On Tuesday, Lafayette Parish’s Office of Emergency Preparedness kept a close eye on Tropical Storm Bill. Director Captain Craig Stansbury says the storm warrants full attention even with it making landfall hundreds of miles away. “It’s a different role that I’m sitting in, but it’s a very familar one,” says Stansbury. Stansbury previously worked for the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Captain Stansbury walks KLFY News through an office under tight security. The parishes Office of Emergency Preparedness houses the parishes 911 Center. “We kept in touch with all the other emergency responders throughout the parish and even neighboring parishes throughout the state; and the governor’s office of homeland security.”
As the tropical storm’s main impacts are being felt in Southeastern Texas, coastal parishes are seeing higher tides. Stansbury explains the distance of a storm is not an excuse for being caught off guard. “Where are you going to go? Have a pre-existing arrangement whether it’s with family or a location known ahead of time; maybe a motel or something. You are making those pre-plans instead of saying it’s time to leave, there’s a lot of traffic, and I have no idea where I am going to stay or what I’m going to do,” notes Stansbury.
If and when Lafayette Parish falls in the path of a storm, Stansbury says his office will use any means necessary to make public contact. “What’s going to happen is the decisions that are made here, we’re going to get that information out to the local media so they can get it out to everyone,” adds Stansbury.