Public Health Emergency
WHEREAS, the Louisiana Health Emergency Powers Act, R.S. 29:760, et seq ., confers upon the Governor of the state of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with public health emergencies, including those caused by a disaster, such as hurricane, tornado, storm, flood, high winds, and other weather related events, that poses a high probability of a large number of deaths in the affected population or a large number of serious or long-term disabilities in the affected population in order to ensure that preparations of this state will be adequate to deal with such emergencies or disasters and to preserve the health and lives of the people of the state of Louisiana;
WHEREAS, when the Governor after consultation with the public health authority determines that a public health emergency has occurred, or the threat thereof is imminent, R.S. 29:766(A) empowers him to declare a state of emergency by executive order or proclamation;
WHEREAS, Hurricane Gustav is expected to impact the coastal parishes of Louisiana with hurricane strength winds, wave surges, high tides, torrential rain and tornado activity. The storm is expected to make landfall on the Louisiana coast on or about September 1, 2008, with the expectation that hurricane force winds will reach the Louisiana coast prior to landfall;
WHEREAS, the forecast from the National Weather Service indicates that the coastal parishes of Louisiana will be subjected to hurricane conditions to such a degree that life, health and safety will be placed in jeopardy;
WHEREAS, the coastal parishes of Louisiana are expected to issue parish declarations of emergency and widespread evacuations and temporary relocations of the coastal population will occur, resulting in a potential disruption of health care by those relocating to an area outside their homes;
WHEREAS, a declaration of public health emergency is necessary to allow state agencies to thoroughly prepare for any eventuality related to public health needs and to allow federal agencies and federal resources to be deployed if necessary; and
WHEREAS , the secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals and the state health officer have requested that a public health emergency be declared;
NOW THEREFORE, I, BOBBY JINDAL, Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: Pursuant to the Louisiana Health Emergency Powers Act, R.S. 29:760, et seq., a state of public health emergency is declared to exist in the state of Louisiana as a result of forecasted hurricane activity which has created emergency conditions that threaten the lives and health of the citizens of the state.
SECTION 2: The state of public health emergency extends from August 30, 2008, through September 29, 2008, unless terminated sooner .
IN WITNESS WHEREOF , I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 30th day of August, 2008.
Secretary of State