Now is the time to evaluate how prepared you are in the event of a hurricane during this young hurricane season. It’s best to prepare ahead of time, especially when you may have to depend upon a family member or caregiver to assist you in preparation. Having a serious conversation with your family members and/or caregiver is a very good idea. Refer to the list of questions below provided by Extension Specialists at the LSU AgCenter.
If you answer “No” or “I don’t know” to any of these ten questions, it’s time to take action.
- Have you planned an evacuation route and destination?
- Do you have an emergency communication plan for staying in touch or getting messages to friends/family?
- Do you have a cell phone and charger?
- Is your homeowner’s and flood insurance coverage up-to-date and sufficient to replace your home and belongings if they are damaged or destroyed?
- Do you have an inventory of your property and belongings?
- Do you have copies of all your important documents including: insurance policies, birth, marriage, death certificates, military papers, social security card, bank account information, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds, loan or mortgage papers, wills, medical records, list of all prescription medications with dosages and pharmacy/physician information?
- Do you have your valuables easily accessible if you must leave?
- Do you know how to turn off your utilities (electric, gas, and water) and do you have the proper tool(s) to do so?
- Have you budgeted for the added expenses to protect your home, buy supplies, evacuate, clean up, and recover?
- Is your emergency phone list up to date and readily available?
These are just a few of the very important things you should be considering in the height of hurricane season. Another good tip for hurricane preparation is to tell someone outside the storm area with whom you will be traveling and where you are going. Even if you have been through a hurricane before, your situation may have changed. It’s easy to forget some of the preparations that can protect your family and your property. It is a good idea to review your plans and make sure you haven’t left any important detail unattended. Taking the right precautions prior to an emergency situation has the potential to save time, money, hassles and even lives!
For more information on hurricane preparedness, or to obtain a copy of the “Are You Ready for a Hurricane?” checklist, contact Quincy L. Cheek, FCS Extension Agent at your local cooperative extension office. In Rapides, call (318) 767-3970; in Grant, (318) 627-3675; in Vernon, (337) 239-3231; and in Beauregard, (337) 463-7006 or visit us on the web at www.lsuagcenter.com/rapides.