With Tropical Storm Isaac making its approach, now is the time to visit the LSU AgCenter website at LSU AgCenter.com to determine what information is available to help in these critical hours.
As this storm approaches, you have time to take a few simple steps to protect your home and family, according to LSU AgCenter disaster preparedness specialist Pat Skinner.
The AgCenter has a number of publications online in English and this year also in Spanish that can help you with disaster preparedness and recovery materials. These include publications on flood insurance, preparing a grab-and-go box and avoiding home repair rip-offs.
Among the recommendations for preventive actions you can take now are:
- Trim dead wood and limbs out of trees.
- Stake young trees so they’ll survive high winds.
- Make a list of things in the yard that need to be brought inside or tied down if a hurricane comes your way.
- Repair termite damage that might make your home more vulnerable to wind.
- Move your family photos and important household documents to upper shelves, where shallow flooding would not affect them. The same thing is true for household chemicals.
Hurricane and flood precautions, however, aren’t only a matter of protecting property, Skinner points out. You also need such things as a plan to keep in touch with family and friends should evacuation be necessary.
“It’s very possible that members of your family will be caught going in different directions and unable to communicate -- even with cell phones,” Skinner explained.
“When that happens, you’d like to be able to find one another -- sooner, rather than later,” the disaster expert said, adding that the best way to locate one another is to decide in advance that everyone will “report in” to someone outside the disaster area, such as a son in Texas or a close friend in Missouri.
“Decide now who the contact person will be, and give everyone the phone number,” Skinner emphasized. “Be sure every member of your family has the emergency contact information with them at all times, and don’t forget to send copies to your child care center or school.”
Skinner says detailed information is available through the LSU AgCenter’s website at www.lsuagcenter.com/hurricanes. Or you can type in 2012 hurricane season in the search box. Among the resources is “There’s a Hurricane Forming,” a helpful publication that includes a hurricane tracking chart and checklists to help you make last-minute decisions about what to take with you if you evacuate, supplies you need to have on hand, preparations you can make if a storm is approaching and much more.