Hurricane season is underway, and while the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting an average number of hurricanes this season, it only takes one severe weather event to cause damage.
“Now is the time to plan and prepare for the safety and security of your family, businesses and pets should severe weather strike Louisiana during this hurricane season,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “We’ve already had our first tropical threat along the Gulf Coast this year, and as we know from first-hand experience, it’s never too early to prepare. We must always be alert and heed all warnings from state, local, weather and emergency officials. Taking the time to put together your personal plans will help save lives.”
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has several resources at www.GetAGameplan.org and the free GetAGamePlan App. There you can find a list of hurricane supplies, evacuation routes and other critical information. Also, check the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s www.511la.org for travel routes in regions impacted by the weather.
Some examples of supplies that may be needed include:
- A three to five day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won’t spoil.
- One change of clothing and footwear per person.
- A first aid kit that includes prescription medications.
- Battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
- Sanitation supplies.
- Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.
- Pet food.
Tropical cyclones are not the only danger that accompanies hurricane season in Louisiana. Unfortunately, criminals stand ready to take advantage of storm victims in their most vulnerable times. “Unfortunately, our State knows all too well the damage that can be caused by natural disasters and the con artists trying to profit off of them,” said Attorney General Jeff Landry. “So I am encouraging the people of our State to get informed on signs of potential scams and ways to avoid becoming victims of them.”
General Landry urges consumers to consider the following to help avoid common hurricane-related scams:
Identity Theft: Keep your personal files safe by putting them in a secure, waterproof location such as a safe deposit box or home safe.
Home Repair Scams: Confirm potential contractors’ credentials with the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors before signing contracts and paying down payments.
Price Gouging: Report non-verifiable market fluctuation price increases of goods and services during states of emergency to your local Sheriff or District Attorney.
Phony Emergency Response Officials: Verify people posing as government officials or insurance adjusters by asking for proper identification.
Fake Charities: Before donating, make sure charities are legitimate by checking with General Landry’s Charitable Registration Section at (225) 326-6400.
With a solid game plan in place and awareness of potential dangers—both during and after the storms, Louisiana residents can face the rest of hurricane season, which lasts through November 30th, with confidence.