BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Our first responders are the ones who rush towards danger, especially when there’s severe weather, but we often forget about the charities and non-profits, who answer the call for help, once the damage has been done.

Today several agencies met with the Governor to discuss how to be prepared for Hurricane season next year.

“When it comes to being good neighbors to those most in need and acting quickly, you all in many cases are much faster than we are,” expressed Governor John Bel Edwards. “And I want to thank you for the assistance that you always provided.”

At a conference, Governor Edwards joined Catholic Charities USA, to thank them for being the first to help when disaster strikes. He also discussed how non-profits and surrounding states can be better prepared for severe weather. “We want to make sure that we serve all people all the time and we want to make sure that we’re ready to do that so that when a disaster happens, we can be there and assist them along the way,” explained Kim Burgo, Vice-President of Catholic Charities Disaster Operations.

Non-profits from all over the U.S. are focusing on improving in three main areas — preparedness, response, and long-time recovery. “So that when a disaster hits, that impact is less on that vulnerable population, how quickly to reach the community, how quickly they get out there. We have to make plans to continue to support when all the other agencies have left,” Burgo continued.

Bishop Michael Duca says it is a team effort when it comes to severe weather and we must all do our part. “They help one another, so if we’re not responding to disasters in our area, we’re sending out help to other areas as well,” he explained.

State officials say the best time to get prepared is now, you can find more information here.