Gov. Edwards proclaims Hurricane Preparedness Week

Staff Report

Gov. John Bel Edwards and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) urge everyone to Get a Game Plan. Edwards has proclaimed May 15 to May 21 as Hurricane Preparedness Week. Now is the time to make sure you have an emergency plan in place for you, your family, your pets and your business. The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1.

We have benefitted from several years of low tropical activity,” Edwards said. “There is no guarantee that trend will continue, so we must remain vigilant.  Louisiana has made tremendous strides over the past decade in preparing for a storm. I urge everyone in the state to finalize your personal plans now.  If a storm threatens Louisiana, it takes cooperation at each level of government to help protect the public.  Those plans also include everyone being aware of the risks they face and knowing what steps to take before, during, and after an event.”

GOHSEP officials said that having a plan could save lives.

This is the time you should prepare for a tropical event," said GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom. "Get your emergency kits ready and include at least three days of supplies. As we have seen with past storms, each event is different and includes different challenges. The more planning you do now, the easier it will be to deal with a crisis. Having your personal plans in place can save lives and make recovery easier if we do face a tropical system.”

The Nation Weather Service (NWS) advises that during a tropical event, the state could be impacted by tidal surge, flooding and wind damage.

"Every storm is different and it is important never to compare a current storm with one in the past,” said NWS meteorologist Ken Graham. "It is not about the category of a storm, it's all about the individual threats.  Categories only account for the strength of the wind, not how much flooding rain, how much storm surge, or how many tornadoes. It is important that you listen for crucial information from GOHSEP, other state agencies, local officials and your local weather experts.

A list of hurricane supplies, evacuation information and other critical information can be found on the website. Here are some examples of what you and your family may need in the event you must evacuate or shelter in place:

A three to five day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won't spoil

One change of clothing and footwear per person, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person

A first aid kit that includes your family's prescription medications

Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries

An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler's checks

Sanitation supplies

Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members

An extra pair of glasses

Important family documents in a portable, waterproof container

Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels

Paper and pencil

Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Infant formula and diapers

Pet food and extra water

Hurricane season ends November 30.

You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the free, basic service ALERT FM App or the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide.