BATON ROUGE, La. – Hurricane season will be here soon. Don't wait for a dangerous storm to threaten before preparing. Here are four points you can follow to protect your family and home.
Pay attention to weather reports and information from state and local news agencies, keeping up with television, radio and online weather reports to stay aware of hurricane warnings.
Look for emergency organization phone numbers, websites, social media sites, smartphone apps and other information with hurricane-related reports. Pay close attention to advisories from your local and state authorities.
Download the FEMA app: Get alerts from the National Weather Service plus safety reminders, emergency checklists and information about shelters. Get the app at www.fema.gov/mobile-app .
Visit online at ALERTS + WARNINGS (la.gov) for local area emergency alerts.
Make a plan
Talk with your family members to make sure each one knows what to do in case of an emergency.
Should governmental authorities order an evacuation, make sure everyone in your family knows where you are going and how to get there if you're traveling separately. Remember, phone service may be unavailable at the time of an emergency. However, texts may go through.
Determine safe places where you could stay if asked to evacuate. Establish multiple meeting points in different directions, so you're prepared for any emergency. Figure out where you'll take shelter from the hurricane if you don't have time to evacuate.
Click on Your Family Emergency Plan and use the information to guide you in preparing for disasters.
Prepare an emergency supply kit now
If disaster strikes, you probably won't have time to gather all the items you'll need to ride out the storm.
Include water, food, and medications for at least three days as well as some cash (include small bills), a first aid kit, a flashlight, and extra batteries.
Many people also need items not found in a basic kit such as medicines. Be sure you have enough of prescribed medications on hand; pharmacies may not be open. Remember specialty items for infants and pets.
For more information on building a basic emergency kit, visit ready.gov/build-a-kit.
Gather your documents
Having important documents ready to go will help get your recovery process started quickly and efficiently.
Keep important papers in a fireproof, waterproof box or safe in your home next to the emergency kit. Store copies in an alternate location such as a safe deposit box, work place or trusted friend or family member's home.
Make electronic copies and keep them on a flash drive or CD in your emergency kit, or email copies to yourself. Electronic copies may also be uploaded to a secure digital storage website for retrieval when needed.
Important documents to include:
Birth certificates, passports, Social Security cards and other personal documents
Deed, mortgage, lease and loan papers
List of medications, allergies and medical equipment
Photos of valuable belongings you may want to include in an insurance claim
Contact information for doctors, relatives, creditors and utilities