The structure of the Emergency Support Function (ESF) helps to ensure the efficient and timely delivery of necessary assistance to communities affected by a disaster. The Louisiana State Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) identifies state emergency support functions as the structure for organizing and coordinating state resources by area of function. These functions are classified according to the type of support or resource provided or managed in the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and its subcomponent, the Incident Command System (ICS). In addition to the ESFs identified within the NIMS structure, Louisiana has included Military Support as an ESF.
The Louisiana Emergency Response Network (LERN) is a state government agency created in 2004 with the responsibility of developing and maintaining a care coordination system for patients who suddenly suffer a serious traumatic injury or an urgent illness. It is also designed to serve as a vital health resource in the face of emergencies and large scale natural disasters. The Emergency Response Section, under the Office of Environmental Compliance, is tasked with complying with this obligation. Ten people are specially trained as first responders dedicated to responding to emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) is authorized by the Environmental Quality Act to provide an immediate response to any environmental problem or emergency incident that threatens human health or the environment.
The Emergency Services Unit (ESU) of the Louisiana State Police (LSP) is the main agency with regulatory and statutory authority for hazardous materials and explosives. Act 435 of the 1985 legislative session established the Right-to-Know (RTK) laws, according to which owners and operators are responsible for submitting inventory forms for all hazardous materials manufactured, used, or stored at their facilities and for immediately reporting the release of certain hazardous materials in certain declarable quantities to the Hazardous Materials Unit of the Louisiana State Police. 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.