Parish All-Hazards Guide

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DOWNLOAD THE ST. CHARLES PARISH EMERGENCY CONTACTS GRAPHIC

 

ABOUT

A practiced emergency plan can stand between your family and danger in the case of an emergency. It's important for everyone to become familiar with the actions your local government may ask of you in disaster or emergency situations. That's the main goal of ‘Know Your Risks’ – we want you to be prepared.

WHEN TO CALL THE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER (EOC)

The SCP EOC is manned 24/7 and prepared to take needed multi-agency actions. Residents can call at any time to report odors and weather events, get assistance with parish services after hours or to get more information during ongoing emergencies. Our residents can be the eyes and ears, and staff members appreciate each call. Personal emergency incidents (vehicle accidents, crime etc.) should be called in to 911.

WEATHER EMERGENCIES

  • HURRICANES
    St. Charles Parish is uniquely vulnerable to hurricanes and other tropical weather due to its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and low elevations. Hurricanes cause wind damage and flooding and can leave residents without power for weeks. The parish releases an informational guide on hurricane preparedness via postal mail on a biennial basis. See here for information.
  • TORNADOES
    St. Charles Parish utilizes its outdoor warning sirens to alert residents of National Weather Service-issued tornado warnings. Tornadoes can cause serious damage and deaths. A tornado warning means a tornado has either been indicated by radar or spotted on the ground. Residents should take protective actions IMMEDIATELY.
    • HOME OR BUILDING: Go to a windowless,
      interior room on the lowest level, such as a
      bathroom, hallway or closet. Crouch down and
      protect your head with your arms.
    • CAR: Get out immediately and take shelter in a
      nearby building or low-lying area away from
      the vehicle. Be cautious seeking shelter in
      ditches due to flash flooding in some areas. 
  • FLOODS (When a flood warning is issued...)
    • Stay tuned to local media for official bulletins.
    • Move valuables to upper floors or attic.
    • Raise appliances above predicted flood levels if possible.
    • Bring in pets.
    • Fill containers with several days’ supply of drinking water.\
    • Use the phone only for emergencies.
    • Implement a flood protection plan. (sandbagging, wrapping, etc). See sandbag locations here.
    • Do not attempt to travel on flooded streets, and do not drive around barricades or cause wakes by driving too fast.
  • WINTER WEATHER (Some tips on preparing for winter weather...)
    • Store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove, and stock adequate clothing and blankets.
    • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supply kit in your vehicle.
    • Bring pets inside during winter weather. Walk carefully on snowy, icy, walkways.
    • Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device inside a home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Locate the unit away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

MANMADE EMERGENCIES

  • INDUSTRIAL / CHEMICAL EMERGENCIES

    St. Charles Parish is home to many industrial plants, a bustling river corridor, two major interstates, five major highways, an international airport, five major railroads and hundreds of miles of pipelines. These facilities power the country through raw and finished goods and provide a large tax base.

    As St. Charles Parish residents, we must be mindful of the threats posed by these facilities and prepared to take action immediately if asked.

    Types of incidents can include chemical spills or leaks, vapor releases and explosions. Residents will be notified of such incidents and response instructions via the methods found in this section.

  • NUCLEAR EMERGENCIES
    Entergy’s Waterford 3 nuclear facility is located in Killona. Plant officials send out a safety information brochure on an annual basis via mail.

    This brochure contains valuable information on what to do in a nuclear emergency. The St. Charles Parish EOC has adopted the protective actions and evacuation procedures for other types of emergencies in the parish. Therefore, becoming familiar with the booklet will help you in most emergencies. To download the brochure, click here

HEALTH EMERGENCIES
If you are currently experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Health emergencies include: Food Safety, Biohazards, Infectious Diseases and Oil Spill/Chemical.

  • FOOD SAFETY THREATS
    For emergencies involving FDA regulated products, call FDA's emergency number: 1-866-300-4374 or 301-796-8240. It is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a Current Outbreak List on their website. (www.cdc.gov)

  • BIOHAZARDS
    A biohazard is defined as a biological or chemical substance or situation that is dangerous to human beings and the environment. You can take steps now to help you prepare for an emergency and cope if an emergency happens. The kit and plan are very similar to hurricane preparedness (a 3 day supply of food and water for each person and pet.) Visit the Center for Disease Control website: emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness.

