CAMERON PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The rows of mobile homes and houses hoisted onto cinder blocks is a constant reminder for Cameron residents of the destruction of Hurricanes Rita and Ike that tore through this coastal town.
"For Ike, I was big and pregnant with my son and coming back, I didn't have anywhere… nowhere to go. I was nervous, it's a sore subject".
Cameron resident, Ashley Wilson, lost her home in 2005 to Hurricane Rita and then lost another to Hurricane Ike in 2007. With Tropical Storm Isaac threatening more of Louisiana each day, she prays she doesn't have to go through that devastation again.
"I lost every picture I had of my grandma in Rita and I don't have not a single picture left of her" said Wilson. "Take everything out and just be prepared".
Having learned the lesson of preparation the hard way, she's waiting for the order before leaving north from the coast. Like Wilson, the Cameron Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has learned that preparation is the biggest defense against the storm.
"We do have the experience and we've got knowledge enough here as the governing body of the parish that we can take care of whatever comes down" said President of the Cameron Parish Police Jury, Darryl Farque.
Although forecasts have Isaac's path staying east of Cameron, Benoit says the parish is ready to go on the defense if need be.
"Several generators that we have ready to go, we have bottled water stationed in Hackberry and Grand Lake, we have MRE's stationed in Grand Lake and Hackberry, we have two command trailers that we can work out of" said Director of the Cameron Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
For Sheriff Ron Johnson, who's experiencing his first storm as Sheriff, the preparation is a team effort locally and regionally through a mutual aid agreement.
"We may be involved in sending some neutral aid, equipment and personnel to the east end if called for" said Sheriff Johnson.
So while the parish readies it's army against Isaac, Wilson warrants others not to take anything for granted. As she calls the trailer she now lives in, a mansion.
"You never know what you have… until it's gone" she says, fighting back tears.
On Monday afternoon, Cameron OEP and the Cameron Parish Police Jury advised residents who live in campers and do not feel safe, to relocate to a sturdy structure Tuesday night due to the expected tropical force winds of 20-30 mph with gust to 40 mph.