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Acadiana Lifestyle

Hurricane Preparation Guide

06/03/2014 08:00AM ● Published by Aimee Cormier

Compiled by Michelle Matthews-Calloway


Presented by:

• Allstate–Jimmy Champagne

• Farm Bureau Insurance

• Romero’s Power Sports LLC

• Teche Ridge Neighborhood Development


THE FIRST 72 HOURS ARE ON YOU

The wise adage says, “Better Safe Than Sorry.” One can never be too prepared for the onslaught of a hurricane. The best way to ensure you are prepared adequately is to view a cyclonic weather event with the mindset of “The first 72 hours are on me.” Why? Because during a storm, services may be unavailable, you may be unable to travel and even if you could, roads and highways may be inaccessible. As a result, in severe circumstances it may take up to 72 hours for food, supplies and other assistance to reach you or for electricity and gas to be restored. To aid in your preparations, be sure to review our grocery and supply list provided on page 42.


MAKE A FAMILY COMMUNICATION PLAN

Have a family communication plan in place before the onset of an emergency.

• Designate an out-of state family member or friend as your central point of contact. Ensure each immediate family member knows who to contact if you happen to get separated or if someone is badly injured. 

• Call your point of contact periodically to ensure their phone information is unchanged. Also call your contact at first news of an impending hurricane to make sure they are apprised of the weather situation. 

• Practice your emergency communication plan with all family members.

• Take the time to program all pertinent emergency numbers in your phone: police, fire, nearest hospital, your children’s school and local family members.

• Keep your phone charged at all times and place a spare phone car charger and cord in your vehicle.

• If you have to get out into the weather, make sure your phone stays dry. Place your phone in a plastic or waterproof pouch.

• If you have a landline and are forced to evacuate, remember to forward your home number to your cell phone to ensure no calls are missed.

• Install weather apps on your cell phone and learn in advance how to use them.

• Have more than one Global Positioning System, popularly known as GPS, in place. Stand-alone systems coupled with your cell phone are two options.

• Use location based mapping to determine evacuation routes and to avoid fallen trees and power lines. These systems are also useful for tracking family members via your wireless device or cell phone should you get separated.   

• Make sure your cell phone is capable of sending and receiving text messages and every member of the family, from the youngest to the oldest is well versed in text messaging! During an emergency, text messages can provide a means of communication when voice calls can’t go through. 

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WEATHER RADIOS

During a hurricane the National Weather Service continuously broadcasts warnings, watches, forecasts and non-weather related hazard information on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration All Hazards Weather Radio. Stay safe and stay in the know by purchasing weather radios certified to Public Alert™ standards.


DID YOU KNOW?

Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms had been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated through a strict procedure by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization. 

The lists are used in rotation and re-cycled every six years, i.e., the 2014 list will be used again in 2020. The only time that there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity. 

Several names have been retired since the lists were created.


HURRICANE CATEGORIES

Category/Sustained Winds/Damage

1    74-95      Very dangerous winds will produce some damage.

2    96-110    Extrememly dangerous winds will cause extensive damage. 

3    111-129  Devastating damage will occur. 

4    131-156  Catastrophic damage will occur. 

5    >156       Catastrophic damage will occur. 


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STAY SAFE BY STAYING CONNECTED

EMERGENCY NUMBERS

Emergency 911

FEMA-Louisiana (225) 925-7500

American Red Cross-Lafayette (337) 234-7371

Louisiana Road Closure Information 511

Poison Control (800) 222-1222

On Facebook:

National Hurricane Center: Facebook.com/US.NOAA

American Red Cross: Facebook.com/RedCross

On Twitter:

NWS Southern Region: @NWSLakeCharles

National Hurricane Center: @NHC_Altantic

American Red Cross: @RedCross

Here is a list of NOAA’s phone- and tablet-friendly mobile websites and apps:

NOAA.gov | Mobile: noaa.gov/mobile

NOAA National Weather Service |  Mobile: mobile.weather.gov

NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center | Mobile: hurricanes.gov/mobile

NOAA NWS Marine Forecasts | Moblile: cell.weather.gov.marine.marine/htm

NOAA NWS Aviation Weather | Mobile: noaa.giv/zoa/MOBILE/ZOA2.htm

In Print, Today Acadiana LifeStyle hurrican preraration guide

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