State Police: Storm readiness begins now - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

State Police: Storm readiness begins now


In its 2014 Atlantic hurricane season outlook, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting a near-normal or below-normal season, and emergency officials say the time to prepare is now – when it's quiet.

For the duration of the six-month season, NOAA has predicted eight to 13 named storms, three to six of which could become hurricanes. NOAA predicts one or two could be major.

Louisiana State Police compiled the following information to help people prepare.

Know the meaning and the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning -

• Hurricane Watch: conditions are possible in the specified area of the watch, usually within 36 hours.

• Hurricane Warning: conditions are expected in the specified area of the warning, usually within 24 hours.

Before the storm, make preparations:

• Assemble an emergency kit including flashlights, batteries, battery powered radio, first aid kit, evacuation maps, canned food and a non-electric can opener, important papers, and pertinent medical information including prescriptions.

• Prepare a personal evacuation plan selecting several locations suitable for your family especially in the case of individuals with special needs or with pets.

• Protect your home and valuables in advance from the possibility of strong winds and hurricane conditions in your area.

During a hurricane or tropical storm watch or warning:

• Listen to radio/television for storm progress reports.

• Check emergency supplies.

• Fuel your car.

• Board up windows and secure outdoor furniture.

• Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings.

• Store drinking water.

• Review evacuation plan.

If parish or state officials tell you to evacuate:

• Leave as soon as possible.

• Make a family communications plan. Tell someone outside the storm area where you are going.

• Take emergency supplies with you that you have already prepared.

• Lock your home and turn off all necessary utilities.

After a storm:

• Stay tuned to local radio or television and social media for information from your local or state officials.

• Return home only after state or local authorities advise that it is safe to do so.

For a complete list of storm preparation guidelines, visit the LA Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness "Get a Game Plan" website and download the FEMA smartphone application to access important safety tips on what to do before, during and after a hurricane.

Troopers urge citizens to take advantage of several resources available to stay informed on emergency news and activities throughout the course of a tropical storm or hurricane:

• To report stalled vehicles or unsafe roadway conditions, you may dial *LSP (*577) from your cellular phone to reach the State Police office closest to you.

• For road condition information, motorists can dial 511 or visit here.

• Updates on emergency conditions across the state can be obtained by clicking here or here, and/or individual parish and local law enforcement websites.

• In addition, LSP Public Information Officers will continually update and post pertinent safety and emergency information on the LSP Facebook page and through the Nixle Alert notification system

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