Although local levee boards assure us that the current levee system is designed to hold the forecasted river crests, many families are concerned about the possibility of spring flooding. One way to manage our worry about a possible disaster is to plan ahead. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you are ready for a potential disaster.
- 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?
- Have you discussed your emergency plans, duties and rules with your family? Do you have a plan of how to take care of family members with special needs (those with disabilities, infants or the elderly) in the event of a disaster? Have you decided what you will do with your animals if you must evacuate? Do you have an emergency communication plan for staying in touch or getting messages to friends and family?
- Have you planned an evacuation route and destination? Has your car been maintained, and are the tires, including the spare, in good condition? Do you have an emergency supply kit for your car?
- Do you have an inventory of your property and belongings? Is your homeowner's and flood insurance coverage up to date? Is it sufficient to replace your home and belongings if they are damaged or destroyed? Have you budgeted for the added expenses to protect your home, buy supplies, evacuate, clean up and recover? Do you have copies of your insurance policies, household inventory and other important papers, as well as other 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 of what to do with food in your refrigerator and freezer in the event of a possible power outage?
- Do you have a plan and supplies on hand to protect and secure your home, outdoor items, boat, pool and so forth?
If you answered no to any of the questions, it’s time to take action. LSU AgCenter offers publications and other free information on disaster preparation, cleanup and recovery on its website www.lsuagcenter.com/familyandhome and through the Richland Parish Extension office.
News article by Danna Gillett, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent for Richland Parish, published in The Richland Beacon News and the Delhi Dispatch. Ms. Gillett may be reached at 318-728-3216.
Look for us on Facebook: Richland Extension