  • INFECTIOUS DISEASE EPIDEMICS
    West Nile, Zika and PandemicFlu and Ebola are infectious diseases. Additional information on these epidemics and similar information can be found at emergency.cdc.gov/whatsnew.asp

  • OIL AND CHEMICAL SPILLS
    During emergencies such as hurricanes and floods, chemicals may be released from businesses, homes and other sources. Visit emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/chemicals.asp and know how to shelter-in-place. Be aware of local sources of chemicals, dispose of household chemicals safely.

TERRORISM

All citizens play a critical role in protecting St. Charles Parish and safeguarding our communities.

More than 95 percent of thwarted terror attacks over the last few years are the result of someone reporting suspecious activity.

Terrorists may attempt to breach secured perimeters or gain unauthorized access to facilities, sensitive locations or restricted areas for preoperational activity, or to conduct an attack.

Suspicious activity reports may be submitted 24 hours a day by calling the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office at (985) 783-6807. For emergencies related to suspicious activity, call 911.

NOTIFICATIONS
St. Charles Parish communicates with residents about emergency situations using a multi-layered approach. Some or all of these methods will be deployed depending on the nature of a given incident.

  • OUTDOOR WARNING SIRENS

    SCP utilizes a system of outdoor warning sirens funded by Waterford 3 to notify residents about emergencies. When you hear them, stay calm and use one of the methods below to get more information and instructions. The sirens are tested at noon the first Thursday of each month for a period of 60 seconds. Please note they are meant to be heard at reliable decibel levels OUTDOORS only.

  • EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM

    This system provides phone call, text and e-mail alerts­. Visit scpemergencyalerts.com to sign up as a resident or business. This system also has the capability to complete reverse 911 calls based on geographic location.

  • INTERNET

    Go to www.stcharlesparish-la.gov/enews to sign up for community news, including emergency press releases, road closures and other important notifications, via e-mail

  • TELEVISION
    SCP-TV is available in SCP to Cox subscribers as Channel 6, U-Verse subscribers as Channel 99 and as a live stream at www.scp-tv.com. The EOC also has the ability to override Cox Cable programming to release emergency information in a crawl format.
  • RADIO
    1370 AM transmits information during and after emergencies.
  • NEWS MEDIA
    The following news media channels and/or stations are part of the official Waterford 3 plan and will transmit relevant information during an emergency. The EOC also communicates with local print and internet outlets regarding emergency information. During extended operations, such as hurricanes, full parish updates are sent to news media at least twice daily.
    • RADIO: WWL 870 AM, WLMG 101.9 FM, WWL 105.3 FM
    • TV: 4 WWL, 6 WDSU, 8 WVUE, 26 WGNO
  • ROADSIDE SIGNAGE
    SCP has a network of signage with flashing lights that can alert motorists to emergency situations. If you see one of these signs activated, please use any of the methods listed here to find more info.
  • EMERGENCY INFO HOTLINE
    Calling 1-888-SCP-9EOC (1-888-727-9362) allows residents to hear a recording of the latest message sent out over the Emergency Alert System.

PROTECTIVE ACTIONS
When St. Charles Parish makes a public notification of an incident or emergency using the methods described on pages 6-7, we will usually ask the public to complete some action in response. Below are possible protective actions and descriptions of how to carry them out. *Do NOT listen to rumors. Turn on your radio or TV for up-to-date information during an emergency.

  • MONITOR AND PREPARE
    • Make sure family members are together.
    • Listen to radio and TV.
    • Prepare for the possibility of evacuation or sheltering-in-place.
    • Keep off the road.

     

  • PROTECT YOUR BREATHING
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a handkerchief or
      other cloth.
    • Close the windows and doors if you are in a building or car. Turn vent or A/C to “recirc”or “max”if you are in a car.
    • Turn off window and attic fans.
    • Turn heating or cooling systems to “recirc” or “vent closed” if available. If not, turn off heating or cooling systems.

     

  • SHELTER-IN-PLACE
    •  Go inside your house or some other building.
    • Stay inside until your radio or TV says you can leave
      safely.
    • Close all doors and windows.
    • Turn off window and attic fans.
    • Turn heating or cooling systems to “recirc”or “vent closed” if available. If not, turn off heating or cooling systems.
    • Keep your pets inside.
    • Listen to the radio or TV for further advice.

