Stephen Moret, secretary of Louisiana Economic Development and a former LSU student body president, spoke at the June 2 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center. LED and LSU partnered with several other public, private and academic entities to create the LA BEOC, which will help keep businesses and industry up and running during and after a disaster or emergency.
Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center Opens at LSU
Public, Private, Academic Partners Create Business-Centered State EOC
LSU has teamed up with several public, private and academic partners in Louisiana to create a business-oriented emergency operations center for the state.
The new Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center will work to enhance the state’s emergency management efforts by supporting the continuity of business and industry during and after a crisis or emergency.
The LA BEOC, located at LSU’s South Campus on GSRI Avenue in Baton Rouge, officially opened June 2 with a press conference and ribbon-cutting ceremony. The facility is a partnership among the LSU Stephenson Disaster Management Institute, Louisiana Economic Development, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies Institute.
The mission of the LA BEOC is to support disaster management in Louisiana by developing an accurate understanding of economic impacts to critical infrastructures and major economic drivers, as well as coordinating businesses and volunteer organizations with the public sector. Through the LA BEOC, the state will work to improve disaster preparedness and response; reduce reliance on FEMA and other federal assistance; maximize business, industry and economic stabilization; and return the business environment to normal operations quickly.
“The Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center is the result of a truly unique and collaborative effort among business, government and academic entities,” LSU Chancellor Michael Martin said. “The LA BEOC will provide real support to Louisiana’s business community by providing a direct line of communication for critical industry associations to state government agencies so that resources can be committed to help them get businesses back up and running as quickly as possible. The center’s value has already been realized through its involvement with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill response efforts.
“LSU’s Stephenson Disaster Management Institute has been instrumental in making this center a reality. LSU is committed to meeting the needs of our community and state, and is honored to participate in this partnership by working together toward a common goal,” Martin said.
The LA BEOC was funded by the partnering agencies, as well as other corporate partners. In addition, Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, LLC presented the Forever LSU campaign with a $250,000 gift for the LSU Stephenson Disaster Management Institute. The LSU Stephenson Disaster Management Institute will use the donation to complete the final phase of the LA BEOC, which includes a full suite of operations offices, technology, furniture, communications and filing systems, two executive conference rooms with video conference capabilities and a break room.
“Entergy’s donation of $250,000 is an investment in preparation and collaboration as we respond together to the needs of citizens during times of disaster,” said Renae Conley, president and chief executive officer of Entergy Louisiana, LLC and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, LLC. “It will help all of us work together to implement smart, collaborative emergency management when it is needed most.”
In connection with the LA BEOC, Louisiana will be the first state in the nation to release a public version of Google Earth, and citizens of Louisiana will now have access to Louisiana Earth. During a disaster, the LA BEOC will provide critical information to Louisiana Earth, which will be maintained by GOHSEP. This is the first time this technology will be used in such a unique way for the public. Chief Technology Officer of Google Earth Michael Jones was on hand at the LA BEOC ribbon-cutting event to discuss this technology.
Others who spoke at the ribbon-cutting event June 2 included Martin and Conley; Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret; Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Mark Cooper; and University of Louisiana at Lafayette President Joseph Savoie.
“We’re excited about our collaboration with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, Louisiana Economic Development and University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the creation of the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center,” Eli Jones, dean of the LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business, said. “This innovative center will lead the country in disaster preparation and recovery for businesses. Entergy’s investment in the LA BEOC is a testament to its promise.”
The LA BEOC will be both a physical and virtual structure that will house up to 40 key representatives from the business community, volunteer organizations and state government. When activated, the LA BEOC and its representatives will make disaster recovery recommendations to LED, GOHSEP and the Unified Command Group.
Louisiana businesses are encouraged to register at www.LABEOC.org to provide information about the products and services they can provide to support the state’s disaster response plan. The website also provides a secure way to donate money, goods and services during times of disaster, and will provide information about the economic impact of disasters on the state.
Kristine Calongne | Assistant Vice Chancellor | Office of Communications & University Relations