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Preparedness Overview

Every day, we take steps to keep our State safe and ensure we thrive after emergencies ordisasters occur. Whether we face risks related to hurricanes, severe weather, disease pandemics, terrorist attacks, cyber-attacks, chemical spills or other types of threats, the goal is: safety and resilience.


Guided by the National Preparedness System   principles and enabled by the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act (Disaster Act), GOHSEP plays a significant role in planning, training and exercise, ensuring Louisiana citizens are prepared to respond and recover from emergency events and disasters. 


National Preparedness System

The National Preparedness System outlines a framework for organizing preparedness activities so that they address all types of risk, emergencies or disasters and are inclusive of the whole community, and so that we achieve the National Preparedness Goal, ensuring our safety and resilience.


National Preparedness System Parts
  • Identify and assess risk
  • Estimate capability requirements to address risks
  • Build and sustain capabilities
  • Plan to deliver capabilities by coordinating with community partners 
  • Validate capabilities through exercise, simulation, etc.
  • Review and update to adjust to changing circumstances
National Preparedness Goal    

A secure and resilient Nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to and recover from the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk.


Preparedness role in the emergency management cycle

The emergency management cycle illustrates the ongoing process governments, businesses and communities use to: 

  • Plan for and reduce impacts from an emergency or disaster.
  • React during and immediately following a disaster.
  • Take steps to recover after a disaster has occurred.
The preparedness phase of the cycle involves the whole community in the assessment of threats and risks, planning, mitigation, training, exercise and more.


Preparedness cycle

The National Incident Management System (NIMS) defines preparedness as a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating and taking corrective action in an effort to ensure effective coordination during incident response.

This preparedness cycle is one element of a broader National Preparedness System to prevent, respond to, recover from and mitigate against natural disasters, acts of terrorism and other man-made disasters.



Pre-disaster activities and preparation are crucial to ensuring we are adequately prepared at the State and local levels to meet the challenges of responding to and recovery from an emergency or disaster.


Conducting threat and hazards identification and risk assessments (THIRA), establishing mutual aid agreements  with other entities to ensure resources are available when needed, negotiating pre-disaster contracts to ensure services and materials are available and planning are among those activities essential to timely and effective disaster response and recovery. Pre-disaster training and exercise are also important contributors to success. 



Whole community

Preparedness is a shared responsibility and calls for the involvement everyone — not just our government. By working together, everyone helps keep our families, neighbors, communities and State safe from harm and resilient when confronted with impacts from an emergency or disaster events.


The whole community includes:
  • Individuals and families, including those with access and functional needs
  • Businesses
  • Faith-based and community organizations
  • Nonprofit groups
  • Schools and academia 
  • Media outlets
  • All levels of government, including State, local, Tribal, Territorial, and Federal partners

Whole community participation requires Involving individuals, families, community partners and stakeholders in the development of preparedness plans and activities, and ensuring their roles and responsibilities are defined, articulated, understood and reflected in the content of preparedness materials.



Preparedness grants

Preparedness activities are supported by a wide range of grants.


FEMA provides State and local governments with preparedness program funding in the form of non-disaster grants to enhance the capacity of State and local emergency responders to prevent, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters. See GRANT INDEX section of this website to learn more.