     

  • EVACUATE
    • Be sure that the order applies to your town or area.
      If it does, follow the next steps.
    • Get ready to leave your home for a few days. If you
      have children in school, they will be taken to the
      reception center for their school. Meet them there.
    • Pack only what you will need most. Take this booklet (or
      the Waterford 3 brochure), clothes, medicine, baby
      supplies, portable radio (if you have one), cell phone
      and batteries, checkbook and credit cards.
    • Turn off the lights and your household appliances.
    • Lock your house. The section where you live will be
      guarded while you are away.
    • Use your own car if you can. Take neighbors who need
      a ride, if you have room. If you have no ride, ask one of
      your neighbors for a ride. If you cannot do that, go to
      one of the pickup points listed on the chart inside the
      Waterford 3 booklet, available at stcharlesparish-
      la.gov/w3. You can get a ride there.
    • Turn on the car radio for information.
    • Go to the reception center for your section of the
      map. The chart inside this booklet and the radio or
      TV will tell you where to go.

      * If you have family, friends or neighbors who are hard of hearing, do not see well, need a wheelchair or special help for another other reason, please help them ensure they are registered with the EOC as a special needs evacuee by calling (985) 783-5050.

     

  • GOVERNMENT AND OBLIGATIONS DURING EMERGENCIES
    • Emergency Operations Center, communications and staff
    • Plans and procedures
    • Warning system, sirens, TV, emergency
      broadcasting system
    • Evacuations
    • Exercises and drills
    • Return and recovery

EVACUATION ROUTES

  • HURRICANE EVACUATIONS
    If the parish calls for a mandatory evacuation due to a hurricane, both sides of the river will be asked to evacuate at the same time. Once contraflow has started you will not be able to access I-10 from I-310. SCP will evacuate 40 hours prior to tropical storm force winds.

    Delays on the I-310 interchange connecting to I-10 West may be heavy. Expect local traffic to be heavy as well, especially LA 48 (EB River Road), U.S. 61 (Airline Hwy.) and U.S. 90. The state will set up information points for evacuees re-entering Louisiana on nine major Interstates and highways. Visit stcharlesparish-la.gov/hurricane and click on Preparedness Guides > State Guide to view the list.

    EAST BANK: East Bank residents should evacuate north following U.S. 61 to the I-10 and I-55 interchanges, taking I-55 through Hammond. An alternate route is LA 48 to I-310 south to LA 3127 north, turn onto LA 70 East then left on LA 3089. From here you can take either I-10 west to Baton Rouge or LA 1 to West Baton Rouge.

    WEST BANK: Residents living on the West Bank are encouraged to evacuate west on U.S. 90 to Lafayette then north on I-49. An alternate route is to take LA 18 to I-310 south to LA 3127 north, turn onto LA 70 east then left on LA 3089. From here you are able to take either I-10 west to Baton Rouge or LA 1 north to West Baton Rouge. Please become familiar with state highways as Interstates will be difficult to travel.

  • OTHER EVACUATIONS
    In other emergencies, evacuations may be called for areas bounded by individual streets inside ‘emergency planning zones.’ Please listen to instructions given by the parish and evacuate using suggested routes, being sure to avoid traffic and access control points. In the event of an emergency at Waterford 3, utilize the map included in the Waterford 3 brochure, available at www.stcharlesparish-la.gov/w3.

DISASTER PLANNING

  • FAMILY DISASTER PLAN
    A well thought-out plan of action for you and your family can go a long way toward reducing the damage from hurricanes and any other type of disaster that could strike. Household emergency plans should be kept simple and easy to remember.
    • An information link to the outside is crucial. Keep a battery-operated radio and extra batteries on hand and make sure family members know where the radio is kept.
    • Post emergency numbers (fire, police, etc.) by the phone. Teach children how to call 911.
    • Teach responsible family members how to turn off the utilities in your home.
    • Identify family meeting places outside your neighborhood in case you are separated and be sure everyone is clear about these locations.
    • Develop an emergency communication plan. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the family's contact. Make sure everyone knows the telephone number.
    • Plan and be familiar with escape routes in case you need to evacuate.
    • Be sure to include pets in your plan.

    Information courtesy of FEMA. For more detailed information and downloads, visit ready.gov/make-a-plan.

EMERGENCY SUPPLIES CHECKLIST

  • For more information on how to stock an all-hazards supply kit, check out the ‘Be Prepared’ hurricane guide available online at stcharlesparish-la.gov/hurricane. If you’d like a copy mailed to you, send a request to publicinfo@stcharlesgov.net or (985) 783-5183.

