PEMAC Meeting

Posted: Jul 15, 2023, 9:10 PM

Bossier City and Parish government and public safety officials received new information on emergency preparedness and heard a review of the all-agency response to last month's series of severe weather incidents that wreaked havoc on the parish.

Bossier Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (BOHSEP) Executive Director Ian Snellgrove said response among all agencies to the storms was quick and effective.

"All of you did a very good job in the responding to these weather events," he said. "Communication and cooperation between all agencies and first responders was good, and there was good distribution of manpower to areas of need."

Snellgrove told members of the Parish Emergency Management Advisory Committee (PEMAC) Thursday that the storms hit Bossier Parish with little advance warning of the potential severity.

"In light of what happened so quickly, I think everyone did extremely well," he said. "Plans had to be developed as we went along, and we did everything we could. And, as always, we can learn from our experiences and improve."

Storms created havoc in city and rural areas, and PEMAC members pointed to a couple of items parish residents should remember.

  • When power outages affect traffic signals, motorists should consider all intersections as four-way stops. During widespread outages, law enforcement officers are unable to cover all intersections and must respond to other emergency situations.
  • Residents should treat all downed power lines as if they are "hot." Residents should refrain from attempting to move any fallen line, especially those that may be entangled in fallen trees or across buildings and vehicles.

PEMAC members meet twice annually to review changes in legislation and regulations that impact local emergency situations, and to study action plans for response to emergencies in Bossier Parish.