Friday, September 11

“Safety First”

Southern University Agricultural Center celebrates Emergency Preparedness Month with seminars
Baton Rouge, LA – Benjamin Franklin said it best, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

In Louisiana, there’s always a need to be prepared for natural disasters such as hurricanes and the occasional tornado and at the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the Agricultural Center assures to prepare residents in Louisiana during September which is National Preparedness Month.

National Preparedness Month or Emergency Preparedness Month’s main objective is to bring awareness and inform residents on what needs to be accomplished before, during and after natural disasters. These disasters include wildfire, floods, tornadoes and earthquakes plus the negative connotation that follows such as power outages, food shortages, and poor evacuation planning.

In the Gulf Coast Region, mainly Louisiana, natural disasters involve hurricanes and the massive destruction that comes with it; examples from past destructive hurricanes such as Katrina, Rita and Gustav.

The most recent was a category one hurricane named Isaac and it encompassed Louisiana on August 28, 2012 but the 600,000 residents without power and minimal death total still provided the need for preparedness.

The program was jump started by a federal grant worth $5,000 from the Office of Community Preparedness before Isaac’s inception.

Kelli Hollins, Family and Human Development FCS Parent Educator and Program Assistant assured that this program is for everyone in Louisiana and their wellness.

“This program is instituted in all 64 parishes and our focus is on the safety of families,” said Hollins.

Hollins spoke on how the seminars are beneficial towards the general public.

“These seminars target the reactions of natural disasters because we cannot stop the natural disaster from happening but we can prevent all negative reactions that go along with it.”

The seminars are focused on four main points such as: how to plan your household and prepare in advance so you’re ready, signs of hazardous events that come with little warning, how to protect your household during the  storm and to begin recovery after the initial disaster.

Since the grant money has been dispersed it has been the responsibility of the SU Agricultural Center to increase the awareness of Emergency Preparedness Month to the state at large.

Even though there has been a stint in natural disasters in the state, Hollins concludes that the program is still necessary and beneficial for the families residing in Louisiana.

“Having a slump in natural disasters makes people uninterested in the program because they don’t have to be aware of the situation at the time but this is why we are here; to inform you on how to prepare for the worst case scenario,” finished Hollins.

The nation at large is asking for participation during this month’s spread of events.

On September 20, 2015, two representatives from the SU Agricultural Center will participate in the Department of Health and Hospital’s “Emergency Preparedness Day" at the Cortana Mall, 9401 Cortana Place, Baton Rouge, LA. The event, which will be held from 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., is being hosted as a way to inform the general public of the Metro Baton Rouge area and the state at large upon the importance of Emergency Preparedness Month.

To visit the Southern University Ag Center's Emergency Preparedness page visit, 


Article written by Felix Cunningham III, SU Ag Center Intern.

No comments: