EDITORIAL: Prepare for hurricanes now

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 24, 2002

It’s all over the local news reports on television and in big, banner headlines in the daily newspapers – a hurricane is about to enter the Gulf of Mexico. With that, storm preparations are shifting into gear, while eyes focus in the western Cuba area, trying to second-guess a wayward Hurricane Isadore.

Meanwhile, there is no better time than the present to make your own hurricane preparations. Secure your home and possessions, including your lawn furniture and pets. Make sure you have prescription medications filled and be listening to parish officials.

If they say leave – LEAVE!

A home is a lifetime investment for most families. Possessions can take a lifetime to gather. However, nothing is more important than your own life and the lives of your loved ones. If ordered to leave, do so and don’t think you are being brave to “ride out the storm.” That is foolish and dangerous.

It isn’t too early to buy batteries, bottled water and canned goods. Get a bottled gas tank, in case power is out and you are cooking on your gas grill. Secure important papers, including insurance papers.

Do not listen to rumors – use authoritative sources, such as the media and public officials, for your information. Should a storm pass, be careful of displaced wildlife, such as snakes, fire ants, alligators and other animals which could invade your neighborhood. Keep children home and busy. After a storm is no time to go sight-seeing. There is work for everyone.

If asked, be generous and donate blood, or a helping hand. Check on your elderly or infirm neighbors. It is events such as these which define and shape a community. Be there for each other, help one another and care for each other.

With preparations such as this, the River Parishes has, and will get though anything. We’ve done it before, with storms such as Betsy in 1965, and we know how to beat this one, too.