Hurricane prep, GOHSEP shelter meeting - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Hurricane prep, GOHSEP shelter meeting

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5)-- Hurricane season is now here and emergency management from central and northern Louisiana held a shelter preparedness meeting in Alexandria.  News Channel Five's Steven Maxwell was there and learned how they prepare for hurricane season. 

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness held it's annual hurricane shelter meeting at the LSU Alexandria Mega-Shelter.  
Emergency management representatives from GOHSEP regions six, seven and eight attended.  Those regions cover parishes as far south as Rapides and north to Caddo and east Carrol parishes.
"Make sure everything we may expect to be able to use and not use are brought out on the table, and we discuss any issues we may have," said Chris Guilbeaux, GOHSEP Deputy Director.
The Mega-Shelter covers evacuees with critical transportation needs, as well as medical special needs.
The shelters also provide food and water, but state officials tell us, evacuees should be prepared to bring their prescription drugs and toiletries.
"It takes us awhile to find pharmacies that are open for those prescriptions and everything," said Guilbeaux.
However, evacuees without any special needs can find a general population shelter.  
The American Red Cross is one of several groups that partners with the state in providing these shelters and has more than 50 in Rapides Parish.
"Anybody that may have a functional needs living at home that doesn't have a quote on quote medical special need is certainly a big part of our general population shelter, and welcomed in our general population shelter," said Carlos Garcia-Velez, American Red Cross.
GOHSEP says adjacent to every one of their shelters is a pet shelter, and here in Alexandria that includes the LSU Ag Center.
"We know that it is important for people to be able to evacuate and bring their pets. So we want that, we allow that and we encourage that," said Guilbeaux.
The LSU Alexandria Mega-Shelter can hold 2,500 critical transport need evacuees and up to 950 medical special need evacuees.

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