LSU AgCenter Disaster Coordinator Lists Hurricane Precautions

Patricia Skinner  |  6/9/2005 10:38:21 PM

News Release Distributed 06/01/02

With the start of the hurricane season, it’s time to take preventive steps to protect your home. "Many precautions are simple," says LSU AgCenter Disaster Programs Coordinator Pat Skinner.

The disaster expert makes these recommendations:

  • Trim dead wood and limbs out of trees.
  • Stake young trees so they’ll survive high winds.
  • Make a list of things in the yard that need to be brought in or tied down when a hurricane comes.
  • Repair termite damage that might make your home more vulnerable to wind.
  • Move your family photos and important household documents to upper shelves, where shallow flooding would not affect them. Do the same with household chemicals

Skinner says detailed information is available in the LSU AgCenter publication, "South Louisiana Guide to Living with Hurricanes." This guide has information about Louisiana’s unique susceptibility to hurricanes, how to make seasonal adjustments and emergency preparation and evacuation information. It also has phone numbers for the emergency management and LSU AgCenter Extension Service offices in the Louisiana parishes at greatest risk. Copies can be viewed and downloaded by visiting the hurricane section of www.LouisianaFloods.org.

Skinner adds that advice on how to protect your home from high water and strong wind may be found at the Stronger-Safer-Smarter section of www.LouisianaHouse.org.

Hurricane and flood precautions, however, aren’t only a matter of protecting property, the coordinator points out. You also need a plan to keep in touch with family and friends should evacuation be necessary.

"Whether it’s for a hurricane or in response to a terrorist threat or incident, it’s very possible that the members of your family will be caught going in different directions and unable to communicate - even with cell phones," Skinner says.

"When that happens, you’d like to be able to find one another – sooner, rather than later," the disaster expert says, explaining that the best way to locate one another is to decide in advance that everyone will "report in" to someone outside the disaster area, like an uncle in Oklahoma or a close friend in Ohio.

"Decide NOW who the contact person will be, and give everyone the phone number," Skinner emphasizes.

Take a few minutes today and fill in a wallet card for each member of your family. Send one to the daycare center and school, too. A sample may be seen by searching for "Disaster Wallet Card" on the LSU AgCenter's Web site at www.lsuagcenter.com.

For additional information about disaster preparedness, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office or visit www.lsuagcenter.com.

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Source: Pat Skinner (225) 578-6919, or Pskinner@agcenter.lsu.edu

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