Are you prepared for a major disaster? - FOX29 Lake Charles

Are you prepared for a major disaster?

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Volunteers (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC) Volunteers (Source: Candy Rodriguez/KPLC)

During an emergency, it can become hectic. So the Calcasieu Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is taking steps to be prepared.

On Wednesday, the OEP held its annual evacuation drill in an attempt to stay ready in case of any major disaster.

"We need them trained to know exactly what's going to happen," said Angela Jouett, a coordinator for the police jury's Calcasieu Medical Reserve Corps.

The drill was made up of several volunteers and agencies from across Calcasieu Parish. Those participating in the drill were given scenarios to act out.

"I'm thirsty; I have to go to the bathroom," said one participant in the scenario, which consisted of a person who may be dealing with medical, mental health, or communication issues. 

The volunteers also trained on how to handle individuals with animals - whether they're a service animal or a family pet. 

For one volunteer, she's been in the middle of it before.

"During [Hurricane] Katrina, I found the process very chaotic with patients coming in, there wasn't a lot of organization," said Ann Rasmussen. "In a disaster, there's going to be so many people out there that are going to be in need of help and you need to have things in place. So we have to be able to practice that and be ready for it."

So these volunteers said they will do what they can to be ready for whatever comes their way.

"It's better to be safe than sorry," said Jouett. "We got hit in the past during two hurricanes back-to-back and that was really hard but now that we do this every year, everybody knows their roles and that just makes it run very, very smooth when you know which role you will be playing."

Coordinators also recommend individuals keep their medication supply up to date and have important documents, like birth certificates, nearby in case of an emergency. 

If you would like to volunteer, you can call 249-1039.

The beginning of hurricane season is less than two months away; it officially begins on June 1.

Copyright 2017 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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