Preparing for Hurricane Season

June 01, 2020

The 2020 hurricane season is upon us and the National Hurricane Center expects this season to be unusually active. 

This could mean more tropical systems and stronger hurricanes threatening Louisiana.

The time to prepare your family and your church for a hurricane is now, before a storm is on our doorstep. 

Being prepared makes you resilient to the hurricane impacts of wind and water and can mean the difference between being a hurricane victim or a hurricane survivor.

There are several excellent resources to help you prepare for the hurricane season including www.ready.gov/planflash.org/hurricanestrong; and getagameplan.org

At a minimum, a thorough hurricane preparedness plan should include the following components:



Develop a Communications Plan

This is important as you will need to stay in touch before, during and after the storm, including family with family, neighbor with neighbor, District Superintendents with Pastors, and Pastors with staff and congregants.  Pastors, be sure to contact your DS as soon as possible after the storm to report your status. 


Create an Evacuation Plan


Know where your family and your pets would find shelter if required to evacuate.  It’s best to have several alternatives to choose from.  Make sure family members know where to meet in case you become separated.  Know the evacuation routes.  


Prepare a Disaster Kit

This kit will be used for evacuating and another one for sheltering-in-place without electricity or potable water.  Remember any special needs of each family member and your pets.  Include face masks and hand sanitizer for everyone in your family.
 

Make an Important Documents Storage Plan


It's important to know where and how to store important documents - both digital files and hard copies of insurance papers, deeds, birth certificates, etc.


Evaluate Your Insurance Coverage


Make sure you are adequately insured for fire, flood, and wind damage.  Flood damage is not covered in homeowners' or renters' insurance policies and must be purchased separately.  There are usually waiting periods before flood policies become effective.
 

Write a Disaster Plan 


Write a plan so every member of your family or staff knows who is responsible for doing what.


Prepare for Power Outages


Store adequate water and food supplies for people and pets.  If you have a generator, make sure it is functioning properly and you know how to use it safely.  Make sure to have adequate fuel for your vehicles and generators. Stock up on batteries and locate your waterproof flashlights.  Get a battery-operated or hand-cranked radio and a way to charge your cell phones without electricity.


Help Your Neighbors


Especially the elderly and vulnerable, prepare for the hurricane.  Be sure to check on them after the storm has passed.
 

Evaluate Your Property


Look for potential hazards such as trees that could fall on your property or outdoor items that could become dangerous projectiles in high wind.  Consider trimming the trees or removing them.  Plan to store anything that could become a projectile in the storm.  Consider putting up storm shutters where appropriate.


Stay informed of the Potential for Tropical Development


The National Hurricane Center at nhc.noaa.gov is an excellent source for information about the tropical systems that threaten our state.  Remember that tropical storms can develop quickly and close to shore.  This means they can be at our doorstep almost overnight.