Take charge of your family’s safety during hurricane season

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – The days are long, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean are warming and hurricane season is back. Just hearing this news can cause significant stress, especially if you have already experienced a disaster. To fight stress, act now. Every positive action you take can help you feel better and more in control.

Look for steps you and your family can take to prepare in advance for any disaster-related needs. It’s time to make a plan today.

Federal Coordinating Officer John Long is leading FEMA’s effort to help Louisianans recover from a busy two-year period of hurricanes and other natural disasters. He urges families to prepare for the 2022 hurricane season. He advises, “It is up to each family to plan what they will do if there is a threat of severe weather. FEMA will work with you to recover, but you determine your family’s safety by the work you do to prepare in advance.

Communication

Your family may not be together when a storm hits, so you need to know how you will contact and reconnect if you are separated. Write down your contacts and projects. You can download the Family Emergency Communication Plan fill-in card at https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2019-06/family_commfillable_cards.pdf. Print a copy for each family member. Make sure everyone in the family has copies and keeps them somewhere safe, like in a backpack, wallet, or stuck in a notebook. Also put these plans in your cell phones.

Establish a family meeting place that is familiar and easy to find. If you have pets or service animals, consider animal-friendly locations. Consider locations in your home, in your neighborhood, and outside your city or town so you are prepared for any situation. Hold regular household meetings to review and practice your plan.

Stationery

Preparing for an emergency isn’t just about staying safe during a storm or disaster. It’s also about how to stay comfortable, clean, nourished and healthy afterwards. In the event of a power outage, you may not be able to go to the store or the bank. Being prepared means having your own food, water, money, and other supplies for at least three days, and possibly longer if you find yourself in a remote or hard-to-reach area.

Make a kit

Remember that your kit will depend on your own needs. Include clothing, toiletries and medications. Once you have the basics, consider your family’s unique needs, such as supplies for pets or seniors. You can download and print emergency checklists for parents and children at https://www.ready.gov/kids/family-emergency-planning/build-a-kit.

Financial plans

It’s a challenge to rebuild your life after a destructive storm or other emergency. Having access to personal financial, insurance, medical and other records is essential to start the recovery process quickly and efficiently.

  • Gather personal, family, and medical financial and critical information.
  • Consider saving money in an emergency savings account that could be used in a crisis. Keep a small amount of money at home in a safe place. It’s important to have small bills on hand, as ATMs and credit cards may not work during and after a storm when you need to buy needed supplies, fuel or food.
  • Get home or renter’s insurance, health insurance, and possibly life insurance, if you don’t have it. Review your policy to make sure the amount and types of coverage you have meet the requirements for all possible perils (https://www.ready.gov/be-informed). Home insurance does not usually cover floods, so you may need to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (www.floodsmart.gov).
  • For more helpful insurance and financial preparedness tips, download the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit at https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/ready_emergency-financial-first-aid-toolkit.pdf
Resources

Louisianans can find much more information about planning for the next hurricane, flood or other natural disaster – by visiting https://www.ready.gov/.

For the latest information on Hurricane Ida, visit fema.gov/disaster/4611. Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at twitter.com/FEMARegion6 or on Facebook at facebook.com/FEMARegion6/.

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