State agencies are severely understaffed at a time when people need them the most. West Monroe Senator Mike Walsworth says during tough budget times, there were employment cutbacks at the Department of Children and Family Services and the Governor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, because Louisiana hasn’t seen a hurricane in several years.
“You just can’t have them sitting there saying, ‘Well, in case there’s an emergency we’ll have you on staff.’ So it’s not unusual to go down that road that you’re short staffed when there’s an emergency,” Walsworth said.
Walsworth says Louisiana is the most disaster prone state in the nation, and we need to be prepared for these kinds of events. He says they may need to look into training state retirees in case of emergencies.
“Retirees still like to work, just because they’re retired doesn’t mean they’re dead. They like to work, and they like to do things, and they like to help. So maybe we can train some of them,” Walsworth said.
Walsworth says people are still waiting on disaster food stamps, and he’s worried about kids who are not in school because if they were, they could be getting at least one good meal every day. He says DCFS is having trouble opening DSNAP locations because many of them are working at shelters.
“They had two roles, and maybe we change up their roles a little bit. Maybe they should do just SNAP, and maybe we can figure out somebody else to help out when it comes to the evacuees,” Walsworth said.