NEW ORLEANS - Do you feel a mild sense of depression today? It's understandable. Since Hurricane Katrina, many of us feel that vague sense of worry from the start of hurricane season in June until the storm threat passes in November.
But, don't sit there and worry. Make sure your plans are in place in case there's a storm threat this year.
Parish and state leaders have been preparing for months, and now they want to make sure you're prepared.
Even though hurricane season starts today, and only an average number of storms is predicted, we've already had two this season.
Now that doesn't have any bearing on what happens later this year, but remember, it only takes one.
So this is the point to make sure your hurricane plans are in place. A primary goal is to have an evacuation plan ready in case we get threatened by a major hurricane which leads officials to order evacuations. Know where you'll go, and how to get there.
Build or update your emergency kit, both the supplies you will need if you stay home, and those you'll need if you have to evacuate, and include the supplies your pets will need.
Area leaders worry that seven years after Hurricane Katrina, area residents could become complacent.
"It's been my experience in my time on the board that as bad as Katrina was, it's human nature. People quickly forget exactly what happened. So it's a big concern of ours. Life safety is the big issue, and when the city leaders call for an evacuation, everybody has got to go. We're hopeful and confident that the system will be able to protect us, however, life safety is the most important thing, and people have to leave," said Tim Doody of the SE La. Flood Protection Authority.
Parishes throughout the area have hurricane protection tips on their websites, so does FEMA and the Red Cross.
Take a moment to make sure plans are in place at the start of the season, because if we do get a threat, there won't be much time to plan at that point.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu is advising New Orleanians to get prepared. The city's new website, ready.nola.gov, is a one-stop site where you can get hurricane ready for your families, homes and businesses. It's also the website where businesses can register to apply for re-entry if a disaster should strike.
WWL-TV's prime-time special, "Eye on Hurricanes," will get you ready for this hurricane season with updates on local levee protection, emergency plans and predictions for the season to make sure you're ready for anything that may come our way. It airs Monday at 7 p.m.