OEP officials: Prepare for a storm now - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

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OEP officials: Prepare for a storm now

(Source: KPLC) (Source: KPLC)

From plywood, batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food items and generators, Southwest Louisiana residents know the drill when it comes to preparing for a major storm. 

But how many residents are ready for a storm?

"I try to be as much as I can," resident Tanya Maples said. "I try to."

"Never a hundred percent," fellow resident Connie Lewis said. "We'll never be a hundred percent ready, but we try to be as best as possible."

A developing system is threatening our coast, just a few weeks after the official start to hurricane season.

Officials said not to wait until the last minute to prepare for a storm.

"You just have to have a bunch of tools in your tools box," said Danny Lavergne, director of Cameron Parish's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OEP). "As the system comes and changes, you use what you have to accommodate what's coming in,"

Today, OEP directors, state agencies officials, and other emergency personnel were a part of the Southwest Louisiana Hurricane Task Force phone conference discussing what plans of action to take in case of the developing system turning into something major. 

"As it stands now, we're looking at getting one, maybe two inches of rain and a little bit of high tide that may cause minor flooding," said Lavergne.

It's a potential issue for Calcasieu Parish's OEP director, Dick Gremillion, who said the main concern is storm surge.

"The Sabine River, the Calcasieu River and the Mermentau River are all near capacity right now so whatever storm surge we get is going to be on top of that high water," Gremillion said. "So, that's one thing we want people to be: is cognizant of is the storm surge."

Both of these directors urge residents to prepare now and recommend having a communication plan in place. 

"It's that time of the year we're going to have to start paying attention," Gremillion said. 

To sign up for emergency alerts throughout Calcasieu Parish, click HERE

You can follow OEP offices throughout the area via Facebook and Twitter.

For the latest on weather in Southwest Louisiana and the tropics, download our KPLC 7StormTeam Weather App. Click HERE for Apple devices or HERE for Android devices.

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