State officials urge families to get a head start on hurricane preparedness

La. officials urge families to get emergency plans together, declare Emergency Preparedness Week

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Hurricane season begins June 1, so state officials say its time for families to get their emergency plans together. Governor John Bel. Edwards and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) have declared the first week in May as Emergency Preparedness Week.

“We’re encouraging all of our citizens to take some time before hurricane season officially starts and make sure that you are aware of your risk,” said Casey Tingle, Deputy Director for GOHSEP.

Tingle says they take every hurricane that makes landfall seriously. The hurricane’s category does not matter when it comes to safety. To “stay ahead of the storms” GOHSEP holds annual drills to prepare for any potentially dangerous weather. Officials hope families across the state will do the same.

“It’s just time to get ready. Things like flood insurance, for example, have a 30 day waiting period, so the time to get with your insurance agent and understand your policy and make preparations for things like flood insurance is before the flood season starts,” said Tingle.

Tingle says it’s also important to understand risk factors during a hurricane. He suggests checking how close lakes and creeks are to the home. These bodies of water may become a source of flooding during a storm. Also, Tingle recommends checking trees around the home that are not healthy enough to withstand strong winds.

“Make sure that you have hurricane supplies, several days supplies of water and can type foods that you can make sure you can access if for some reason that you need to. Check that your devices are charged and you got the list of things that your family is going to do should you be in an area that gets called for an evacuation,” said Tingle.

For a full list of tips and plans during Hurricane season from GOHSEP, click here

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.