It’s that time of year

Each June, Louisiana begins the task of readying for a hurricane.

In year’s past, that would entail checking a battery or two. Maybe double-checking to make sure the flashlights and ice chest were handy in case the power went out.

But 2005 changed our lackadaisical approach to battening down the hatches.

After hurricanes Katrina and Rita brushed the Tri-parishes’ shores, few look at storms with the same Laissez fare perspective. We well know the wrath a Category 5 monster packs. The horrors and years of rebuilding have provided us a greater respect for Mother Nature when she’s angry. And as too many learned in 2005, it’s too costly a gamble to stare down a storm.

On Monday, Gov. Bobby Jindal was joined by law enforcement and government officials from across the Tri-parishes and the state to urge residents to come up with a gameplan today. We know historically storms don’t usually impact this region until August and September; however, as Jindal was clear in reminding us, cooler heads prevail when the winds are still at bay.

Now is the time to study the contraflow maps and develop an evacuation route that meets your family’s needs. Create checklists that cover all the basics: Where will we go? What numbers will we need? Do we have all medications and other necessities we need? Does a member of our family have special needs that require help should an evacuation be mandated?

Equally as important, consider your insurance coverage. Keep in mind flood insurance covers a dwelling only; contents are covered separately. As a number of our neighbors in Jefferson, Orleans and surrounding parishes learned, being under-covered will surely slow your recovery process should the Tri-parishes suffer a direct hit.

In the coming weeks, residents will hear a great deal about storm readiness. Take the message to heart. After all, it’s not nice to mess with Mother Nature.