Parish authorizes firm to help should hurricane hit River Region

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Staff Reporter

EDGARD – In another housekeeping measure to keep the parish prepared for hurricane season, the St. John Council approved authorization for the parish to request proposals from outside companies for monitoring and supervision of debris removal.

In a finance committee meeting last week, the council unanimously approved the request, which allows the parish to look for an outside company to come in and directly monitor all aspects of hurricane debris processing and removal.

Paul Oncale, director of public safety and civil defense, said the move is a stipulation of the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), which would reimburse the parish for any damages incurred during a natural disaster. He said it is a way for FEMA to be sure they are reimbursing the parish for the right amount.

“They don’t want the fox watching the hen house,” said Oncale. “There is more to it than just keeping track of dump trucks, and FEMA wants to be sure they are paying the parish the right amount.”

St. John Public Information Officer Buddy Boe said the parish would begin advertising for proposals immediately, and hopes to have someone in place before the beginning of hurricane season, which starts next month.

Boe said this proposal goes along with a similar request, approved at the April 22 council meeting, which allowed the parish to begin looking for standby emergency responders in the event of a major emergency.

“It’s just another way for the parish to stay ahead of the curve in hurricane preparedness,” said Boe. “We should be ready.”