Are You Ready for the Storms Ahead?

Remember those dreaded long lines at the supermarkets filled with last minute shoppers stocking up on hurricane supplies? A Red Cross survey shows 7 out of 10 people are only somewhat prepared for a natural disaster; and most don't prepare early enough. WAFB's Cyndi Nguyen has more on what essentials you'll need.

Storm shoppers like Joan Falgoust aren't wasting time getting prepared, and she says so should south Louisiana: "Well, I think they better be ready. I think we had a perfect example as to why people should be ready."

Falgoust lost power for days during Hurricane Katrina, but getting prepared this year means she won't be left in the dark about how to keep safe.

"We need to do what we can and not rely on other people, on the state, or whatever," says Falgoust.

Emergency experts say the first key step is to get a hurricane kit ready and in place early.

Red Cross representative Kendall Hebert agrees: "What we've seen is that people are now wanting to get prepared. How do you get prepared? It's not just thinking about what you have to do but taking those action steps."

Thankfully, most of us are heeding those words. Troy Phillips at the Goodwood Hardware and Outdoors Store says shelves can't be stocked fast enough: "We are definitely moving a lot of products. People are starting to get their stuff together."

Things like extra batteries, flashlights, a battery-powered radio and extension cords are in high demand right now, and who can forget how quickly those generators got snatched up right before and after Katrina?

Another hot item is duct tape.

"They'll make x's across their windows with them," explains Phillips. "It doesn't keep it from breaking, but it does keep the pieces of glass from flying through the house."

And emergency experts say don't forget about emergency medications, non perishable food, three gallons of bottled water per day per person, and gather all your important documents together.

Joan Falgoust will be ready with supplies she desperately hopes will not have to come out of the package.

Storm shoppers say they're paying an average of $1,300 for a disaster supplies kit containing just the basic essentials. That includes pricey items like generators.

You can also buy ready made disaster kits from the Red Cross. They come in three different sizes and cost anywhere from $30 to $125.

You can reach the Red Cross at 225-291-4533.

Reporter: Cyndi Nguyen