Hurricane & Disaster Preparedness
Ready or not, it’s that time of year again; according to weather reporting agencies we are officially in hurricane season. This means that now through November, there is a chance you may be required to pack up and evacuate at a moment’s notice. Are you and your loved ones ready?
Being properly prepared for an evacuation takes time and careful planning. The following are just a few basics that our Louisiana personal injury law firm put together to help prepare you for a hurricane in New Orleans.
Food, Health, Safety & Personal Supplies
Backpacks, canvas and other sturdily made bags should be pre-packed with supplies for each family member. Your pets should even have a bag just for them. Within each personal grab and go bag should be basic items, such as:
- Three days of seasonally appropriate clothing and undergarments
- Spare car and house keys
- Personal identification
- Rain gear
- A second pair of shoes
- Personal care items (toothbrush, soap, feminine products, diapers, wipes, etc.)
- A week’s supply of vitamins / prescription meds
- Extra pair of glasses / contacts
- Hearing aid and extra batteries
- Non-perishable snacks and water
- Book(s), games, cards, toys or other small entertainment items
- Pet leashes and harnesses
- Lastly, pet bowls and other care items
Additional supply bags to have pre-packed include:
3-day food supply bag. Make sure that you have enough water, juice, non-perishable food items, and pet food packed for at least three days. Also, include a manual can opener.
Safety supply bag(s). This bag should have a fully stocked medical kit (without expired or dried out supplies), multiple flashlights, a battery powered radio, extra batteries, whistle, duct tape, paper, pencils, plastic sheeting, tent, and also, a solar powered charging kit (if possible).
Bedding and linens. Having your own sheets, pillows, sleeping bags, wash clothes and towels can make temporary shelters and housing more comfortable until you can return home.
Waterproof document & electronic bag. Make copies of all important documents and also store them in a waterproof container in this bag. Document you should pack include:
- Personal identification (driver’s license, social security card, also school IDs, passport, etc.);
- Home deed or lease;
- Insurance policies (home, auto, health, and business if applicable);
- Birth and marriage certificates;
- Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns;
- Lastly, stocks, bonds, and other negotiable certificates.
You will also want to careful pack any portable electronic devices and tuck them away in this bag.
For electronics you have to leave behind, back up any date to bring with you, unplug them, and also, wrap them in plastic sheeting or garbage bags.
During an emergency it’s important to have a communication plan in place, whether you live in the city alone, or have family and friends near. Multiple government agencies suggest that it is best to have one common out of state point of contact. (After a disaster, it is typically easier to call long distance.) That person will be able to share updates with other until the emergency is over and you are settled.
Transportation & Evacuation Routes
Personal vehicles. Make sure that your car has a full tank and regularly services and that your tires are in good condition (including spare).
Evacuation route map. There is more than one route to get out of the city. Go over these routes with family members and friends. This will increase your odds of getting out of the city during a disaster, also establish a meeting point of separation. Consult this web site for current exit and contraflow routes: Louisiana Citizen Awareness & Disaster Evacuation Guide.
Evacuspots. For New Orleans residents unable to self-evacuate, there are 16 Evacuspots where you can catch a ride to the Union Pacific bus station. From there you will be taken to a state or federal shelter.
For more in-depth hurricane and disaster planning assistance, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness developed Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guides. You can also text NOLAREADY to 77295 to get the latest information on hurricane season schedule changes, weather-related transit service suspensions, and city-wide alerts.
For information about steps you can take after a hurricane or tropical storm has passed, check out our post-hurricane safety tips.
More About Our Louisiana Personal Injury Law Firm
No matter how prepared you may try to be, unplanned events can occur that take you by surprise. If you or a loved one is injured in a car or bus accident during an evacuation, a Louisiana personal injury law firm can help.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.