New Orleans CityBusiness
May 05, 2009
The federal government is giving more than $2 million to make Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) facilities more hurricane resistant so that emergency response isn’t hampered after a disaster, such as a major hurricane.
The LDAF administrative office building and a food storage facility in Baton Rouge, and a satellite administrative office in Hammond, will be made to withstand the 150mph winds of a Category 4 hurricane. Building improvements will include the installation of impact-resistant glass, storm screens, storm-proof doors, and roof straps to secure equipment, such as air-conditioners, vents, and fuel tanks. Construction is expected to begin in June or July. Hurricane season starts June 1.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is funding the project through its hazard mitigation program. “Without the improvement of these buildings, the LDAF response could be crippled during emergencies,” says Mike Strain, commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. “The three facilities are critical to LDAF during emergency operations.”
Paul Rainwater, executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, says improving the facilities is an important step in Louisiana’s emergency preparedness.”
Tony Russell, acting director of FEMA’s Louisiana Transitional Recovery Office, says it is important that the buildings can withstand strong hurricanes so first responders can respond without interruption.
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