BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announces the start of its preparations for the 2013 severe weather season in conjunction with Louisiana’s Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 3 – 9, 2013.
"The success of DOTD’s response during any severe weather event depends on the personal readiness of DOTD as a whole," said DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas. "With that understanding, the Department is vastly committed to assisting with the evacuation and safety of the traveling public."
Prior to the start of severe weather season, DOTD personnel conducts statewide severe weather readiness and response exercises, and meets to review and discuss evacuation and contraflow operations.
To kick-off its preparation for severe weather season, DOTD’s emergency staff will participate in a test tornado warning message transmitted by the NOAA Weather Radio Wednesday, March 6, 2013, at approximately 9:15 a.m.
In an emergency situation, DOTD is responsible for the transportation of people and critical supplies as well as public works and engineering functions such as contraflow, debris management, damage assessment, and emergency repairs to the transportation infrastructure.
Since 2005, DOTD has developed a process to assist people without personal transportation to evacuate risk areas. DOTD also has established a fully equipped Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which includes a call center, an information center, a transportation cell, and a public works and engineering cell. The information center includes stations to monitor weather and all modes of transportation (marine traffic, rail, airports, and highways).
Additionally, DOTD managers remain in frequent contact with parish emergency operation directors throughout the impacted regions, assessing local needs and immediately responding with buses.
If the possibility of heavy rain, tropical storm force winds and flooding is forecasted, DOTD will monitor the roadways for possible flooding, to remove fallen trees from the roadway, and to close any roads as needed.
For more information on severe weather preparedness, please visit