Last Modified: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 4:58 PM
The Calcasieu Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness and other local agencies will stage a hurricane evacuation drill at the Lake Charles Civic Center today.
The drill reminds agencies of what they need to do if hurricane evacuation measures are put into place, and it helps them fine-tune their response, said Robert Daughdril, emergency response coordinator.
“We are going to be exercising the critical transportation needs,” he said. “We go through the evacuation process for people that don’t have the capability of evacuating due to health or transportation issues.”
Daughdril said volunteers will go through the entire process, which will be timed.
“We will set up our different areas, like the registration and triage areas, to determine whether the person is special needs or general population,” he said.
“If an evacuation were to be put into place, we would actually have to go through that process. This helps us determine what our timeline is and what our needs are to get people through as quickly as possible.”
Daughdril said that in the event of a hurricane, 2,000-3,000 people would have to go through this process to be evacuated.
“When you are talking about moving that many people from Lake Charles to an area of safety, it takes time,” he said.
“We want to make sure that we have enough time to get all these people where they need to be safely and in an orderly fashion. We also need to know where each person went and that they went to the appropriate facility for them so that them and their pets are taken care of.”
Daughdril said the drill also helps keep all state and local agencies abreast of what to do in the event of an evacuation.
“From year to year we get new people,” he said. “We want to make sure that everyone is ready in an event like this.”
The state Department of Children and Family Services, fire and police departments, the Office of Community Services and the Calcasieu Parish School Board will also participate in the drill.