Calcasieu OEP hopes experience will help Sandy victims - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Calcasieu OEP hopes experience will help Sandy victims

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP) will be deploying two staff members to assist emergency crews in the northeast currently working on recovery efforts related to the effects of super-storm Sandy. 

Norman Bordeau, OHSEP Operations Manager and Rob Daughdril, EMS Specialist, will be traveling to Albany, New York Tuesday morning for a 7-day mission.

"We think we have some things we can offer them and I think we will learn some things in the process. Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for us, we have a lot of experience in that area. So, they'll be offering some of the tips we've learned the hard way," said Dick Gremillion, Calcasieu OHSEP Director. 

The New State Office of Emergency Management requested help through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which calls for other emergency agencies to provide resources to an affected area during a disaster. Bordeau and Daughdril's mission is to provide support with affected New York counties in the areas of emergency operations management, planning and logistics related to current recovery efforts. The two men have a combined 50 years experience in dealing with disasters.

"Because we have been through this before and we know what works and doesn't work. We are going to make those suggestions to them. Why repeat mistakes that don't work," said Daughdril.

During the week, they are there the men will travel from county to county to assess the need in some of the hardest hit areas.

"It's probably going to bring back some memories because I certainly recall driving around after Rita and it was a very emotional time," said Bordeau.

They believe their biggest challenge will be the population. In Southwest Louisiana, we deal with thousands but Sandy's victims number in the millions.

"I mean, our shelters, we might set up a few but they have to set up 10 to 20 times as many as we do. So, it's going to be a tough project, but I think we can help them out," said Daughdril.

They will also inform local government agencies on programs that reimburse for debris removal.

"I mean, because the first thing from what I've seen is still going to be a lot of debris and until all of those things are cleaned up it's difficult for people to be able to return home, start doing the repairs they need and be able to work and return normalcy to their lives," said Bordeau.

It's a trip that is paying it forward more than seven years later.

"I'm sure we had people here from New York and New Jersey and other places for Hurricane Rita. We would like to pay them back if we can," said Gremillion.

Daughdril and Bordeau depart Lake Charles Regional Airport on Tuesday on their way to Albany, New York.

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