NEW ORLEANS - Following a recent string of cybersecurity attacks and the partial collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel, the New Orleans City Council voted to create a new Special Committee on Emergency Preparedness and Cybersecurity. In addition to raising public awareness, the committee will advise the Council on all issues relating to cybersecurity, emergency preparedness and disaster response in the City of New Orleans.
The newly-formed committee will be comprised of all seven Councilmembers with District "D" Councilmember Jared Brossett serving as Chairperson and Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer serving as Vice Chairperson. The committee will be tasked with the following:
Consider and advise on issues related to homeland security, emergency preparedness and cybersecurity;
Review issues related to disaster recovery and providing recommendations and direction concerning not only hurricane policies but also other disaster policies to speed the recovery in all affected areas of the City;
review the preparedness, evacuation and recovery activities of the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP); and
Review the administration of funding going to NOHSEP and any other funding that may be available to the City for emergency preparedness and disaster recovery.
"Emergency preparedness and cybersecurity have long been a priority of mine, both as a State Legislator and as a member of the City Council," said Councilmember Brossett. "While I'm disappointed that it's taken a crisis of such magnitude as the recent attack on City Hall, I am proud that we as a city are finally taking the necessary steps to prevent these types of incidents in our future. I will remain vigilant in reviewing and updating our existing policies and protocols to ensure the safety of all New Orleanians."
With the establishment of this legislative body, the Council hopes to provide greater understanding surrounding issues related to cybersecurity and information technology, especially in light of heightened cyber threats. The committee will also provide much-needed transparency around the City's emergency response efforts to ensure all residents are informed and prevent or mitigate future disasters.
Councilmember Brossett continued, "There needs to be accountability to residents. Under our government's balance of powers, that demand for accountability properly comes from the City Council, and we must act now."
Chief of Staff
Councilmember Jared C. Brossett, Chair of Budget/Audit/BoR Committee