The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is activating the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as Tropical Storm Nate moves toward the central gulf coast.
The EOC will move to Level 1 operations at 6 a.m. Friday morning. Level 1 is the highest activation level with all state agencies, support organizations and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) joined in the response.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), Nate could strengthen into a hurricane before it makes landfall early Sunday.
“High water is already a problem in many southeast Louisiana parishes,” said GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom. “High tides and easterly winds in recent days are impacting some areas ahead of the storm. Those conditions may worsen over the weekend. Our window to prepare for Nate is closing quickly. Finalize your emergency plans. Check your emergency supplies. Be aware of potential road problems. Monitor your local media and the National Weather Service for emergency notifications. Some evacuation orders are already being issued at the local level. If you require special transportation or medical needs, check with your emergency managers for assistance.”
FEMA is offering the following storm safety tips:
- Never take shelter in an MHU during high winds, a tornado, a hurricane, or a flood.
- All MHUs are equipped with a weather radio. If severe weather is predicted, monitor the weather radio and comply with any evacuation orders.
- Always follow the guidance of local officials. It is their job to protect you, so it is your job to listen to their warnings and obey their orders.
- Plan out evacuation routes. Be sure to plan multiple routes to several safe shelters so that you are ready for potential road closures.
In case of severe storms
- If a severe storm is forecast for your area, move to a sturdy building or shelter until the storm has passed.
In Case of a Tornado
- If a tornado warning is issued for your area, evacuate the MHU immediately.
- Go to the lowest floor of a nearby sturdy building or storm shelter, away from windows.
In Case of a Hurricane
- Hurricanes are particularly dangerous because of their unpredictability. While they are usually accompanied by heavy rain and strong winds, they can cause tornados and floods.
- Use the weather radio to monitor evacuation orders. Evacuate immediately if local officials recommended mobile home occupants to find sturdier shelter.
In Case of a Flood
- If the potential for flooding exists in your area, monitor the status via the weather radio.
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If a flash flood warning is issued, immediately evacuate and move to higher ground.
- If you have time, place any important items on the highest shelves. Disconnect electrical devices, but not while wet or standing in water.
- When evacuating, do not attempt to walk or drive through flooded areas. Six inches of water can cause you to fall and can flood most compact or midsize cars. A foot of water will cause most vehicles to float. Two feet of water can sweep away even trucks and SUVs.
- Do not leave your pets behind in the MHU.
More information is available at http://www.getagameplan.org . Don’t forget to visit www.511la.org for road updates.