08/09 - Hurricane! Lessons Learned: A Special Edition | Louisiana Public Square | LPB
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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Video Playlist:

Play Button  Full Program - What did hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav teach us about coping with catastrophe?
Play Button  Backgrounder - Backgrounder
Play Button  Extra - Personal Views - Jason Ard
Play Button  Extra - Personal Views - Lawrence Callender
Play Button  Extra - Personal Views - Ronnie Cotton
Play Button  Extra - Personal Views - JoAnne Moreau

08/09 - Hurricane! Lessons Learned: A Special Edition

What did hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav teach us about coping with catastrophe?

LPB partnered with Mississippi Public Broadcasting for an in-depth look at how procedures, policies and planning for hurricanes have changed in the last four years. In that time, three of the ten costliest hurricanes on record — Katrina, Rita and Gustav — struck Louisiana. Katrina made a second landfall in Mississippi, leaving behind unprecedented havoc and a harsh education in the discipline of disaster. What did these events teach us about coping with catastrophe?

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Lessons Learned: Personal Views

2005 produced two mega-disasters: hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Between them, well over a million lives were disrupted. Hundreds of thousands of homes damaged or destroyed. More than 1,800 deaths reported. Great disasters produce great suffering and loss. They also produce heroes and heroic deeds: the much-praised Coast Guard flyers who lifted tens of thousands of victims from New Orleans rooftops; Louisiana Fisheries and Wildlife personnel who ferried water-soaked residents from flooded areas to high ground; faith-based organizations and other non-governmental groups that pitched in with hot meals, shelter and kindness. Among the thousands of stories of first responders, here are three that relate some of the many lessons learned from the storms of 2005. They each capture a tiny sliver of a many-faceted narrative, one that will remain with us long after the last signs of disaster disappear from Louisiana and Mississippi. (Video clips included in the player above.)

Jason Ard, Chief Criminal Deputy, Livingston Parish

"Although you may think this facility holds up, you get in there and the air conditioner breaks; the bathrooms aren’t equipped for you to have anywhere from 200 to 600 people live there, because they’re not leaving." ~ Jason Ard

Lawrence Callender, Assistant Chief of Police, French Settlement
(During Katrina, Callender was Deputy Director of Special Ops, Livingston Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preardness)

"We need to be constantly vigilant of the lessons that we documented that we should learn. We need to review that lesson plan. We don’t need to put it on the shelf to gather dust." ~ Lawrence Callender

Ronnie Cotton, Director, Livingston Parish 911 Call Center

"I worry about the folks who cannot take care of themselves, and rely totally on someone else getting them to where ever they need to go." ~ Ronnie Cotton

Parish-level Plans

According to the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness website, sixty-three of the state’s sixty-four parishes have offices of emergency preparedness. These offices (http://gohsep.la.gov/Parish/parishoepnumbers.htm) are authorized to direct and control the resources of their respective parishes in the event of natural or man-made disasters.

The degree of transparency and availability of parish plans varies widely, according to the Disaster Accountability Project (http://www.disasteraccountability.org) only three south Louisiana parishes -- East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge and Lafourche -- have posted public versions of their plans on the web. The East Baton Rouge plan is available here: http://www.brgov.com/dept/oep/plan.asp.

JoAnne Moreau, Director, East Baton Rouge Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness.

"Although you may think this facility holds up, you get in there and the air conditioner breaks; the bathrooms aren’t equipped for you to have anywhere from 200 to 600 people live there, because they’re not leaving." ~ JoAnne Moreau



Click Here For More Katrina Details!

This program was also funded in part by the Louisiana Forestry Association

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     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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