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Thursday, May 31, 2018 3

Above normal season ahead Forecasters at Colorado State University predict a slightly above average number of named storms for the Atlantic region.

Likelihood that a hurricane will hit

Name that storm 2018 storm names

Chance of a major hurricane (Category 3-5) making landfall

East Coast


Gulf Coast

39 Caribbean



Atlantic Ocean

52 Cuba

Caribbean Sea

How 2018 compares Prediction: Named storms

Annual average, 1966-2017 Named storms

14 Hurricanes 7 Major hurricanes 3 Š 2018 MCT

12 Hurricanes 6 Major hurricanes 2

Alberto Beryl Chris Debby Ernesto Florence Gordon Helene Isaac Joyce Kirk Leslie Michael Nadine Oscar Patty Rafael Sara Tony Valerie William Source: University of Colorado, National Hurricane Center

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Thursday, May 31, 2018



5 Use technology to stay connected 6 Here are the odds a hurricane will hit us this season

Let Our Team Protect Your Family!

7 Are you ready for a storm? 8 How to prepare your home 9 Be wary of these storm surge maps 10 If you live in Terrebonne, here’s what to do 12 What you need to know if you live in Lafourche 14 Sandbags - How to use and find them 16 Louisiana evacuation map 17 Heed the call to evacuate 18 How Hurricane Hunters work 20 Hurricane tracking map 23 Flood insurance may never be cheaper 24 10 ways to prepare: Bottom-line preparation tips 26 Gustav and Ike: the last major hits 28 How storms form 29 Which way will you go? Contraflow maps 30 Prepare a grab-and-go box 31 Know your storm vocabulary 32 Hurricane myths: separating fact from fiction 33 How to cope with flooding 34 Use a power generator safely 35 Storms pose multiple dangers 36 How to board up your home 37 Where to find the latest news online 38 Lose an important document?

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Thursday, May 31, 2018 5

Use technology to stay connected

Montegut Middle School becomes an island after Hurricane Ike’s floodwaters surround the school on Sept. 14, 2008. The Courier and Daily Comet/File

Ways for people to stay connected during hurricanes have expanded vastly in recent years. Social media, cellphones and the internet have armed people with plenty of tools to weather a disaster. Here are some helpful tech tips from the American Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency: Make a plan Create a Facebook group devoted to communicating with your friends and family. This means that in the event of a natural disaster, there is a hub of information for your loved ones to know where to go and how to meet up once the danger has passed. Update your status During a disaster, alert your loved ones about your location with Facebook status updates. Be sure to adjust your privacy settings

accordingly and consider building a Facebook friend list in advance to ensure the right people see your updates. You can also alert local emergency personnel by posting on the wall of the appropriate agency’s Facebook page. Go mobile During a natural disaster, a computer may not be accessible. By having the Facebook application on your mobile phone or using m.facebook. com on a mobile browser, you can easily update your status to let your loved ones know where you are and if you are okay. The Facebook Messenger application is another way to reach family and friends in the event of a disaster.

you stay informed of weather, evacuation routes, shelter locations and perform first aid. The Red Cross has several at FEMA’s smartphone app lets you apply for disaster assistance, map disaster recovery centers and stay connected.

community residents on the newspapers’ Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.

Follow local news

Are you OK?

The Courier and Daily Comet are the best source of local news, especially during storms. Download the newspapers’ mobile apps at the iTunes app store; search for houmatoday or dailycomet. You can also get local news headlines from The Courier and Daily Comet on the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. And both newspapers have mobile websites – houmatoday. Get mobile apps com and -- designed for use on moPut mobile apps on your bile devices. Connect with smartphone that will help local news and thousands of

Power up Store extra batteries or chargers with your emergency preparedness kit or in an automobile so your devices can remain powered.

After a disaster, go to and register on Safe and Well. From that site, you can update your Facebook and Twitter status to let your loved ones and friends know that you are safe. Alert those in your social networking circles of your status. A quick post of “I’m OK” or using the hashtag #imok will be sufficient. -The Courier and Daily Comet


