Today, Governor Bobby Jindal and Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) Director Mark Cooper urged Louisianians to "Get a Game Plan" and get prepared for hurricane season. Forecasters are predicting an above average hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends November 30.
Across the Atlantic Basin, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting 12-18 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), six to ten hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher). Three to six of those could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5 with winds of at least 111 mph).
Governor Jindal said, "This year we're expected to face an above average hurricane season, but we know from experience that it only takes one storm or disaster to devastate our communities. That's why it's critical for our people to take steps right now to get prepared for a major storm. While we always hope for the best, it's critical that we prepare for the worst and ensure that our family and friends have a game plan should a hurricane strike."
GOHSEP Director Mark Cooper said, "As we've seen with the current rising water event, Louisiana residents are often faced with hazards and other weather related challenges. Through our "Get a Game Plan' campaign, we remind people to prepare themselves for whatever emergency they may face. Remember, it only takes one tropical storm or hurricane to impact the lives of our citizens. So have a game plan for you and your family and also check on elderly and disabled neighbors that might need assistance in developing their plan."
GOHSEP, with the assistance of the American Red Cross (ARC), will be distributing a new hurricane survival guide. The guide includes evacuation routes for Southeast and Southwest Louisiana as well as contra-flow instructions for Southeast Louisiana residents. The guide also includes shelter information points in the event of an evacuation. They will be available at ARC chapters throughout the State of Louisiana and are published in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.
GOHSEP is also now offering a free application, or App, named "Get a Game Plan" that can be downloaded on smartphones. Residents will be able to access critical information, including evacuation routes and supply lists.
Additionally, GOHSEP is encouraging those with animals to have a pet plan. GOHSEP is releasing new public service announcements (PSAs) geared toward caring for pets in an emergency. The PSAs feature South Louisiana resident Donna Douglas who starred in the 1960's Beverly Hillbillies sitcom and North Louisiana reality TV star Billy Bretherton of "Billy the Exterminator."
A list of hurricane supplies, evacuation information and other critical information can be found on the www.getagameplan.org website. Examples of what families may require in the event of needing to evacuate or shelter in place, includes:
* A three to five day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won't spoil
* One change of clothing and footwear per person, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person
* A first aid kit that includes your family's prescription medications
* Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries
* An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler's checks
* Sanitation supplies
* Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
* An extra pair of glasses
* Important family documents in a portable, waterproof container
* Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
* Paper and pencil
* Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
* Infant formula and diapers
* Pet food and extra water