The fourth and final briefing of the year will be conducted in early July with the Ascension Parish petro-chemical industry.

Ascension Parish Government has been preparing all year long for hurricane season, which officially began June 1. At Parish President Kenny Matassa's direction, the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP), which stays in a constant state of readiness, has been conducting workshops and briefings with several people over the past month.

The first briefing held was with managers and supervisors of DPW, including drainage, vegetation management, and pavement management. Information was presented to them about the capabilities of the new Citizen Service Center work order and notification system. Attendees gave feedback on some of the problems they encounter during emergencies. All of this information will be used to improve services and efficiencies.

The second briefing included managers and supervisors of all parish government departments. While not apparent, several departments also play a part during emergencies. Purchasing, finance, and communications are integral to emergency operations, as are building inspectors and Lamar-Dixon staff.

The third briefing included elected officials and other municipal and government employees. All of this preparation assures a coordinated effort to protect the citizens of Ascension Parish and to ensure effective communications among all agencies.

The fourth and final briefing of the year will be conducted in early July with the Ascension Parish petro-chemical industry. This briefing is crucial to information sharing and is coordinated through the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and the Ascension Parish Community Awareness Emergency Response (CAER) committee.

Residents are encouraged to stay informed by signing up for the Everbridge notification system. It is a free service of Ascension Parish Government and sends notifications by telephone and email. To sign up, go to www.ascensionparish.net and click on the OHSEP link, or call the Citizens Service Center at 225-450-1200.

Contributed by Ascension Parish Government