State Response + Readiness
Select Louisiana Committees on Homeland Security; Louisiana Senate Select Committee on Homeland Security and the Louisiana House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee were created to provide legislative leadership and assistance in the coordination of state efforts to secure the state of Louisiana from terrorist threats and attacks. These committees, together with the Governor’s Office, are committed and privileged to serve the citizens of this great state in this vital task of assuring a safe and secure environment.
Homeland Security Advisor
The GOHSEP Director, as appointed by the Govenor, serves as the Homeland Security Advisor for the state of Louisiana.
Governmental & Infrastructure Resources
GOHSEP’s Homeland Security efforts help the state and parishes prepare infrastructure for potential Risks by identifying Consequences, Vulnerabilities, and Threats that can be mitigated or prepared for in possible future responses to an actual incident. A State Risk Assessment is completed each year to assist in the production of a Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) and State Preparedness Report. It also feeds information into the Annual DHS Critical Infrastructure Data Call and Special Events Data Call.As a partner in the States’ Fusion Center (LA-SAFE) GOHSEP Homeland Security maintains a close working relationship in the state counter terrorism effort.
Protection of public health and safety requires an all crimes and all hazards approach. The possible exposure to chemicals, biological agents, and radiological and explosive materials caused accidentally or intentionally by individuals or groups motivated by political, religious, ecological or other ideological objectives, requires the public to know some basic information and appropriate responses in the event of a health threat. To be prepared information and resources are available.
GOHSEP is committed to strengthening the State’s health and safety by protecting against health threats to the public. Public health emergencies include disease, biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear incidents caused by intentional acts, accidents, or natural occurrences.
State health security is critical and depends on the ability to safeguard against, mitigate, respond rapidly to and recover from public health threats and hazards.
As an individual it is important to be informed and prepared for the appropriate choices when the situation calls for you to respond. Knowing the appropriate evacuation routes for your area is a good first step, as is the proper procedures for being in the event of a chemical spill or biological attack. There are a number of resources and guides to help you better prepare for an emergency situation and alerts when there is a public health threat.
Public health awareness and preparedness on a high level creates opportunities for collaboration and information sharing among individuals, public health agencies, law enforcement and other health and human service agencies. These activities build alliances to respond to health threats, and also promote healthy lives for Louisiana citizens and address the threats of chronic disease or any other hazards.
Throughout the years, it has been proven that the citizens of Louisiana are the State’s greatest asset when it comes to identification and action regarding threats by those intent on harming others.
By being aware and proactive, Louisiana citizens can positively contribute to local, State and national security. Among the objectives we strive for are to:
- Prevent terrorist attacks in Louisiana.
- Reduce Louisiana’s vulnerability to terrorism.
- Minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur.
By being vigilant, informed and engaged there are many ways that you, as a citizen of Louisiana, can assist the State’s coordinated efforts to secure Louisiana from terrorist threats and attacks. From volunteer work with the Citizens Corps to staying up to date on fact sheets about what you can do to avoid cyber terrorism, there’s a lot each individual citizen can do to contribute to the safety of local communities and the State.
There are a number of organizations and government agencies that can help you play a more active role in staying safe and protecting those around you. Citizens who are aware and vigilant, and who remain prepared for emergencies, are critical to overall family and community preparedness and resiliency, whether the threat is man-made or a natural emergency or disaster.
Suspicious activity is any observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or terrorism-related crime. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Unusual items or situations: A vehicle is parked in an odd location, a package/luggage is unattended, a window/door is open that is usually closed, or other out-of-the-ordinary situations occur.
- Eliciting information: A person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc.
- Observation/surveillance: Someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g., with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.
Some of these activities could be innocent—it's up to law enforcement to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation. The activities above are not all-inclusive, but have been compiled based on studies of pre-operational aspects of both successful and thwarted terrorist events over several years.