Tuesday, March 21, 2006


The state needs more public relations employees?

Capitol News Bureau

The state needs more public relations employees to describe what it is doing during hurricane disasters, a report issued on Monday says.

The recommendation was part of an in-house review done by the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, which is the key state agency in charge of responding to hurricanes and other disasters.

The agency generally gave itself high marks for its response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The review said the state needs a public information “team” — no number was specified — when the emergency operations center is activated.

In addition, the agency said it needs a better equipped “joint information center” with computer connections, telephones, fax machines, media briefing room and a media work room, including wireless computer connections. The office should be big enough for public relations officials from all state agencies, including statewide elected officials.

The report also said the homeland security office needs:
- More employees to handle the state’s next catastrophic event.
- More vehicles to give the agency better mobility in responding to disasters.
- More federal aid to help state and local officials respond to hurricanes.

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