Prepare for a hurricane now – before it’s too late

With hurricane season right upon us, it is high time to get prepared. And there is only one person who can do that – – you.The parish and state can only do so much to prepare the area for a major storm. They can build levees, make it easier for residents to evacuate if necessary and provide bus service for those who won’t have their own transportation. But in the end, only the individuals can take the necessary steps to be safe.

Tomorrow is the first day of hurricane season and it is time to finalize your strategy. It should be done with flexibility in mind since at this time we do not know which way the winds will blow.

If they go to the west of us, we naturally will want to evacuate to the east or north if necessary. And if they go to the east, west or north would be the choice.

Make your plans now as to where you will stay if you must evacuate in either direction. Reservations may be hard to get in preferred spots if the going gets rough here.

Keep your gasoline tanks nearly full, even at $3.05 a gallon. Stations, if open, sometimes run out of gas before or during a storm.

If you have a safe deposit box, put your valuable papers there. If not, take them and other valuables with you or put them in the most secure place of your home if you evacuate.

Of course, there is also a chance a storm will be minimal and evacuation will not be necessary. In that case, you will need supplies and emergency equipment on hand to use if the lights go out and the retail outlets are shut down.

Get the supplies you will need for a seven-day stay at home without electricity. And still put your valuables in the most secure place. Some minor storms have lingered a long time and produced rain storms that flooded the area.

Be sure you have a working battery-powered radio available and keep in tune for latest information and announcements. After the brutal assaults of Katrina and Rita, evacuation orders will be more likely for future storms.

We hope all of this is for naught and, when December arrives, we can look back and say, “Whew!” But we should be wise enough to know it may not be that way.

So get prepared.


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