Hotard: Hurricane Season starts June 1

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Football season … crawfish season … snowball season … festival season.

Life in South Louisiana offers a bevy of fun and much anticipated seasons each year. Unfortunately, life here also serves up a not-so-fun reality – hurricane season.

June 1 is the kick-off of hurricane season, as well as start of the countdown to Nov. 30 – which marks the end of annual hurricane threats. St. John the Baptist Parish residents know all too well the stark reality of what a major storm can bring – flooding, wide-spread electrical outages, devastation and displacement.

Hurricane Ida was one of the most powerful storms ever to hit St. John Parish. Many residents are just moving back into their homes following the devastating storm, and many others have no end in sight to insurance-related delays, supply chain issues, labor shortages and other setbacks. St. John and its residents are resilient, but they are not untouchable. Preparation is key.

As new storm threats are sure to loom, it is more important than ever that residents and business owners prepare for hurricane season the best that they can to mitigate risks.

My office will be putting out a lot of information related to this topic in the next couple of months, but I’ll hit the key points here of what you should be doing now to prepare for the 2022 hurricane season.

First, identify ahead of time where you could go if you are told to evacuate and 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 closed.

Next, please have a plan to protect your valuables. You will need to move objects that may get damaged by wind or water to safer areas of your home and remember to make a visual and written record of all of your household possessions. Doing something like recording the model and serial numbers could help you prove the value of what you owned if those possessions are damaged or destroyed and can assist you to claim deductions on taxes.

Also, now is the time to plan for individuals with special needs by calling the Health and Human Services Office at 985-536-4955 to register for assistance during an evacuation.

Hurricane Brochures will be mailed out soon and we ask residents to keep these handy in the event of a storm threat. Please also text SJPWEATHER to 888-777 to stay connected this hurricane season.

As always, my office and all departments will work together to inform, help prepare and assist the residents of St. John about hurricane threats. Let the countdown to Nov. 30 begin!

 

Jaclyn Hotard is the St. John the Baptist Parish President. Her office can be reached at 985-652-9569.