Louisiana Parish Ready for Hurricane Season

St. Tammany Parish government says it is prepared for the 2013 hurricane season and is asking citizens to be ready as well. "We ask our citizens to be prepared," Parish President Pat Brister said in a statement Thursday. "We want them to know that we are preparing also.

"We are all in it together when it comes to hurricane season, and though we cannot anticipate every outcome of any given storm, we can do our best to have systems in place to be prepared to address those issues."

Every department within parish government is tasked with certain duties to complete in anticipation of storm season, the news release said.

The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness met with the departments that will play a role in emergency operations during a storm. "It is crucial that we are speaking the same language as the departments with whom we work," said emergency preparedness director Dexter Accardo. "All of us may perform different duties throughout the year, but during a storm that is an immediate threat to our area, we incorporate those duties into emergency operations working together as one team."

The government recently launched a parishwide emergency notification system called ALERT St. Tammany and is asking all residents to register. The system can broadcast emergency messages to both cellphones and home phones.

Citizens can visit the parish's website (stpgov.org) to sign up so that they get essential information about evacuations or other lifesaving communications.

All parish government departments have reviewed and updated their emergency procedures, the release said. Parish government re-evaluated its staffing plans, as well as created a plan for each employee's designation in an emergency.

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