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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Parish hurricane evacuation plan taking shape

Parish hurricane evacuation plan taking shape

Lafourche Parish government is putting the finishing touches on a plan it hopes to never use: the evacuation of parish residents to shelters of last resort in the event of a major hurricane making a direct hit or very near strike on the parish.

Should an approaching hurricane pose enough of a threat for parish officials to call for an evacuation, residents would be directed to three designated shelters, those being Thibodaux High School, the Raceland Recreation Center and the Larose Civic Center.

“The goal is to get people as far away from harm’s way as practically possible,” said Reggie Bagala, parish Director of Community Services. “All three facilities have adequate restroom facilities,” he said.

However, Bagala noted that any evacuees at the shelters must bring their own bedding, clothing, food and prescription medicines for a three day stay. Animals will also be accepted at the shelters as long as they are kenneled. No animals on leashes or in improper containers will be accepted.

Should weather conditions warrant a move to a facility outside of the parish, the parish government has agreements in place with facilities in the Monroe area to house storm refugees should conditions in the parish warrant evacuation to a more northern point.

Bagala noted that as evacuees arrive at one of the three designated shelters, they will be processed using an identification system in which their driver’s license or other identification card will be scanned.

Each individual will then be given a number on a bar coded wristband in which individuals will be able to be quickly identified should the need to identify a specific individual arise.

Evacuees at each designated shelter will also have their personal identifications scanned by law enforcement in order to keep known sex offenders in a secure area away from other evacuees.

Individuals needing transportation to a shelter in the event of an evacuation should call now to get their names placed on a list being compiled by parish officials. Residents should call Ann Bruno at the Office of Emergency Preparedness at 985-537-7603 to register their names and those of any other family members who may need help.

For more information on how to better prepare for a hurricane evacuation, please go to and click on the banner reading “hurricane and emergency preparedness.”