On Monday, Oct. 30, Gov. John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards, along with Major General Glenn Curtis, Adjutant General for the Louisiana National Guard (LANG), and Col. James Waskom, Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), will travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico to meet with officials and discuss their recovery from Hurricane Maria. Gov. Edwards and the First Lady are making the trip at the invitation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. Currently, LANG soldiers and GOHSEP personnel are deployed to Puerto Rico assisting in recovery planning.
“Louisiana has far too much experience with disaster management, and Mother Nature has caused unimaginable harm in Puerto Rico,” said Gov. Edwards. “I am happy that Louisiana has been able to provide assistance as survivors recover, much like the assistance we’ve relied on in the aftermath of disasters I know they have a long road ahead of them, but I’ve assured Gov. Rosselló that we will be partners with them as they move into the recovery phase. I am looking forward to this being a productive visit for Donna and me, and I hope we can provide some insight into the recovery and rebuilding process using the lessons we’ve learned in Louisiana.”
Gov. Edwards will return to Louisiana on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
The state of Louisiana launched a donation drive for Puerto Rico following the storms. As of Oct. 13, the state collected approximately 100 pallets of donated goods, including over 125,000 packages of diapers, 269,000 packages of baby wipes, 57,000 feminine products, and hundreds of other essential items. Louisiana was tasked with collecting diapers, non-perishable formula, baby wipes, bottles and nipples and feminine care products. LNG is coordinating the delivery of the donated goods.
In response to the storm, Gov. Edwards authorized GOHSEP personnel and more than 300 members of LANG to travel to the island to offer on the ground assistance in recovery and response. The state has sent 131 pieces of heavy equipment, including 18-wheelers, dump trucks, water tankers, skid steers, tractors and Humvees. One hundred fifty LANG personnel remain on the ground.