Bossier Parish is subject to the effects of many disasters that cover a wide spectrum of types and magnitudes. Disaster conditions can result from natural phenomena (tornados, floods, winter storms, droughts, fires, etc.) or manmade and technological incidents occurring from transportation of hazardous materials, explosions, train derailments, aircraft disasters, building collapses, terrorist incidents, etc.
- To develop and deliver disaster plans & programs to protect life and property.
- To Mobilize, direct, coordinate and utilize resources.
- To coordinate recovery and restoration operations.
- To assist government, volunteers, business, industry, education, medical and other units with their emergency plans & programs.
- To coordinate emergency services to mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from disasters.
- To coordinate local, state, and federal plans, programs, warnings, communications
and public information within the emergency operations center in case of a disaster.
Command Responsibility: Bossier OHSEP Executive Council
The Louisiana Disaster Act of 1993 authorized the Bossier Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness Executive Council as the primary responsible party for meeting the dangers posed by disasters. The OHSEP Executive Council is comprised of:
- Bossier Parish Police Jury President
- Bossier Parish Sheriff
- Mayor of the City of Bossier City
What is an EOC
An (EOC) or Emergency Operations Center is a central location from which local governments can provide interagency coordination and executive decision making in support of incident response and recovery operations. The purpose of the EOC is to provide a centralized location where public safety, emergency response, and support agencies coordinate planning, preparedness, and response activities. The EOC does not command or control on-scene response efforts, but does carry out the coordination functions through:
- Collecting, evaluating and disseminating incident information;
- Analyzing jurisdictional impacts and setting priority actions;
- Managing requests, procurement and utilization of resources.
The decisions made through the EOC are designed to be broad in scope and offer general guidance on priorities. Information is disseminated through the EOC Team and tactical decisions are coordinated from field response personnel. The EOC serves as a coordinated link between the Executive Council, Chief Elected Official (CEO) of each jurisdiction and the field personnel coordinating the execution of event priorities.
Emergency Operations Plan
An emergency develops because of a situation’s impact upon individuals. Under the Louisiana Disaster Act of 1993 and the Robert T. Stafford Act, each jurisdiction must continually update the Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). The focus of the plan is for the welfare of all citizens in the Bossier area. This plan defines actions necessary to provide the best possible programs to protect life and property. It also provides positive actions to deal with the adverse affects of a disaster. The EOP outlines government, private, and volunteer procedures during the four phases of emergency management.
Comprehensive Emergency Management
The EOP is an all-inclusive plan concerned with all types of hazards that Bossier Parish may face. OHSEP employs Comprehensive Emergency Management (CEM), a planning system of four phases: Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. CEM is a cyclical process with all four steps working in harmony. No single step can function fully without the other three.
MITIGATION is defined as activities that eliminate or reduce the impact of a disaster. Some examples are building codes, flood plain management, insurance, building elevations, designation or shelters, etc.
PREPAREDNESS is defined as activities that develop response capabilities and determine resource needs in case an emergency occurs. Planning, exercises, training, public education, and warning systems are examples of preparedness actions.
RESPONSE is defined as activities taken during a disaster to reduce casualties and damages and bring on the final phase - Recovery. Some examples of these activities are evacuation, search and rescue, triage and treatment, and restoration of utilities.
RECOVERY is defined as the process of returning the community to normalcy. It is both a short-term and long-term process. Short-term operations restore vital services such as water, electricity, and gas. Long-term recovery focuses on restoring the area to its pre-event status or improving upon that status. Temporary housing, restoration of governmental services, reconstruction of damaged property are recovery issues.
Emergency Preparedness Partnerships
Emergency Preparedness for Bossier Parish is a daily responsibility. Many departments and agencies share in the responsibility of preparing for a disaster to save lives and spare property. Emergency preparedness is a partnership. Here are some of the partners involved:
Bossier OHSEP ● Law Enforcement Agencies ● Fire Service Departments & Districts ● Emergency Medical Services ● Health Care Facilities ● Parish Health Units ● Parish Coroner’s Offices ● City & parish Public Works ● City & parish Water & Sewer ● Public & Private Utilities ● Parks & Recreation Departments ● School Systems ● American Red Cross ● Salvation Army ● Shreveport Airport Authority ● Transportation Systems ● City & Parish Legal Departments ● City & Parish Planning Departments ● City & Parish Finance Departments ● City & Parish Fleet Services ● Building Inspector / Code Enforcement ● County Agents, Forestry Service ● Offices of Family Support ● Councils on Aging ● Community Action Agencies ● Military Establishment
The news media provides an important part of emergency preparedness and response - direct communication with people. OHSEP provides news releases on all types of disasters or potential threats, as well as emergency public information on emergencies and incidents that threaten people or property.
National Weather Service
The National Weather Service (NWS) provides OHSEP with accurate, up-to-date weather forecasts. OHSEP distributes this information to city/ parish agencies throughout the Bossier area. NWS participates in many OHSEP activities including Tornado Awareness Week, Flood Advisories, Winter Storm Preparedness, and SKYWARN Training for area residents. Additionally, NWS co-sponsors the annual tornado drill for all Bossier schools.