BATON ROUGE (June 1, 2020) – The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins today and we are off to a very active start. The third named storm of the season will likely develop later this week, as the National Weather Service gives Invest 93L, currently over the Yucatan Peninsula, a high chance to strengthen. Governor John Bel Edwards and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) urge everyone to get a game plan. Now is the time to make sure you have an emergency plan in place for you, your family, your pets and your business. Consider any potential changes needed due to the ongoing COVID-19 threat and adjust your personal plans and emergency supplies. GOHSEP is working with our state, federal and local partners on evacuation and shelter adjustments for those who need assistance with those steps.
“This time of year, we always stress the importance of checking emergency plans and supplies,” said Gov. Edwards. “This is extremely important this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 conditions. Forecasters have predicted an above average year in terms of tropical activity. We must remain vigilant. We have vastly improved the way we prepare for a storm, but we also need the public to understand their role in preparedness. That includes being aware of the risks you face and knowing what steps to take before, during and after a tropical threat.”
GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom said, “We are working with our local partners in developing plans based on the unique conditions we face this year. If you do need assistance with issues like assistance, contact your local emergency managers to connect with resources they have available. Also, review your insurance policies to determine what exactly is covered when it comes to hurricanes, wind damage and flooding. As we have seen with past storms, each event is different and includes different challenges. Being prepared means planning now, and not waiting for an emergency.”
During a tropical event, the state could be impacted by tidal surge, flooding and wind damage. It is important that you listen for crucial information from GOHSEP, other state agencies, local officials and your local weather experts.
A list of hurricane supplies, evacuation information and other critical information can be found on the http://www.getagameplan.org website. Here are some examples of what you and your family may need in the event you 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
A supply of face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes due to COVID-19 concerns
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
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
Find more tips on weather and preparedness listen to conversations on all aspects of emergency management by downloading GOHSEP’s The Get A Game Plan Podcast. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App. It is free for basic service. The Get A Game Plan App is another resource available to help you and your family prepare for any type of emergency.