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Are you ready for a hurricane?

Have you planned an evacuation route and destination?

Do you have an emergency communication plan for staying in touch or getting messages to friends and family?

Is your homeowner's and flood insurance coverage up to date and sufficient to replace your home and belongings if they are damaged or destroyed?

Do you have an inventory of your property and belongings?

Do you have copies of your policies, inventory, other important papers and valuables in a safe place – one that’s waterproof and fireproof?

Do you know how to turn off your utilities (electricity, gas and water)?

Do you have a plan and supplies on hand to protect and secure your home, outdoor items, boat, pool and so forth?

Have you trimmed the trees and shrubs around your house?

Is your car ready for an evacuation trip? Are the tires, including the spare, in good condition?

Do you have a plan of what to do with food in your refrigerator and freezer in the event of a possible power outage?

Is your emergency phone list up to date and handy?

Do you have emergency survival supplies such as batteries, a battery-operated radio, flashlights, lanterns, fuel, nonperishable food for three days, water jugs, manual can opener, medicines, traveler’s checks or cash, and so forth on hand?

Do you have an emergency supply kit for your car?

Do you have a plan of how to take care of family members with special needs (infants, the elderly or those with disabilities) in the event of a disaster?

Have you decided what you will do with your animals if you must evacuate because of various types of hazards?

Have you budgeted for the added expenses to protect your home, buy supplies, evacuate, clean up and recover?

Do you know that the LSU AgCenter offers publications and other free information on disaster cleanup? See the links below.

If you were able to answer "yes" to all, good for you. If not, start now to get your plan in place.

The LSU AgCenter has a variety of resources on topics from protecting your livestock and pets to securing your home and property that can help you assess how ready you are. All of them are available online, and some can be obtained in printed form through LSU AgCenter Extension offices.

Tracking A Storm, Last-minute Preparations
Another handy resource that can help you track the storm and assess how prepared you are is the flier “There’s a Hurricane Forming.” This reference includes checklists of last-minute preparations you can make. For example:

Items that may need to be secured or brought in out of your yard.

Other protective measures you may want to take for your house, such as covering windows.

What you would include in your "grab and go" box to take with you if you need to leave home. Read more.

How you would meet your family’s needs for food and water if power or other utilities are out.

How you could protect personal possessions or furniture if flooding occurs.

Other measures you could reasonably take to protect family heirlooms, important papers and treasured photographs.

Disaster Information Resources
The “Disaster Information Resources Series” also covers a variety of topics related to items you can do to protect lives and property before and after a storm. Among the pages in that series are “Preparing Your ‘Grab and Go’ Box,” “Good News About Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy,” and several designed to help livestock owners prepare for a storm. Resources for a storm’s aftermath include “Operating a Chainsaw Safely,” “Mold Removal Guidelines for Your Home,” “Replacing Important Papers,” “Dealing With Storm-damaged Trees” and much more.

Storm Recovery Guide
If we don’t manage to avoid storms this year, the LSU AgCenter’s “Storm Recovery Guide” also could prove to be a helpful resource. More than 175,000 copies of this guide were printed and distributed last year. It begins with advice on staying safe after a storm – including tips on food and water safety, handling stress, avoiding critters and safely entering storm-damaged buildings. But it covers much more, including sections on surviving and recovering from a power outage, restoring storm-damaged buildings, salvaging water-damaged belongings, lawn and garden losses, financial recovery and risk management.

Our Louisiana House Home and Landscape Resource Center project, known as LaHouse, also is providing information on stronger, safer and smarter construction techniques for those rebuilding or simply building new homes in Louisiana. The LaHouse project is designed to showcase solutions for Louisiana’s unique climate and conditions and to exhibit a range of ways to have greater comfort, quality, durability, property value and better health. It’s also intended to show ways to lower energy use, water consumption, waste, pollution and damage from storms, termites, mold, decay and other hazards.

Livestock Preparation
Here are some publications are preparing your livestock:
Disaster Readiness for Beef Producers
Disaster Readiness for Dairy Producers
Disaster Readiness for Goat and Sheep Producers
Disaster Readiness for Horse Owners

Those are just a few samples of the resources available to you through the LSU AgCenter. You can go to Storm and Flood News for even more information.

The LSU AgCenter is one of 10 institutions of higher education in the Louisiana State University System. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, it provides educational services in every parish and conducts research that contributes to the economic development of the state. The LSU AgCenter plays an integral role in supporting agricultural industries, enhancing the environment, and improving the quality of life through its 4-H youth, family and community programs.

Last Updated: 6/5/2014 9:12:10 AM

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Skinner, Patricia
LSU AgCenter