Thinking of New Orleans

My daughter just moved to New Orleans. As an avid fly-fisher, this is a great water filled world for her. It is also the 5th anniversary of Katrina, so watching the news coverage from a few years ago, makes me think of the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared.

Hurricane readiness

Hurricanes can cause physical destruction and distress to those whose lives and homes lie in the storm’s path. People living near coastlines, in particular, can feel overwhelmed by worry and uncertainty when hearing news about large storms that may develop into hurricanes. Taking practical steps to prepare physically can also help manage some of those anxieties and fears.

Chris Terzich, is an expert in preparation, management and recovery from events such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, severe weather, power outages, and wildfires. He has this to say:

“The key to preparedness is awareness. Know the risk in your community and know where you will get information you trust during an emergency,” Terzich said. “Social and news media are very quick with information, but often lack accuracy or context. When you know and trust your source of information, don’t hesitate or delay when it’s time to take emergency action.”

Physical preparation

Write a personal disaster plan and review it regularly. Gather basic medical supplies, light sticks, flashlights, safety tools, and powered radios and additional standard supplies to have on hand. There are many companies that stock supplies and make easy to grab backpacks with basic disaster supplies.  CERT teams (Community Emergency Response) have lists of supplies and offer free training around the United States.

Stay up-to-date on storm information from local news and other reliable sources to help determine if you’re in danger. Try to anticipate where the storm is predicted to hit, where the storm surge is expected, and how far reaching the storm is. If possible, check updates and information on the National Hurricane Center and the Red Cross websites.

Make sure you have emergency phone numbers, links to resources in YOUR AREA, including neighbors and evacuation routes mapped out, as well as additional information on company emergency and security procedures.

Emotional help & Getting involved

Pay attention to the emotional side of approaching storms by both extending support to others and being willing to reach out for help yourself.

Helping others can soothe your own uncertainties. Assist loved ones, coworkers and neighbors by exchanging emergency contact information, helping to “flood-proof” their homes, or simply by listening and offering kind words of support during uncertain times. Be especially aware of how an impending storm can affect children and seniors.

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