BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) State lawmakers requested an audit of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness on its response before and after Hurricane Ida.
The audit found GOHSEP did not identify who was responsible for staffing and managing Points of Distribution ahead of the hurricane in many parishes, which caused leaders to fail to identify fuel requirements for first responders. However, GOHSEP does not have the authority to make sure parishes have all systems in place during emergency operation plans.
Due to the extensive power outage after the hurricane, GOHSEP’s backup system also failed. The audit states that made it difficult for local leaders to communicate requests to GOHSEP, including their abilities to respond to emergencies and request resources.
Another concern the audit shows is the state’s Hurricane Ida Sheltering Program is moving more quickly than the federal housing program. Because the program was implemented quickly, GOHSEP did not establish a process to prioritize applicant registrations to make sure the most impacted residents were given priority.
The audit suggests GOHSEP work with the legislature to address these concerns and more.
The audit was sent to GOHSEP for feedback. Leaders responded by agreeing with the report and said they will work with the legislature to review and consider updating current law to update requirements for parish emergency operation plans and the GOHSEP review process.
To read the full audit, click here.