BJ 12-18

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 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,   the welfare of the citizens of the State of Louisiana is jeopardized by any disaster, natural or man-made, that creates debris on public and private property that, if not promptly removed, can contribute to unsanitary and unsafe conditions conducive to the development and spread of pests and disease;
WHEREAS,   Hurricane Isaac began impacting the coastal parishes of Louisiana on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 with hurricane strength winds, wave surges, high tides, torrential rain and tornado activity before slowly moving across the entire State;
WHEREAS,   The State continues to experience widespread flooding in certain areas, has issued more than 200 water boil advisories, and lost over 40% of electrical power statewide for an extended amount of time, with seven parishes still reporting electrical outages exceeding 40%;
WHEREAS,   all sixty-four parishes of Louisiana issued parish declarations of emergency with many issuing mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders, 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 federal, state, and local governments to enter onto private property as necessary to assess and remove nuisance debris that poses a health hazard to the people of Louisiana;
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 Hurricane Isaac 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 Monday, September 3, 2012 through Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 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 3rd day of September, 2012.

Bobby Jindal

Tom Schedler
Secretary of State