Friday, June 24, 2016
St. John the Baptist Parish – St. John the Baptist Parish Administration and Public Safety Department hosted a hurricane preparedness public meeting at REGALA Gym in Reserve recently. The purpose of the meeting was to equip residents and businesses with tools and information to prepare for tropical systems and remain connected to accurate Parish information throughout a severe weather event.
James Waskom, Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), Kenneth Graham, Chief Meteorologist of the National Weather Service Slidell, Kerry Jones with Entergy and Jobe Boucvalt, St. John Parish Director of Public Safety served as guest speakers. Waskom stressed to the public to "Get a Game Plan" which includes identifying an evacuation route; supplying an emergency kit and stocking essentials.
Graham explained the latest forecasting trends and presented the 2016 tropical seasonal outlook. Kerry Jones from Entergy explained his company’s policy on restoring power after a storm. He clarified that the first thing Entergy does is assess the damage and restore power to critical infrastructure before anything else. “Downloading the Entergy APP on your smartphone is a great way to receive updates on power in your area, report outages, and identify restoration times,” said Jones.
Boucvalt stressed that residents should know the Parish’s pickup locations in the event of a mandatory evacuation, what items to bring to a shelter, options if a resident decides to stay home and information regarding returning to the Parish after a storm. “The streets need to be cleared of any dangers before residents are allowed to come back home,” said Boucvalt. “We are doing our part to prepare and we ask the residents plan ahead as a tropical system can arise at any time and sometimes with little advanced notice,” said Boucvalt. Residents were also instructed on how to sign up for the Parish’s emergency notification system to receive texts, email and phone calls during an emergency. The meeting closed with a question and answer session.
Residents are invited to a free tornado awareness class held by GOHSEP on Monday, July 25, 2016 at the St. John Parish Library in LaPlace. The class will take place from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm and is open to the public. Residents can register by visiting http://gohsep.la.gov/RESOURCES/TRAINING-EVENTS-SCHEDULE. This course will help participants better understand the basics of tornado science, the weather forecasting process, and the tornado warning process.
For more information and/or presentations from all speakers, please visit sjbparish.com.