With a storm approaching, get information on how to best prepare your home, family, pets and property.
The LSU AgCenter has experts and resources to get Louisiana residents ready for the next storm.
AgCenter housing specialist Claudette Reichel said hurricane prep projects start with the letter S. “Think shingles, soffits, seals, shutters and surroundings,” Reichel said.
Homeowners looking to replace a roof have hurricane-hardy options. But if a replacement isn’t in the plans, Reichel said, homeowners can strengthen existing shingles with roofing cement.
“Put some dabs under the first course of shingles and along the gable ends where it is most vulnerable,” she said. Roof damage is the biggest homeowners insurance claim following a hurricane.
Reichel also recommended securing soffits with polyurethane sealant and stainless steel screws. “Soffits are less likely to get blown around and allow wind-driven rain into your attic and cause major damage,” she said.
Inexpensive caulk will seal holes where wires, cables and pipes enter or exit your house.
When high winds are expected, flying debris can damage windows. Shutters such as lightweight translucent removable storm panels are a good alternative to heavy plywood boards, Reichel said.
AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill also stressed the need to look at your surroundings before a storm.
High on the list is checking out trees, particularly mature shade trees. “Look for trees that have decay in their trunk or large dead areas, or ones that are dead all together. All of this needs to be taken care of well before a hurricane threatens our area,” Gill said.
Gill recommends hiring a licensed arborist to evaluate trees and see what work needs to be done on them.
He also said to secure loose objects in your landscapes, such as potted plants, hanging baskets, bird feeders, wind chimes, children’s play areas and patio furniture.
Also protect chemicals that may be stored in a garage or carport. “Make sure chemicals such as pesticides or gasoline are in secure locations and are high enough so they won’t be hit by flood waters,” he said.
AgCenter food safety expert Wenqing Xu said now is the time to stock up on non-perishable food items and water.
“Water is very important. It is best to buy bottled water and prepare one gallon of water per day per person,” she said.
To keep food safe in the event of a power outage, keep the doors of your refrigerator and freeze shut as much as possible. “Frozen foods can be safely refrozen if they still have ice crystals on them or the temperature is 40 degrees or lower,” Xu said.
She also said to make sure you have a manual can opener, a food thermometer to monitor temperature and bleach if you need to sanitize utensils, pots and water.
Preparation also means getting pets and livestock ready for a storm. LSU AgCenter veterinarian Dr. Christine Navarre said to make sure animals are healthy and vaccinations are up-to-date.
“Healthy animals will be better prepared to handle the stress of relocation,” Navarre said.
Microchipping animals or having identification for them in some way will help if you are separated from your animals. Navarre recommended storing identification numbers online in the cloud so they be retrieved from anywhere
She also said to prepare an emergency to-go box that includes contact information for animals’ veterinarians, medications, feed and leashes. She also said it is important to get a pet used to its pet carrier before it is necessary for the animal to be transported in it.
Determine where you will evacuate before the storm and make sure it is pet-friendly if you are bringing your pets with you or look for a place where you can safely board pets or livestock, Navarre said.
(06/06/17) Hurricane season started June 1, and while Louisiana doesn’t often see storms this early in the season, it is important to be prepared.
It’s time to pull out your family disaster plan. Even if you don’t have one, there are still things you can do!
If your family has a plan for what you’d do in case of a hurricane or other disaster, now is the time to pull it out and review it. If you don’t, there’s still time to write your plan, LSU AgCenter disaster preparedness specialist Pat Skinner says.
(05/19/16) With hurricane season set to begin soon, it’s a good idea for Louisiana residents to make preparations for possible storm damage and recovery.
The phrase “wet floodproofing” may sound like a contradiction, but it is the label used to refer to a collection of methods intended to reduce damage to a building when flooding occurs. This publication explains how wet floodproofing lets water into the building but protects the structure, contents and building systems independently. (PDF format only)
All families in Louisiana should have a family disaster plan. This article provides information about developing a disaster plan for your family.
Flood cleanup bucket service projects by organizations, churches and other faith-based groups can help families in cleaning up their home after a flood disaster. This article provides information about what should be included in a flood cleanup bucket.
Vital preparation steps include developing an evacuation plan, preparing an emergency supply kit and preparing your home for the impending disaster.
From 15 to 40 percent of businesses fail following a natural or manmade disaster. Getting your business back in operation after a disaster often depends on emergency planning done today. A commitment to planning will help support employees, customers, the local community, the local economy and even our nation. It also protects your business investment and gives your operation a better chance for survival.
Information about preparing a child's evacuation to-go kit in anticipation of a disaster and possible family evacuation. Parents can help their child be a part of the preparation to evacuate prior to an approaching disaster and assemble this critically important material.
Talk with your family about any impending disaster. Family support and preparation can be key to successful readiness and future recovery.
Your home is one of the largest financial and emotional investments you are likely to make. Advanced planning and preparation can reduce flood damage to your home and belongings in times of disaster.
A collection of phone numbers for Louisiana state agencies, parish emergency management and law enforcement offices in the southern parishes, and national disaster information centers.
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.
Most disaster checklists include a recommendation for a three-day food supply for each occupant of the household. Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re choosing those foods.
Most disaster checklists include recommendations to keep a three-day food supply on hand for each person, but just exactly what does that mean? LSU AgCenter nutritionists have some of the answers.
Stocking up on disaster supplies is a smart move for families living in disaster-prone areas and especially important as Louisiana's hurricane season approaches.
You may not be able to prevent hurricanes and storms that interrupt your routine or destroy your home, but you can make plans to keep them from disrupting everything, according to LSU AgCenter family economist Dr. Jeanette Tucker.
You can reduce your expected damage from hurricanes by taking some steps to prepare.
If an evacuation or other emergency separates family and friends, you’ll want to find each other. Fill out a card for each close friend and relative. Carry it with you wherever you go.
Everyone will be able to cope better if you talk to your children early about hurricanes and get them involved in your plans and preparations, says LSU AgCenter family development specialist Dr. Diane Sasser. Discussing what hurricanes are, the dangers they pose and the safety measures to take against them can help to alleviate some of the fear and anxiety children and adults feel when a storm is approaching.
Adults are urged to assemble a “grab-and-go” box of important papers in case of a hurricane evacuation. How about making a “to-go kit” for your child? Assembling a few treasured items can help your child in times of disaster, according to LSU AgCenter family development professor Dr. Rebecca White.