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Louisiana State Officials Prep For Hurricane-Flu Combo

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  • Louisiana State Officials Prep For Hurricane-Flu Combo

    State Officials Prep For Hurricane-Flu Combo

    Plan Would Address Evacuations Amid H1N1 Outbreak

    POSTED: 5:03 pm CDT August 18, 2009


    BATON ROUGE, La. -- Getting ready for hurricane season is one thing. Dealing with swine flu is something else. But the state of Louisiana's Emergency Operations Center must deal with both at the same time.

    "What if the hurricane (season) that goes into November, what if there are a lot of people with the flu at that time? How are we going to deal with both?" said state health officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry.

    The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness must be ready for the prospect of a hurricane evacuation and swine flu at the same time.

    "If we have to get away from a 30-foot wall of water, we still have to evacuate, but (when) we get to where we're going, you still have make sure you're not spreading this flu bug," Guidry said.

    So the battle is fought on two fronts inside the GOHSEP office. While eyes are on the tropics, a plan nears completion to deal with both the flu and hurricanes.

    "Hurricanes had been the ones that we were most concerned about after Katrina and Rita, but you're right, H1N1 is something that we have been planning for," said Mark Cooper, the state's homeland security director.

    The plan focuses on basic common sense and personal hygiene.

    "We've actually come up with a plan on how to isolate within a shelter, so that you can keep someone with infection away from the people that are healthy," Guidry said.


    http://www.wdsu.com/news/20451203/detail.html
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2
    Re: Louisiana State Officials Prep For Hurricane-Flu Combo

    Hurricane & swine flu could mix dangerously


    Updated: Aug 20, 2009 4:37 AM CDT BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

    Officials are warning Louisiana residents to get themselves in gear and ready for what could come because this is the heart of hurricane season and although nothing has threatened the state's fragile coast, the Atlantic Ocean has now become quite active.

    The remnants of Tropical Storm Ana recently made its way into the Caribbean without causing much damage there, but opening a few eyes along the Gulf Coast. "All it would have taken is a few changing factors, Ana could have come our way and it was headed straight for Louisiana and Texas," said Mark Cooper, director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. "So, citizens shouldn't be thinking 'Hey, we made it.'"

    Cooper met with Mayor Kip Holden, FEMA officials and other state officials Wednesday. Officials say people should not take the slow hurricane season for granted. They say this time around, Louisiana has an extra worry. Cooper says he and others hear this flu season will be worse than normal. He says there could be up to 60,000 cases of swine flu in the state before flu season comes to an end.

    The fear is what could happen as people gather in shelters, on buses, and in the close quarters often shared during times of an emergency. Cooper says the state has a plan, though. "We're going to be screening individuals before they get on buses," he said. "So, if they're sick, they would go to a medical shelter."

    Cooper estimates about 50,000 people would need transportation and shelter if a major storm hits. The state's primary concern will be for people who cannot evacuate themselves. Officials urge everyone to be prepared for what may come.


    http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?S=10960175
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

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