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American Red Cross - Northwest Louisiana Chapter

Know what hurricane WATCHES and WARNINGS mean:
A WATCH means hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area, usually within 36 hours.
A WARNING means hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area, usually within 24 hours.

Prepare a Personal Evacuation Plan.
    • Identify ahead of time where you could go if told to evacuate. Choose several places. 
    • Keep handy the telephone numbers of those places as well as a road map of your locality. You may need to take alternative or unfamiliar routes if major roads are clogged or closed. Remember also to budget 4 times the amount of time normally needed to reach a specified location.
    • Listen to local radio or TV stations for evacuation instructions. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit .

Prepare for high winds. Install hurricane shutters or pre-cut 3/4 marine plywood for each window of your home. Install anchors for the plywood and predrill holes in the plywood so that you can put it up quickly. Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased or damage limbs, then strategically removing branches, so that wind can blow through.

Know what to do when a hurricane WATCH is issued...

    • Bring indoors lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants, outdoor decorations or ornaments and anything else that can be picked up by the wind.
    • Prepare to cover ALL windows of your home. Note: Tape does not prevent windows from breaking and is therefore not recommended.
    • Fill your car's gas tank.
    • Recheck manufactured home tie-downs.
    • Check batteries and stock up on canned food, first aid supplies, drinking water and medications.
Identify what to do when a hurricane WARNING is issued...
    • Listen to the advise of local officials, and leave if they tell you to do so.
    • Complete preparation activities.
    • If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors, away from windows.
    • Be aware, the calm "eye" is deceptive; the storm is not over. The worst part of the storm will happen once the eye passes over and the winds blow from the opposite direction. Trees, shrubs, buildings and other objects damaged by the first winds can be broken or destroyed by the second, opposite winds.
    • Be alert for tornadoes. Tornadoes can happen during and after a hurricane passes over. Remain indoors, in the center of your home, in a closet or bathroom without windows.
    • Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. If waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and climb to higher ground.
    • After the storm has passed, use flashlights to inspect your home for damage. Avoid using candles or matches.