There's a Hurricane Forming...

Patricia Skinner  |  2/4/2005 4:02:47 AM

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Click image above for a printable PDF with checklists.

Pull out your family disaster plan if you have one, but even if you don’t, there are still things you can do!

Offshore workers and people in low-lying coastal areas and on coastal islands will be evacuated as a precaution when a storm heads this way. People in mobile homes, if not evacuated, should find more substantial housing when a hurricane approaches. People inside densely populated, leveed areas should consider taking a business trip or visiting relatives to the north. Others may be able to wait for evacuation orders.

WHEREVER YOU ARE, if a storm is coming, tune the radio to your emergency broadcast station or watch for alerts on television. Use power as long as it is on, and save your batteries.

If the threat is still uncertain

  • Change emergency drinking-water supplies if older than six months. It’s OK to fill clean containers with tap water.
  • Update phone numbers, addresses, meeting locations and priorities in your family disaster plan.
  • Check and refresh your gear for primitive living. *
  • Check and refresh your life’s necessities. *
  • Collect items you wanted to bring when you evacuate.* Pack one bundle per person.
  • Locate your window protection panels and the hardware needed to install them.
  • Fill the car’s gas tank.
  • Keep a tire repair kit, small shovel and maps in the car.
  • If you have a home garden, harvest all the vegetables that are ripe or close to being ready. (The crop may be destroyed by wind, and vegetables exposed to floodwaters must be discarded.)
  • Start bringing unsecured items indoors or lashing them down.
  • Find the concrete blocks for raising furniture and appliances. Water may pick up the blocks, so put plastic between the blocks and articles placed on top.
  • Protect your property from flooding as the threat becomes more certain.

*See following lists for items to include in your life’s necessities, gear for primitive living and what you’ll need when you evacuate.

Take it or leave it

During a hurricane, you need some supplies just to survive. You may have to leave home, and you may find yourself spending a night, or several nights, in a car. After a hurricane, you may be housebound for a week or longer, probably with no electricity. Water may be off or contaminated. Stores may be closed.

Early in hurricane season, gather what you’ll need and keep it in a central location – above potential flood level. Don’t forget about your pets’ needs, too.

Consider buying an electrical generator to meet your emergency requirements for power. This is particularly important if you must operate medical equipment. It also may be the best way to protect your investment in frozen foods.

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Life’s necessities

At home, on the road or in a typical shelter:

Items listed here have a long shelf life but will disappear from stores quickly when hurricane warnings are issued. Gather these supplies now; you’ll need to make other preparations as a storm approaches.

  • Drinking water: At least 2 quarts per person per day. A gallon per person is better.
  • Food: Nonperishable foods requiring little or no cooking and no refrigeration. Can or jar sizes should be appropriate for one meal with no leftovers. Remember such items as baby food, anything you need for special dietary requirements and a hand-crank can opener. Keep low-volume, high-energy foods on hand, such as granola bars, raisins and peanut butter.
  • Prescription medicines: Keep ample supplies and a list of prescription numbers, doctors and pharmacists, along with their phone numbers.
  • Medical devices, such as pacemakers: List styles and serial numbers.

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Gear for primitive living

Whether at home or evacuating by car:

  • Battery-operated flashlights with extra batteries and bulbs
  • Hurricane lamps, lanterns and camp stoves, along with appropriate fuel (Try to avoid candles.)
  • Insect repellent
  • Matches (in a waterproof container)
  • Portable radio with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit and manual
  • Fuel for your electrical generator and outdoor grill
  • Ice chest
  • Disposable plates, cups, utensils, etc.
  • Diapers, wipes and plastic bags
  • Toilet paper and feminine products
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When you evacuate

These are things you’ll be glad you brought in addition to life’s necessities:

  • Clean clothing, towels and blankets: enough for the family for three to four days. Be sure to include children’s clothing and sturdy, comfortable shoes for everyone.
  • Toiletries: Soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, moist towelettes, hair brushes and hair ties, bands or clips.
  • Entertainment: Games, reading material, knitting or sewing, toys and writing, drawing or needlework materials to help pass the time.
  • An extra set of car keys.
  • Credit card, cash or travelers checks: If possible, set aside a credit card you don’t use often – one with enough credit available to sustain you for a few days or a week.
  • Special items for infants, the elderly and family members with disabilities.
  • Identification showing your address. Re-entry to a disaster area often is restricted to residents of the area. Keep proof with you.

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Listen to Local Officials

Each community subject to a hurricane threat has a hurricane safety plan. Find out about your community’s plan, and make it part of your family plan.

The local emergency management officials have the most up-to-date information for your area. Follow their recommendations before, during and after a hurricane.

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Look for signs like this one along evacuation routes to help you find the most current information. (If you’re at home, tune to your local broadcast stations.)




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Saffir-Simpson Damage-Potential Scale

Category: Winds:
1-Minimal 74-95 mph
2-Moderate 96-110 mph
3-Extensive 111-130 mph
4-Extreme 131-155 mph
5-Catastrophic greater than 155 mph
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Useful websites

LSU AgCenter

www.LSUAgCenter.com
www.LSUAgCenter.com/preventingflooddamage
www.lsuagcenter.com/floodmaps

Parish Offices

http://www.lsuagcenter.com/portals/our_offices/parishes

LSU Hurricane Center

www.hurricane.lsu.edu

Louisiana Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness

www.gohsep.la.gov
www.emergency.louisiana.gov

Federal Emergency Management Agency

www.fema.gov

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