St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister and the Office of Homeland Security on Tuesday, hosted the Parishes and Municipalities Working Together meeting at the St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Center in downtown Covington. Representatives were present from local municipalities, as well as the Louisiana Office of Public Health, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, and the Federal Highway Administration. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the coordination of the Parish, local municipalities, towns and villages in advance of Hurricane season — or any event that would require a widespread emergency response — and their collective work on initiatives which impact the entire community as a whole.
“We all serve the same constituency and we are all neighbors with the same goals — to do our best to keep this community safe,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “Meetings like this give us the opportunity to share knowledge and bring all of our individual resources to the table, and put forth a united effort when one is needed.”
“It’s very important that all Parish and Municipalities pool their efforts when it comes to emergencies,” said Greg Lemons, Mayor, Town of Abita Springs. “After all we are citizens of St Tammany Parish, this allows us to maximize our resources.”
“As the Mayor-elect of Slidell I really appreciate being invited to this event. This type of overall community initiative is exactly what I campaigned on during my race for the mayor’s office,” said Greg Cromer, Mayor-Elect of the City of Slidell. “We look forward to partnering with the Parish and the municipalities of the parish to assure that we are well prepared for any emergency that we may face.”
Among the topics discussed were work on implementing a FEMA High Water Mark Initiative in St. Tammany, roadway responsibility in the aftermath of a storm, shelter coordination and emergency response training.