Last Modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 10:02 PM
Hurricane season is less than two weeks away, but now is the time to start preparing, said Dick Gremillion, director of the Calcasieu Office of Emergency Preparedness.
“Living where we do on the Gulf Coast, people always ask us, ‘What’s the chance of us getting a hurricane this year?’ ” he said. “The answer to that is that it’s the same chance this year as it was last year and the year before — there is always a chance for a hurricane.”
Gremillion said each year by the time hurricane season — June 1 to Nov. 30 — rolls around residents should have a plan in place.
“If there is a plan, then there are no questions about what to do,” he said. “Have decisions made in advance, and then when the conditions are there and the time comes residents can go ahead an execute that plan.”
Another important plan to have in place, Gremillion said, is a communication plan.
“Having a communication plan in place helps everyone know how to get in contact with you, where you are and where you’re going,” he said. “That way there is less confusion.”
According to the state’s Get a Game Plan emergency preparedness website, essentials for a hurricane safety kit include flashlights; extra batteries; three gallons of water per person; a battery-powered radio; first aid kits; forms of identification and a list of essential medications for each person; evacuation route maps; nonperishable food; items for infants or the elderly; personal items; essentials for pets; clothing; and bedding.
Residents should also keep important paperwork in a waterproof container — driver’s license, Social Security cards, insurance papers, birth and marriage certificates, wills and deeds.
The website — getagameplan.org — has a free iPhone app.
Hurricane preparedness information can also be found online at cppj.net and ready.gov.
This weekend, May 25-26, is the hurricane preparedness sales tax holiday. For more information, visit the state Revenue Department’s website, revenue.louisiana.gov.
National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Erickson said hurricane predictions for the 2013 season will be released later this week.