City of Zachary Local Emergency Response Plan and Hurricane Preparedness
Zachary enacted its own FEMA approved and endorsed “Hazard Mitigation” Plan in 2000. Even though a municipality of EBR Parish Mayor David Amrhein decided on the development of Zachary’s own plan to “stand Zachary up” in the event of an emergency or weather-related disaster. The city still relies heavily on local mutual aid agreements with EBR and its first responder agencies and the municipalities of Baker and Central during an emergency that might exceed the ability to handle locally. That plan was used effectively during Hurricane Isaac several years ago and is approaching renewal approval in 2016.
Zachary first responders are the city’s first line of defense during a hurricane. Both Zachary Fire and Rescue and the Zachary Police Department have developed comprehensive plans for dealing with weather emergencies. The uniqueness of their plans is attributed to and a direct compliment of their training experience during storms and their sheer dedication. Most people don’t realize, however, that during storm season and especially during hurricanes, emergency calls for service continue to be dispatched in spite of weather-related concerns and actions. The exception to the traditional response practice is the “life safety concerns” associated with dispatch when considering the storms severity at any given time, including its wind speed, lightning, flooding conditions, etc.
The Zachary Youth Park serves as an emergency staging area for the city during severe weather conditions and is a place to protect citizens and local assets. In 2014, this new emergency area was made possible by a $1.4 million Community Development Block Grant for recovery from damage sustained by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008. Citizens of Zachary in need of sand bags can now receive them at the Zachary Youth Park, located at 1650 Mt. Pleasant Road. A $6,000 sandbagging machine, capable of filling approximately 54 bags in 30 minutes is now located on this site for residents during flooding situations. Bags can be dispersed along with water, tarps and meals-ready-to-eat.
For emergencies during a hurricane or natural disaster, call “911.” For assistance from the Zachary Department of Public Works, call 225 654-0201, a non-emergency 24-hour phone service. Emergency information will also be posted on Facebook @ The City of Zachary and Twitter – CityofZachary@Zachary70791. Also, the city will continue to display text messages on the digital billboard sign, located at City Hall as a means of communicating with the public. The digital sign backed up by a generator can disseminate information if the city loses electrical power.
Public Service Announcement
A message from Melvin "Kip" Holden, Mayor of Baton Rouge, Jr. Shelton, Mayor of Central and David Amrhein, Mayor of Zachary, whose cities participate in CRAFT - Capital Region Area Floodplain Taskforce, a multi-jurisdictional program designed to inform the public of valuable information.