BATON ROUGE, LA (April 21, 2011) – The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and Louisiana Economic Development (LED) are the recipients of the 2011 National Hurricane Conference Outstanding Achievement Award.  Louisiana was the only state recognized and was presented the award for the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center (LA BEOC) based on "innovative achievement" related to hurricane preparedness and it serves as a model to others.

LA BEOC is a joint partnership between Louisiana Economic Development (LED), the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the University of Louisiana's National Incident Management Systems & Advanced Technologies (NIMSAT) Institute and LSU's Stephenson Disaster Management Institute (SDMI). The Center focuses on public-private partnerships and how those partnerships can be utilized to improve communication before, during, and after a disaster and help communities be more resilient by taking advantage of the LA BEOC's resources. As a result, businesses will return to normal operations quicker and post-disaster economic recovery can be more effective.

"Having the ability to communicate and coordinate directly with business and industry will significantly improve our response and recovery efforts, which will help build community resiliency from disasters," said GOHSEP Director Mark Cooper.

In accepting the award on behalf of LED, UL's NIMSAT and LSU's SDMI, Cooper thanked the other states that have supported Louisiana in past disasters and expressed appreciation that Louisiana is being recognized for a "best practice" that can benefit these states and emergency management as a whole.

Dr. Ramesh Kolluru, Executive Director of the NIMSAT Institute said, "Conducting research on public-private partnerships and understanding how to engage the private sector in a whole-community approach to fundamentally improve our ability as a nation to manage disasters and secure our homeland are at the core of our mission as an Institute.  We are proud that through the LA BEOC, Louisiana is leading the way in establishing such best practices."

Lt. Col. Joseph Booth, executive director of the SDMI, says he was proud to nominate GOHSEP and LED for their leadership in this center. "We're thrilled to see GOHSEP and LED win this award for the LA BEOC. This is a well deserved acknowledgement from a respected national conference. This recognition really underscores the leadership that Louisiana is bringing to public-private partnerships." Booth added, "The LA BEOC is an example of SDMI's commitment to public-private collaboration. We're very proud of our partnership." The LA BEOC is located on LSU's South Campus.

The award was presented Tuesday at the National Hurricane Conference in Atlanta. This is the first time Louisiana has been recognized by this prestigious conference. Director Cooper was also a guest speaker on a panel focusing on public-private partnerships.  The National Hurricane Conference is a forum for education and professional training in hurricane and disaster preparedness and is respected worldwide.

For more information visit the the LABEOC website. For more on how to keep you and your family safe, click here.

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