EDITORIAL — Protect you, loved ones from hurricanes’ fury

Published 2:48 pm Friday, May 31, 2019

Hurricanes can be the most vicious of storms, with the potential to inflict widespread death, damage and destruction. They undermine the order and permanence in our lives.

Tornadoes are terrifying, but their impacts are usually more specific than widespread. Hurricanes hit everything.

Audrey. Rita. Ike. Harvey. Those four and other, devastating hurricanes are family among themselves, the visitors whose damage was lethal and long lasting in our community.

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Hurricane tolls and their recent frequency ought to remind us to be prepared, to be vigilant. That’s why with Friday’s print edition we offer the 2019 Hurricane Preparedness Guide, with outlooks for the season and information on how you can be ready. Please read it and take the steps necessary to be prepared.

This hurricane season, which opens Saturday and lasts through November, is predicted to be normal: nine to 15 storms in the Atlantic Ocean. But there’s nothing normal about any hurricane; hence, Jefferson Parish sustained widespread damage from Tropical Storm Harvey, born in the chaos of a hurricane that teased us, then slammed us, inflicting some $125 billion in damages, as much property damage as Hurricane Katrina caused.

Mike White, Jefferson County’s emergency management leader, offered these suggestions and others:

  • Have an evacuation plan.
  • Close up your house, turn off power, gas and water before you leave.
  • Let others know when you’re leaving and where you’re going.
  • Follow updates on local media and on the Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management, if possible.
  • Photograph their home and property to substantiate possible property claims and scan important documents to a thumb drive.

The Insurance Council of Texas recommends having an emergency safety kit on hand with non-perishable food, water, prescriptions, cell phones and chargers, cash, toiletries and clothing. Have you done that?

Stuart Salter of Julian Salter Insurance & Risk Managers suggested that Coastal Texas people talk with their insurance agent in advance of hurricane season. Buy insurance that’s appropriate to this area, which includes protection against flood and wind and hail. Salter said virtually no one would forgo buying fire insurance, but wind, flood and hail have caused more damage than fire to homeowners here in recent years. Are you up to date with your insurance? If not, call your agent.

Commissioner George P. Bush of the Texas Land Office also weighed in with hurricane season approaching. He said folks should sign up for community emergency warning systems. The Emergency Alert System and NOAA Weather Radio also have warnings. Are you signed up?

Please read our preparedness guide and other information about protection. Protect your lives, your family and your property by taking the necessary steps.

Remember this, too: Being ready means being ready now.


See also: Rebuild Texas: $1.5M to aid Harvey areas prep for hurricane season