Hotard: Hurricane Season starts June 1

Published 10:33 am Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Hurricane season is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.

The 2022 hurricane season brought a complete – and welcomed! – lack of hurricane activity for us in South Louisiana, which stood in stark contrast to the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Hurricane Ida was one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S., and many residents are still dealing with the aftermath of the 2021 storm. June 1 is the kick-off of hurricane season, and as always preparation is key.

St. John the Baptist Parish residents know all too well the blunt reality of what a major storm can bring – flooding, wide-spread electrical outages, devastation and displacement. Now is the time for residents and business owners to prepare for hurricane season the best they can to reduce risks.

My office will be putting out a lot of information related to this topic in the next couple of months, but it’s worth mentioning key points of what you should be doing now to prepare for the 2023 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 area. You may need to take alternative or unfamiliar routes if major roads are closed.

Please have a plan to protect your valuables. You may need to move objects that could get damaged by wind or water to safer areas of your home.

Remember to make a visual or written record of your household possessions. Doing something like recording the model and serial numbers of your major appliances and furniture could help you prove the value of what you owned and can assist you to claim deductions on taxes.

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.

As always, my office and parish departments will work together to inform, help prepare and assist the residents of St. John about hurricane threats.

I’m praying for the safety and protection of all of St. John’s residents, homes, and businesses. November 30 – the official end of hurricane season – can’t get here soon enough.

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