Thursday, May 31, 2018


Here are the odds a hurricane will hit us this season

By Keith Magill Executive Editor

Forecasters predict the six-month hurricane season that starts June 1 will be slightly more active than normal. Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project forecasts 14 named storms along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, including seven hurricanes, three of them Category 3 or stronger. A typical year, based on records dating back to 1966, brings 12 tropical storms. Of those, six are hurricanes and two are Category 3 or greater, with wind speeds of 111 mph or stronger, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. About two hurricanes hit the U.S. during a typical season. There’s a 38 percent chance a major hurricane will hit somewhere along the Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle to Brownsville, Texas, the forecasters, led by Philip J. Klotzbach and Michael M. Bell, say in their report. The average odds over the past century are 30 percent. Collaborative research by the Colorado State team and the GeoGraphics Laboratory

at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts uses records for the entire 20th century along with expected weather conditions to predict the chance a hurricane will hit a given state, parish or county during the coming season. Their predictions: Louisiana: The state has 38.4 percent chance of being hit by one or more hurricanes and a 15.5 percent chance of being struck by a Category 3 or or higher. The norm is 30.2 percent and 11.7 percent. Terrebonne: There’s a 7.4 percent chance a hurricane will make landfall in the parish, 3.4 percent for a major one. The historic average is 5.6 percent and 2.6 percent. Lafourche: The parish has a 2.7 percent chance of a hurricane landfall, 1.2 percent for a major one. The norm: 2 percent and 0.9 percent. Accuweather, meanwhile, predicts 12-15 named storms, including six to eight hurricanes, three to five of them major. The service predicts three or four named storms will make landfall on the U.S. East or Gulf coasts. Colorado State and Accuweather researchers both based their forecasts, in part, on a weak La Niña weather pattern, which means normal wind sheer that can blunt

Astronaut Randy Bresnik took this photo of then-Tropical Storm Harvey from the International Space Station at 1:27 p.m. Aug. 28. [NASA]

tropical storms’ strengthening. “The thing that’s causing the balance to tip in one direction is that sea surface temperatures are warmer than normal,” AccuWeather meteorologist Dan Kottlowski said in the service’s forecast. All of the forecasts were issued in April and were expected to be revised as the season progresses. Experts acknowledge that forecasting the number, severity or location of hurricanes before a season begins is an inexact science. Most use historical data and sea-

sonal weather conditions to make an educated guess. “Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted,” Klotzbach and Bell say in their report.


Thursday, May 31, 2018 7

Are you ready for a storm? Take this quiz and find out The LSU AgCenter has compiled a list of 20 questions to help you and your family determine whether you are truly prepared for a storm. “Having the right answers before a storm comes your way can help you be prepared if a hurricane strikes,” says LSU AgCenter housing specialist Claudette Reichel. “Even if you’ve been through a hurricane before, it’s easy to forget some of the preparations that can protect your property and family. If you answer “no” or “I don’t know” to any question, then now is the time to take action. 1. Do you have a disaster survival plan? 2. Have you planned an evacuation route and destination? 3. Do you have an emergency communication plan for staying in touch or getting messages to friends and family? 4. Is your homeowners’ and

flood insurance coverage up to date and sufficient to replace your home and belongings if they are damaged or destroyed? 5. Do you have an inventory of your property and belongings? 6. Do you have copies of your policies, inventory, other important papers and valuable in a safe place -one that’s waterproof and fireproof? Have you put them on a USB drive you can take with you if you evacuate or stored them in the cloud? 7. Do you know how to turn off your electricity, gas and water? 8. Do you have a plan and supplies on hand to protect and secure your home, outdoor items, boat, pool and so forth? 9. Has your roof been inspected within the past six months? 10. Have you trimmed the trees and shrubs around your house? 11. Has your car been maintained, and are the tires, including the spare, in good condition? 12. Do you have a plan of what to do with food in your refrigerator and freezer in the event of a possible pow-

er outage? 13. Is your emergency phone list up to date and handy? 14. Do you have emergency survival supplies such as batteries, a battery operated radio, flashlights, lanterns, fuel, nonperishable food for three days, water jugs, manual can opener, medicines, traveler’s checks or cash, and so forth on hand? 15. Do you have an emergency supply kit for your car? 16. Do you have a plan of how to take care of family members with special needs, including infants, the elderly or those with disabilities? 17. Have you decided what you will do with your animals if you must evacuate? 18. Have you budgeted for the added expenses to protect your home, buy supplies, evacuate, clean up and recover? 19. Have you discussed your

emergency plans, duties and rules with your family? 20. Do you know that the LSU AgCenter offers publications and other free information on disaster cleanup and recovery on its website,


Thursday, May 31, 2018

hurricane guide 2015



M ay 2 0 1 5


Thursday, May 31, 2018 9

Be wary of these storm surge maps

Residents should be wary of a relatively new addition to the forecasts they will see if a storm threatens Terrebonne or Lafourche. The National Hurricane Center began during the 2015 season issuing maps showing how high the storm surge is likely to get as it makes landfall. But local and state officials have said the maps will be almost useless in Terrebonne, Lafourche and across south Louisiana because they fail to account for levees and other obstructions that might block the wall of water as it sweeps in from the Gulf of Mexico. Failure to account for levees means the maps could greatly overestimate the chance of flooding in communities throughout Terrebonne and Lafourche. For instance, 10-foot levees — part of the interim Morganza-tothe- Gulf hurricane protection system — now buffer much of Terrebonne from the Gulf. If a 6-foot storm surge threatens, those levees, at least in theory, could hold back most or all of the floodwaters. The maps, however, could predict that many communities will flood, even if they stay high and dry. In previous interviews, local officials told The Cou-

