Minimize Consequences Of Disasters By Having Right Answers Now

Claudette Reichel  |  3/24/2005 10:28:05 AM

If you don’t have the right answers to this hurricane quiz, you may be flirting with disaster for your home or your family, cautions LSU AgCenter housing specialist Dr. Claudette Reichel.

"Even if you’ve been through a hurricane before, it’s easy to forget some of the preparations that can protect your property and family as well as save time, money and hassles after the storm," Reichel says.

The LSU AgCenter expert says you need to take action to protect your family and home if you answer "No" or "I don't know" to any of these 20 questions:

  1. Do you have a disaster survival plan?
  2. Have you planned an evacuation route and destination?
  3. Do you have an emergency communication plan (for staying in touch or getting messages to friends and family)?
  4. 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?
  5. Do you have an inventory of your property and belongings?
  6. Do you have copies of your policies, inventory, other important papers and valuables in a safe (waterproof and fireproof) place?
  7. Do you know how to turn off your utilities (electricity, gas and water)?
  8. Do you have a plan and supplies on hand to protect and secure your home, outdoor items, boat, pool, etc.?
  9. Has your roof been inspected within the past six months?
  10. Have you trimmed the trees and shrubs around the house?
  11. Has your car been maintained, and are the tires, including the spare, in good condition?
  12. Do you have a plan of what to do with food in your refrigerator and freezer in the event of a possible power outage?
  13. Is your emergency phone list up to date and handy?
  14. Do you have emergency survival supplies such as batteries, radio, flashlights, lanterns, fuel, nonperishable food for three days, water jugs, manual can opener, medicines, traveler’s checks or cash, etc. on hand?
  15. Do you have an emergency supply kit for your car?
  16. 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?
  17. Have you decided what you will do with your animals if you must evacuate because of various types of hazards?
  18. Have you budgeted for the added expenses to protect your home, buy supplies, evacuate, clean up and recover?
  19. Have you discussed your emergency plans, duties and rules with your family?
  20. Do you know that the LSU AgCenter offers publications and other free information on disaster cleanup and recovery on its Web site (www.lsuagcenter.com) and through its parish Extension offices across the state?

For more information on preparing for a disaster or recovering from one, contact your parish LSU AgCenter Extension office. You also may download the online versions of A South Louisiana Guide to Living with Hurricanes and There's a Hurricane Forming (with tips and a hurricane tracking chart) in the Hazards and Threats -Publications section.

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