency Plan of Any School-Age Children You May Have
You need to know if they will keep children at school until a parent or designated adult can pick them up or send them home on their own. Be sure that the school has updated information about how to reach parents and responsible caregivers to arrange for pickup. And, ask what type of authorization the school may require to release a child to someone you designate, if you are not able to pick up your child. During times of emergency, the school telephones may be overwhelmed with calls.
If Disaster Strikes
Things to remember if disaster strikes:
- Remain calm and be patient
- Follow the advice of local emergency officials
- Listen to your radio or television for news and instructions
- If the disaster occurs near you, check for injuries and call 911. Give first aid and do not move but get help for seriously injured people
- If the disaster occurs near your home while you are there, check for damage using a flashlight. Do not light matches or candles or turn on electrical switches. Check for fires, fire hazards and other household hazards. Sniff for gas leaks, starting at the water heater. If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open windows and get everyone outside quickly.
- Shut off any other damaged utilities
- Confine or secure your pets
- Call your family contact and check in
- Check on your neighbors, especially those who are elderly or disabled