SDMI Disaster Lab: Home of the Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center









Working with former LSU Chancellor Michael Martin, SDMI led the renovation of an LSU facility on South Campus, building the state-of-the-art SDMI Disaster Lab, home of the state’s Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center, or the LA BEOC. SDMI engaged the private sector and secured support from companies including Entergy Louisiana, Dell, Aruba Networks, Avaya, Polyvision, GoTo Meeting, Frontrow, and Citrix.

The SDMI Disaster Lab, when not activated as the LA BEOC, will serve as a research, simulation, and training facility for the state and the nation’s efforts of advancing and optimizing crisis leadership education for emergency managers and the private sector. The SDMI Disaster Lab’s success as a collaboration between the public and private sectors underscores LSU’s continuing commitment to its mission of engaged research, education and public service.

 Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center Activation

The mission of the LA BEOC, when activated, is to support disaster management in Louisiana by developing an accurate understanding of economic impacts to critical infrastructures and major economic drivers as well as coordinating businesses and volunteer organizations with the public sector. Through the LA BEOC, the State of Louisiana will improve disaster preparedness and response, reduce reliance on FEMA and other federal assistance, maximize business, industry and economic stabilization, and return the business environment to normal operations quickly.

The LA BEOC is both a physical and virtual structure which houses key representatives from the business community along with government counterparts from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) and Louisiana Economic Development (LED). The LA BEOC seats up to 40 business leaders, industry trade associations and organizations across several of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-identified 18 Critical Infrastructure Key Resource sectors, as well as representatives from the Louisiana Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster. When activated, the LA BEOC and its representatives will make recommendations to LED, GOHSEP, and the Unified Command Group.

The LA BEOC was established through an innovative partnership among Louisiana Economic Development, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, National Incident Management Systems and Advanced Technologies Institute at University of Louisiana at Lafayette and LSU’s Stephenson Disaster Management Institute.The LA BEOC has been recognized by FEMA as a best practice model for public-private partnerships.