As we enter the most active portion of the Hurricane Season, residents of Southeast Louisiana and South Mississippi should review their Hurricane Preparedness plans. Historical records have shown that the majority of tropical storms and hurricanes, especially damaging major hurricanes, that have affected Southeast Louisiana and South Mississippi have occurred from mid August through early October. Even if the overall numbers of tropical storms and hurricanes are lower than the past several years, damaging hurricanes have affected the region in some of these years of below normal tropical cyclone activity. Examples include: Betsy in 1965 and Andrew in 1992. History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your areas vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the chance of being in harm's way if a hurricane threatens our area this year.
The official start of the hurricane season is June 1st, and it lasts through the end of November. Southeast Louisiana and coastal Mississippi are extremely vulnerable to the destructive winds and storm surge associated with hurricanes. In addition, many residents of southeast Louisiana and south Mississippi are still recovering from the damaging effects of Hurricanes Katrina, Gustav, and Ike. A few residents may still be living in structures vulnerable to tropical storm and hurricane force winds.
Area residents, especially those in coastal locations, weakened structures, or mobile homes and travel trailers vulnerable to wind, should review actions they would take if a tropical storm or hurricane threatened the region.
If you live in a vulnerable coastal location, you will likely be requested to evacuate if a hurricane threatens. Also, if you live in a travel trailer or mobile home, you will likely be requested to evacuate for tropical storms and hurricanes.
Now is the time to learn what evacuation routes you would use, the location you would go, and what you would bring with you if you evacuated. If you live in a safe location away from storm surge flooding and decide to stay, you should have provisions of food and water to last from several days to a week or more without normal service.
A variety of web sites are listed below that can assist you in your preparedness plans for the hurricane season.
Hurricane Preparedness Week Information (Nat'l Hurricane Center)
American Red Cross
FEMA Hurricane Preparedness Page
LA Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
Mississippi Emergency Management Agency
Louisiana "Get A Gameplan" Website for Hurricane Preparedness
Louisiana Emergency Web Site
Evacuation Route Maps and Information from the LA State Police
Evacuation Route Maps and Information from the MS DOT