Officials Urge Hurricane Readiness

In Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal and Kevin Davis, director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, ask the state's residents to have supplies on hand.

As the 2013 hurricane season officially began June 1, federal and state officials are urging people living in areas vulnerable to hurricanes to be ready. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Kevin Davis, director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), jointly called on the state's residents to be prepared. Their advice: Get a Game Plan to ensure they're ready for storms or natural disasters.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry offered similar advice to residents of his state. Joining him were Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw and State Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd. "As a new hurricane season begins tomorrow, the most important element of emergency response starts with the individual. Everybody in Texas, particularly those along the coast, needs to have an emergency plan, an emergency supply kit and an evacuation route in place before a hurricane strikes," Perry said. "We use these annual exercises to help us keep our system razor-sharp and ready for action at the first sign of trouble. Through practice, simulation, and repetition, we've honed one of the most effective and efficient emergency response teams in the country."

In Washington, President Obama convened a May 31 meeting of officials from several federal agencies that are involved in hurricane response and recovery. The meeting was led by Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco and included a briefing on the 2013 hurricane season outlook by Acting Administrator of NOAA Kathy Sullivan and National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb. The group, including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, also discussed lessons learned following the 2012 season and the response to Hurricane Sandy.

"Whether it's Isaac, Gustav, Rita, or Katrina, Louisiana frequently faces the brunt of hurricane season, and our people know firsthand how dangerous these storms can be for our communities," Jindal said. "That's why we're urging all Louisianians to Get a Game Plan for this hurricane season, ensuring they have supplies, medication, and an evacuation plan for storms. Although we always hope for the best, weather officials are predicting an above-normal hurricane season, so it's critical that we prepare for the worst to make sure we're ready for a hurricane or other natural disaster should one threaten our coast."

"Every year, we urge you to get your family plan ready," Davis added. "In Louisiana, the threat of any storm is real. We're urging Louisianians to focus less on the category of the storm, which often leads to a false sense of security, and instead pay close attention to potential impacts of tidal surge, flooding, and wind damage that can occur in even the weakest of storms."

They said a list of hurricane supplies, evacuation information, and other critical facts can be found at http://www.getagameplan.org/ and also listed on the state government's website these examples of what may be needed by people who must evacuate or shelter in place:

  • 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, plastic utensils, and paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water

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