Sheriff Mancuso advises readiness for 2010 Hurricane Season

The following is a news release from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office:

Lake Charles, LA – Forecasters predict the 2010 hurricane season will be a much more active season than last year, posing an "above-normal" threat on the U.S. coastline.  According to Accuweather's Chief Long-Range Meteorologist and Hurricane Forecaster Joe Bastardi, "This year has the chance to be an extreme season.  It is certainly much more like 2008 than 2009 as far as the overall threat to the United States' East and Gulf Coasts."

Accuweather is forecasting 16-18 named storms, 15 of which would be in the western Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico, and therefore a threat to land.  Bastardi is predicting seven landfalls, with five becoming hurricanes and two or three of them going ashore in the U.S. as major systems.

Based on the latest predictions, Sheriff Mancuso advises parish residents, "As always, the hurricane season in Louisiana is a time for vigilance, but with notice of an even more active season, we all need to take even more precautions.

"Preparation and planning are key elements in protecting lives and staying safe.  So start now and avoid the rush at home supply stores, supermarkets, and other businesses that get crowded as hurricane watches and warnings are issued.  Don't wait until the last minute."

The week of May 23-29, 2010 has been declared Hurricane Preparedness Week by the National Hurricane Center.  Sheriff Mancuso joins the National Hurricane Center in urging Louisiana residents to make hurricane emergency preparedness a priority this hurricane season.  "The Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins June 1 and continues through November 30.  With the 2010 hurricane season upon us, the most important thing to do is to get you, your family, and your home 'hurricane ready.'  Start early.  Start now."

Sheriff Mancuso says yet another reason to get ready now is because the 2010 Louisiana Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday takes place on Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30.  During these two days, shoppers can get ready for hurricane season by purchasing emergency supplies free from the four-percent state sales tax.  The tax holiday exempts from the state sales tax the first $1,500 of the sales price of items such as self-powered light sources like flashlights and candles; portable self-powered radios; two-way radios and weather-band radios; tarpaulins or other flexible waterproof sheeting; ground anchor systems or tie-down kits; gas or diesel fuel tanks; batteries (AAA, AA, C, D, 6-vold or 9-volt—automobile batteries and boat batteries are not eligible); cellular phone batteries and chargers; non-electric food storage coolers; portable generators; storm shutter devices and carbon monoxide detectors.

Prepare yourself and your family for any situation by assembling and maintaining a Disaster Supply Kit.  Your Disaster Supply Kit should include:

  • Can Opener
  • Three Day Supply of Non-Perishable Food
  • Bedding or Sleeping Bags
  • Fire Extinguisher  (small canister ABC type)
  • Bleach (no lemon or other additives)
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • First Aid Kit
  • Water (One gallon per person per day)
  • Eating Utensils
  • Tarp, Rope, and Duct Tape
  • Toiletries
  • Toilet Paper
  • Battery-Operated Radio
  • Flashlights
  • Extra Batteries
  • Extra Keys
  • Sunglasses
  • Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person

For Baby —Formula, diapers, wipes bottles, powdered milk and medications.

For Adults —Heart and high blood pressure medication, Insulin, prescription drugs, denture needs, contact lenses and supplies and extra eye glasses.

For Pets—ID tag, photo of pet for identification purposes, weeks supply of food, medications, veterinarian's phone number.  Do not leave your pet behind. Transport pets in secure pet carriers and keep pets on leashes.  Most emergency shelters do not admit pets.  Check with hotels in safe locations and ask if you can bring your pet.  Call family, friends and boarding kennels in a safe location to arrange care if you and your pet cannot stay together.

Entertainment —Books for adult readers and for children, board games and/or other games that do not require batteries or electricity.

            Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:

  • Inventory of valuable household goods and important telephone numbers
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
  • Important Papers including Insurance, Account Numbers, Money, Checks or Credit Cards
  • Name, Address and Telephone Number of your selected Out-of-Area Contact Person

Finally, Sheriff Mancuso said, "Time is on your side right now.  Take advantage of it.  Get 'hurricane ready.' Call the Sheriff's Office if you need further information. We're here to help you.  Don't get caught unprepared in the rush of a hurricane warning.  Act now; you'll be glad you did."