Are you ready for a hurricane? Ask these 20 questions to find out

Claudette H. Reichel, Merrill, Thomas A.

Question marks graphic

News Release Distributed 05/25/09

Are you ready for a hurricane? LSU AgCenter housing specialist Dr. Claudette Reichel offers a 20-question quiz to help you determine just how prepared you are.

“The answers you give can help you evaluate whether you’re well prepared or whether you need to take some action now,” Reichel says, explaining the quiz covers everything from whether your family has a written emergency plan to what supplies you have on hand.

As hurricane season kicks off, Reichel and other experts say it’s a perfect time to evaluate where you stand and what you can do to be better prepared if a storm heads your way.

“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, so it’s a good idea to review your plans and make sure you haven’t left anything off,” Reichel says. “Taking the right precautions before a storm has the potential to save time, money, hassles and even lives if a hurricane strikes.”

LSU AgCenter experts say the following hurricane quiz can help you gauge whether you’re prepared. It’s time to take action if you answer “No” or “I don’t know” to any of these 20 questions:

–Do you have a disaster survival plan?

–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 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 and supplies on hand to protect and secure your home and outdoor items (and your boat and pool, too, if you have them)?

–Has your roof been inspected within the past six months?

–Have you trimmed the trees and shrubs around your house?

–Has your car been maintained, and 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/water jugs, manual can opener, medicines, traveler’s checks or cash, and other necessary items 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 (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 because of various types of hazards?

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

–Have you discussed your emergency plans, duties and rules with your family?

–Do you know the LSU AgCenter offers publications and other free information on disaster cleanup and recovery on its Web site ( and through its parish LSU AgCenter 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 find the online versions of such publications as “There’s a Hurricane Forming” in the publications section of the LSU AgCenter's Web site at Other resources also are available by visiting the Hazard and Threats section listed under Family and Home on the AgCenter Web site or by going directly to


Contact: Claudette Reichel
Writer: Tom Merrill

5/26/2009 12:58:28 AM
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