How to Prepare for Hurricane Season: What to do, things to pack

Data News Staff Edited Report

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

           From June 1 to November 30, New Orleans like many Gulf Coast Cities are in hurricane season. While most of the weather phenomenon created in the gulf is likely to dissipate, there is still the chance of a tropical storm—or hurricane—developing.

           In an effort to prepare New Orleans for the upcoming tropical storm that is meandering the gulf, or for future storms and hurricane, The Red Cross created a to-do list to prepare for any case scenario.

          “Our Red Cross disaster specialists and leadership are monitoring the storms closely and are ready to assist,” said Joshua Joachim, Chief Executive of the Red Cross in Louisiana. “We urge our neighbors to take care now to prepare their families and connect with their neighbors: Build a kit, make a plan, stay informed.”

PROTECT YOUR HOME

– Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or invest in one-half inch marine plywood that is pre-cut to fit your doors and windows.

– Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans (away from stairs and exits) to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.

– Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding and unnecessary pressure on the awnings.

– Given the risks of weathering a storm in place, mobile home residents should evacuate early in response to severe weather. Never ride out a tropical storm, hurricane or tornado in a mobile home – even if it’s in a non-evacuation zone.

– Remember that standard homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover flooding but flood insurance does. Get information at www.FloodSmart.gov.

RIGHT BEFORE

– Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.

– Be prepared to evacuate quickly and know your routes and destinations. Find a local emergency shelter.

– Check your emergency kit and replenish any items missing or in short supply, especially medications or other medical supplies. Keep it nearby.

Then, If You Can, Do This

– Fill plastic bottles with clean water for drinking.

– Fill bathtubs and sinks with water for flushing the toilet or washing the floor or clothing.

– Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.

– Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.

– Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind, such as bicycles and patio furniture.

If You Still Have Time, Do This

– Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.

– Turn off utilities if told to do so by authorities to prevent damage to your home or within the community. If you shut your gas off, a professional is required to turn it back on.

– Unplug small appliances to reduce potential damage from power surges that may occur.

If You Have Pets or Livestock

– Consider a precautionary evacuation of your animals, especially any large or numerous animals. Waiting until the last minute could be fatal for them and dangerous for you.

– Where possible, move livestock to higher ground. If using a horse or other trailer to evacuate your animals, move sooner rather than later.

– Bring your companion animals indoors and maintain direct control of them. Be sure that your pet emergency kit is ready to go in case of evacuation.

For more information on hurricane preparedness, visit the official Red Cross website at http://www.redcross.org/louisiana, or the City of New Orleans’ hurricane preparedness website at www.nola.gov/ready/.

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