SAFETY TIPS

  • PIPELINE SAFETY
    Since pipelines are buried underground, line markers like the ones above are used to indicate their approximate location. The markers can be found where a pipeline intersects a street, highway or railroad and show the general location of a pipeline. The markers display the material transported in the line, the name of the pipeline operator and a telephone number where the operator can be reached in the event of an emergency. It is a federal crime to remove or deface a pipeline marker sign.

To detect a leak, look, listen and smell for

  • Crude oil or petroleum products on the ground.
  • A dense white cloud or fog.
  • A spot of dead vegetation in an otherwise. green location may indicate a slow leak.
  • Flames (if the leak has ignited).
  • A roaring or hissing sound.
  • A pungent odor, sometimes like rotten eggs, or a gasoline-like odor.

If you suspect a leak:

  • Leave the area immediately and call 911.
  • Avoid driving into vapor clouds.
  • Avoid contact with the expelling gas or liquids.
  • Avoid creating sparks or other sources of heat which could cause escaping liquids or vapor to ignite. Do not start an engine or turn on lights.

CALL BEFORE YOU DIG! Call 1-800-272-3020 or 811. It’s the law!

  • FIRE SAFETY
    • Make sure all family members know what to do in the event of a fire. Draw a floor plan with at least two ways of escaping every room. Make a drawing for each floor. Make sure the plan shows details such as stairs, hallways and windows that can be used as fire escape routes.
    • Test windows and doors. Do they open easily enough? Are they wide enough / tall enough? • Choose a safe meeting place outside the house.
    • Practice alerting family members. It’s a good idea to keep a bell and flashlight in each bedroom.
    • Practice evacuating the building blindfolded. In a real fire situation, the amount of smoke will most likely make it difficult to see.
    • Practice staying low to the ground when escaping.
    • Feel all doors before opening them. If a door is hot, get out another way.
    • Learn to stop, drop to the ground and roll if your clothes catch fire.
    • Have everyone leave the building, then call (or have someone call) the fire department (911). Fight the fire only if it’s small, not spreading and you have a clear escape path.
  • POISONS SAFETY
    In order to save valuable time and provide life-saving information, contact the La. Poison Control Center for information on poisons and drug at 1-800-256-9822.
  • FIRST AID AND CPRWOUND CARE:
    • WOUND CARE
      • Restore breathing and
        circulation.
      • Stop bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound and elevating it.
      • Prevent shock by laying the victim on his or her back. Position the head below the feet. Monitor breathing and circulation. Do not move persons with neck or spinal injuries unless it is necessary to establish or maintain vital signs or if there is an immediate threat to life, such as a fire or chemical leak.
    • CHEST PAIN
      • Keep the conscious victim in a comfortable position with the head raised. Loosen tight clothing.
      • Help the victim take prescribed medications if necessary.
      • If the victim loses consciousness and is not breathing, proceed with the ABCs of rescue breathing (below). If there is no pulse, begin CPR if you are trained to do so.
      • Call 911 before starting assistance. Remember to give your location and stay on the line until the operator tells you to hang up.
    • A-AIRWAY
      • Place victim flat on his/her back on a hard surface.
      • Gently shake victim at the shoulders and shout, “Are you okay?”
      • If no response, call 911, then open the victim’s airway by tilting their bead back with one hand while lifting up their chin with the other hand.
    • B-BREATHING
      • Position your cheek close to the victim’s nose and mouth. Look, listen and feel for breathing for 5 to 10 seconds.
      • If not breathing, pinch the victim’s nose closed and give two full breaths into the victim’s mouth.
      • If breaths won’t go in, reposition the head and try again to give breaths. If still blocked, perform abdominal thrusts (Heimlich maneuver).
    • C-CIRCULATION
      • If the person is unconscious, check for a pulse by feeling for 5 to 10 seconds at the side of the victim’s neck.
      • If there is a pulse, but the victim is not breathing, give rescue breathing at a rate of one breath every 5 seconds or 12 breaths per minute.
      • If there is no pulse, begin chest compressions...
      • Place the heel of one hand on the lower part of the victim’s breastbone. With the other hand directly on top of first hand, depress the sternum 1.5 to 2 inches.
      • Perform 15 compresses to every two breaths at a rate of 80 to 100 per minute.
      • Check for a pulse every minute.