Take some time to review and prepare so you're ready for the hurricane long before it hits.
- Have a plan—for you, your family, and your pets.
- Know your evacuation routes, shelter locations, and safe spots within your home.
- Prepare a disaster kit, including food and water for at least three days. Include a first-aid kit, a can opener, batteries, flashlights, and protective clothing.
- Sign up for warning systems like the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
- Protect your property with good maintenance practices, like cleaning gutters, installing check valves in plumbing, and considering hurricane shutters.
Before the Hurricane
Once a watch or warning has been issued, there are a few more steps to take to ensure you're really prepared.
- Have a radio and extra batteries handy so you can stay up-to-date on storm news and evacuation notices. While you've got power, check city and county websites every 30 minutes to get the latest updates and emergency instructions.
- Have a plan for how you'll stay in contact with family members or friends if the power goes out. Remember, during a disaster, texts are often more reliable than phone calls.
- Board up windows and bring in or tie down outdoor objects like lawn furniture.
- Keep cash handy in case banks or ATMs are closed after the storm.
- Fill up your car and charge your cell phone.
- Make sure your disaster kit is packed and contains any necessary medication or important documentation.
- Turn your fridge or freezer to the coldest settings and open only when necessary.
During the Hurricane
Once the storm hits, make sure you're staying safe!
- If told to evacuate, leave your home immediately. Do NOT drive around barricades.
- Take shelter at a FEMA safe room, an ICC storm shelter, or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor not subject to flooding.
- If your home or building begins to flood, climb to the highest level of the structure with windows or openings.
- Stay alert for new emergency news and information.
- Avoid flood waters! Do not walk, swim, or drive through any water, as moving water can be deceptively powerful.
After the Hurricane
Once the storm ends, there are a few more precautions to take as life returns to normal.
- Stay alert for additional instructions or information.
- Wear protective clothing and be careful during cleanup. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or you're standing in water.
- Avoid wading in water, which may contain debris or underground or downed power lines.
- Use text messages or social media to communicate with family or friends.
- Document any property damages with photographs and contact your insurance company ASAP.
Looking for more information on hurricane safety and preparedness? There are tons of resources out there—both New Orleans-specific and national resources.