Are You Ready? Mild Hurricane Season So Far Shouldnt Mean Letting Guard Down

Patricia Skinner, Merrill, Thomas A., Tucker, Jeanette A.  |  8/16/2006 8:53:21 PM

News Release Distributed 08/16/06

A mild hurricane season so far shouldn’t be a reason for letting your guard down, according to experts with the LSU AgCenter.

"As we pass the midpoint of the 2006 hurricane season, we have to say we’ve been pretty lucky so far," says Dr. Paul Coreil, vice chancellor of the LSU AgCenter. "Unfortunately, none of us know what may be coming as the season moves on, so it’s important to have plans for how you would protect yourself, your family and your property if a storm heads our way."

Having such plans well in advance of an impending storm is a key to your success, according to the experts.

"If you and your family haven’t made disaster plans, it’s not too late to start," says LSU AgCenter emergency preparedness associate Pat Skinner. "Doing some planning now, such as thinking about what you would do around your house if a storm was coming, really helps.

"When you have plans – and you’ve written them down – you have checklists to follow. That makes you less likely to miss something in the last-minute rush."

Skinner and other LSU AgCenter experts say your plans should cover:

–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.

–Where you might go if you need to evacuate.

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

–Ways you would keep in touch with other family members who aren’t with you if you’re forced to leave home (or if phone service is out after a storm and you stayed at home).

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

–What you would do with your pets or livestock.

–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.

"These are just a few of the things you should consider," Skinner says. "As you can see, preparing for an emergency is a big task. That’s why it’s important to start now rather than putting it off until you’re facing the extra pressure of a storm heading your way."

LSU AgCenter experts say you should stock up on supplies, such as batteries, flashlights, nonperishable food and water. Keep those on hand throughout the hurricane season – just in case you need them.

The experts also say you should pack a "grab and go" box that includes such items as identification, cash for necessities, medications you need to take regularly, a change or two of clothing for each family member, backups of computer records and copies of important papers.

"If you have the box packed, as the description implies, all you have to do is grab it and go," LSU AgCenter specialist Dr. Jeanette Tucker says, adding, "You might also want to include a few things like treasured photos or other sentimental items in the box."

For more information on preparing for potential hurricanes, visit www.lsuagcenter.com and check out the related links listed under Features on that page. You also can find a summary of the variety of helpful publications and links by typing "Are You Ready For A Hurricane" or "Hurricane" in the search box on that page.

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Contacts:
Pat Skinner at (225) 578-2910 or pskinner@agcenter.lsu.edu
Jeanette Tucker at (225) 578-5398 or jtucker@agcenter.lsu.edu
Writer:
Tom Merrill at (225) 578-2263 or tmerrill@agcenter.lsu.edu

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