When it comes to emergency response teams in Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) is the first line of defense. LDEQ first responders maintain a close working relationship with the Emergency Services Unit (ESU) of the Louisiana State Police to respond to incidents involving hazardous materials. They also investigate environmental complaints. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security (GOHSEP) have also established a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and emergency preparedness program.
The Crisis Response Command is comprised of the Emergency Operations Center, the Consolidated Communications Unit at Headquarters, and mobile command posts. This command provides the highest level of operational support to all sections of the Louisiana State Police, as well as to local, state, and federal agencies. In addition, Louisiana requires all public elementary and secondary schools to prepare, maintain, and implement a crisis management and response plan. This plan helps ensure that all students, teachers, and school employees are in a safe facility and prepared to respond in the event of an emergency or disaster incident. Crisis responders and the CIMS team can monitor major evacuation routes through the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development's Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) network to provide real-time information during an evacuation. The Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) was developed from the Disaster Committee of the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association (LVMA).
The Louisiana State Police has two mobile command posts (MCP) in its fleet that can be quickly deployed in all areas of the state to support the agency's response to critical incidents. In the event of an impending emergency, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) will contact the designated emergency preparedness and recovery representative. This contact acts as the person responsible for entering and maintaining emergency preparedness and recovery information for their local education agency (LEA). It is important to contact the Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness, Animal Control (or the sheriff's office in parishes without animal control), and then the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. The Consolidated Communications Unit at Headquarters operates 24 hours a day and is located at the Louisiana State Police Emergency Operations Center. Altogether, from these offices, there are ten people specially trained as first responders dedicated to responding to emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Emergency Management Institute offers self-paced courses designed for people who have emergency management responsibilities and for the general public.
The REMS Technical Assistance Center website contains free resources, training, and technical assistance (TA) for schools and their community partners, including many tools and resources on emergency planning and responding to infectious disease outbreaks.