What To Do
In Case of a
What is a Hurricane?
Hurricanes are tropical cyclones with torrential rains and
sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or greater which blow in a
counter-clockwise direction around a center "eye".
Hurricane winds can exceed 155 miles per hour and severely effect
areas hundreds of miles inland.
As hurricanes approach the coast, a huge dome of water called a
storm surge crashes into the coastline, causing major damage to
everything in its path.
About nine out of ten people killed in hurricanes are victims of
the storm surge.
Hurricanes also spawn tornadoes and cause severe flooding from
Hurricanes are classified into the five categories below, based
on their wind speeds, central pressure and damage potential.
Category ONE -- Winds 74-95 mph
Category TWO -- Winds 96-110 mph
Category THREE -- Winds 111-130 mph
Category FOUR -- Winds 131-155 mph
Category FIVE -- Winds greater than 155 mph
What should I do before a hurricane?
Know the terms used by weather forecasters.
HURRICANE WATCH - A hurricane is possible within 36 hours.
Stay tuned for additional advisories.
HURRICANE WARNING - A hurricane is expected within 24 hours.
If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
Listen for local radio or television weather forecasts.
Purchase a NOAA weather radio with warning alarm tone and
Learn evacuation routes.
Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you
needed to evacuate.
You can get information on the Lafayette Parish
Hurricane Evacuation Routes by
Talk to your family about hurricanes.
Plan a place to meet your family in case you are separated from
one another in a disaster.
Choose an out-of-state contact for everyone to call to say they
Determine the needs of family members who may live elsewhere but
need your help in a hurricane.
Consider the special needs of neighbors.
Prepare to survive on your own for at least three days.
Assemble a disaster supplies kit.
Include a battery-powered radio, flashlights, extra batteries, a
first-aid kit, blankets, clothing and food and water.
Make plans to protect your property.
Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows.
A second option is to board up windows with 5/8" marine plywood,
cut to fit and ready to install.
Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
Know how to shut off utilities.
Know where gas pilots are located and
how the heating and air-conditioning system works.
Have your home inspected for compliance with local building codes.
Many of the roofs destroyed
by hurricanes were destroyed
because they were not constructed
according to building codes.
Consider flood insurance.
Make a record of your personal property.
Take photographs of or videotape your belongings.
What should I do if a hurricane threatens?
Listen for information and instructions on radio or television
If a hurricane watch is issued, you have 24 to 36 hours before
the hurricane hits land.
A hurricane warning means that hurricane winds and storm tides
are expected in a specific coastal area within 24 hours.
Get together with family members to talk about what needs to be
Make sure everyone knows where to meet and who to call, in case
you are separated from one another.
Secure your home.
Close storm shutters.
Secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
Moor your boat if time permits.
Gather several days supply of water and food for each family
Water systems may become contaminated or damaged.
Sterilize and fill the bathtub to ensure a supply of safe water.
Make arrangements for pets.
Pets may not be allowed into public shelters for health reasons.
Prepare to evacuate.
Fuel your car.
Review evacuation routes.
If instructed, turn off utilities at the main valves.
Evacuate to an inland location if:
Local authorities announce an evacuation and you live in an
You live in a mobile home or temporary structure - they are
particularly hazardous during hurricanes.
You live on the coast, on a flood plain near a river or inland
You feel you are in danger.
When authorities order an evacuation:
Leave immediately to avoid being marooned by flooded roads and
Follow evacuation routes announced by local officials via radio
and television broadcasts.
Stay away from coastal areas, river banks and streams until
potential flooding is past.
And tell others where you are going.
If you are not required to evacuate, stay indoors during the
hurricane and away from windows.
Do not be fooled if there is a lull, it could be the eye of the
storm-winds will pick up again.
Listen to the radio or television for information.
Avoid using the phone except for serious emergencies.
What should I do after a hurricane?
Stay where you are if you are in a safe location until local
authorities say it is okay to leave.
If you evacuated the community, do not return until authorities
say it is okay to return.
Keep tuned to local radio or television stations for information
about caring for your family, where to find medical help, how to
apply for financial assistance, etc.
Consider your family's health and safety needs.
Keep your family together.
Set up a manageable schedule to repair property.
Be aware of symptoms of stress and fatigue.
Talk with your children about what has happened and how they can
help during the recovery.
Being involved will help them deal with the situation.
Stay away from disaster areas unless local authorities request
Drive only when necessary.
The streets will be filled with debris.
Roads may have weakened and can collapse under the weight of a
Stay away from river banks and streams until potential flooding
Stay away from downed power lines and report them to the power
Report broken gas, sewer or water mains.
Contact your insurance agent.
Take photos of or videotape the damage.
Separate damaged and undamaged belongings.
Locate your financial records.
Keep detailed records of cleanup costs
City-Parish of Lafayette, Office of Emergency