How to Prepare for Hurricane Season & Flooding

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Living in South Louisiana, we know there are more seasons than just Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. No, we aren’t talking about football, basketball, and baseball seasons! We are talking about hurricane season, which began this month and will continue until November. For most of us who have lived in Louisiana for some time, hurricane season is just another part of life that we understand and accept. But are you prepared? Have you taken to steps to get ready for a hurricane ahead of time?

One of the biggest threats a hurricane can bring is flooding. As our state experienced in 2016, flooding does not always come with a lot of warning nor does it always hit where we expect. By taking some preliminary planning steps, you can assure the safety of yourself, your loved ones, and your property.

Pre-Flood Preparations

  • Create a Communication Plan. Whether it is designating a single individual in the family to send out regular updates to family or establishing a safe location to meet in case of disaster, having a plan ahead will create peace of mind.
  • Assemble an Emergency Kit. Always have enough food, water, and medicine on hand to last at least 3 days in the case of an emergency. Other important items can include batteries, blankets, flashlights, first aid kits, rubber gloves, and a battery operated radio.
  • Know Your Risks. Do you live/work in a flood zone? Which exit routes may be impeded by flooded roads? What is the fastest way to get to higher ground? Ask yourself these questions now and save yourself later.
  • Sign Up for Notifications. Get a weather app on your smartphone that sends emergency notifications.
  • Prepare Your Home. If you have time, place sandbags around your home. Have a professional install check-valves to prevent flood waters from backing up into the drains of your home. Consider contacting your insurance company or agent about flood insurance.

During Flood Actions

  • Leave. If you are recommended or ordered to evacuate, follow instructions and don’t wait until it’s too late.
  • Stay Informed. Listen to radio and television and check the internet and social media for information and updates.
  • Get to Higher Ground. If you are in a flood prone area, find an area in higher elevation.
  • Practice Electrical Safety. Don’t go into any room where water covers the electrical outlets or cords. If you see sparks or hear buzzing, crackling, snapping, or popping noises, get out! Do not get in water that potentially has electricity in it.
  • Avoid Flood Waters. Water may be deeper than it appears and can hide sharp and dangerous objects. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you off your feet, 12 inches can float a car, and 18 inches can carry away large vehicles.

Actions to Take After the Flood

  • Stay Informed. Tune into local news for updated information on road conditions. Check to see if water is safe to drink, cook, or clean with. You may be under a boil advisory for a while after the flood.
  • Avoid Flood Water. Standing water can hide many dangers, such as toxins and chemicals. There may be sharp objects under the surface or the road could have collapsed.
  • Avoid Disaster Areas. Do not visit disaster areas because your presence may hamper rescue and other emergency operations.
  • Heed Cautionary Signs. Road closure and other cautionary signs are put in place for your safety. Pay attention to them!
  • Wait for the All Clear. Do not enter a flood damaged home or building until given the approval of the authorities. Water can cause floors to collapse and ceilings to fall so be careful if you do enter a flood damaged building. Make sure all electricity to the building has been turned off and that a professional electrician fixes wiring. Contact your insurance agent to discuss property damage.
  • Contact Family and Loved Ones. Alert your family and loved ones that you are safe so they can help spread the word.

Are you concerned with how to protect yourself from a flood or hurricane? Contact us at (337) 262-0511 at Thomson, Smith and Leach Insurance Group and we will provide you peace of mind and security.

 

 

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