NEW ORLEANS — Hurricane season is just getting started, and it is a good time to cross a few items off your storm prep to-do list.
First and foremost, get flood insurance if you have not already. FEMA's Risk Rating 2.0 has caused rates for many Louisiana homeowners to skyrocket, making it difficult, if not impossible, for some to find affordable policies.
It is still critical, though, as most homeowners insurance does not cover flooding. Policies generally take 30 days to take effect, so if you need to get a new one, do it as soon as possible. You can search for insurance providers through FEMA here.
Cut down weak trees and branches on your property. Keeping gutters and catch basins clear throughout the season will also save time before a storm.
If you live in a mobile home, make sure you know how to secure it against high winds. You should be ready to evacuate, as according to FEMA, mobile structures are not safe in extreme weather.
Gather supplies in case a storm hits and you do not evacuate. According to NOLA Ready, a basic shelter-in-place kit should include non-perishable food for 4 days, at least 4 gallons of water per person, a manual can opener, a flashlight with extra batteries, matches or a lighter, a first aid kit, a one-week supply of prescription medications, a radio, and books and games.
Make a plan now in case you do end up evacuating. Decide where you will go, what route you will take, and how you will get there.
If you have pets, make sure you have a pet-friendly hotel or other place to stay, as well as extra food and medication for them.
You can sign up for emergency alerts from NOLA Ready now by texting NOLAREADY to 77295. Get Spanish alerts by texting ESP to the same number.