A map showing the projected storm surge for a Category 3 hurricane puts almost all of Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes, with the exception of inside the south Lafourche levee system, under several feet of water. However, the map does not take into account other levees and obstructions that could prevent or lessen the flooding. NOAA

rier and Daily Comet that the models don’t take into account some levees that were decertified by the Army Corps of Engineers under new federal elevation standards after Hurricane Katrina. They include south Lafourche’s hurricane protection levees. In addition, the NOAA maps represent a worst-case scenario of each category of storm, with prevailing winds bringing the maximum amount of sea water rushing toward the coast. State and local officials also have cited other problems with the maps. Among

them: The new maps may overestimate the protection some levees provide, giving residents within them a false sense of security. State officials have said the maps are almost meaningless to residents of southeast Louisiana. And that’s not because the project is flawed but because the region’s landscape and demographics demand a longer lead time to evacuate than other coasts. For instance, the map showing storm surge with high confidence level comes out after the storm is within 48 hours of the coast. That might be plenty of time for

people living in Florida or North Carolina because they just have to drive 10- 15 miles to be safe. But in south Louisiana, you might have to drive 100 miles to find high ground safe from the surge. The bottom line: Nobody should use these maps and ignore local officials, who have a much better handle on what the real threat may be. As always, follow local media and heed evacuation orders and other advice given by local officials as a storm threatens. -- The Courier and Daily Comet


Thursday, May 31, 2018


If you live in Terrebonne here’s what to do

In front of the Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center, evacuees wait to board buses that would take them to storm shelters across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas before as Hurricane Gustav approaches on Aug. 30, 2008. Locals who boarded the buses were not told where they were going, and some took lengthy, circuitous trips to their final destinations after being turned away from shelters that were already filled. The Courier and Daily Comet/File

By Dan Copp Staff Writer

It’s better to prepare now for a hurricane than wait until it’s too late, Terrebonne officials said. “Residents should get a game plan prepared now on what they will do and where they will go if asked to evacuate,” said Emergency Preparedness Director Earl Eues. “You should have a plan for minor tropical systems such as tropical storms and for all categories of hurricanes. Waiting until there is a system in the Gulf of Mexico to make your plans is too late.” Information is your most effective tool during hurri-

cane season, which runs June 1-Nov. 30. “Residents can go to the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security’s Get a Game Plan website at to get help in making a family plan, business plan or even a plan for your kids,” Eues said. “Those with smartphones can download the new GetAGamePlan app to assist with planning.” Visit the Terrebonne Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness’ Facebook page and follow the agency on Twitter @ TOHSEP. Connect with Terrebonne Parish’s 911’s Facebook page as well. Dispelling rumors during a storm is one

of the most important services the agency provides, officials said. In the event of a storm, officials will provide upto-the-minute updates and breaking information. Terrebonne Parish also will issue severe-weather alerts to mobile devices. To register for those, visit www.tohsep. com/terrebonnealert. Terrebonne residents can create free online profiles so first responders can help them in an emergency. Visit for that information. Name, phone number and email addresses are required to create a profile, but users can add other information like age, floor plans and a list

of family members. When dialing 911, information from the profile appears on the call-taker’s screen. About Evacuations A unified command including Eues, Parish President Gordy Dove, Sheriff Jerry Larpenter and the Terrebonne Parish School Board begins monitoring named storms as they enter the Gulf of Mexico. The group then decides on closures and evacuations and works with emergency officials to prepare for potential problems. Residents should create a personal evacuation plan and remember that traffic across the state will change in the


event of large-scale evacuations, Eues said. Families should then decide on an evacuation route ahead of time and a place where they can meet if they should become separated. In the event of an evacuation, residents should also take important documents and financial records with them, officials said. Set up a web-based national email account like Google’s gmail to maintain some form of communication. For storms weaker than a Category 2, local officials will decide whether to open a shelter somewhere in the parish. Possible shelters include Gibson and Schriever recreation centers, Schriever Elementary, Dumas Auditorium and Evergreen Junior High. STRONGER STORMS If Terrebonne is evacuated for a Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane, a parishwide pickup point will be organized at H.L. Bourgeois High School at 1 Reservation Court in Gray. Residents who need transportation can either drive there or be picked up by buses throughout the major streets in the parish. Once there, residents and their domesticated pets will be entered into the parish’s

Thursday, May 31, 2018 11

evacuation registration system and bused to the Monroe Civic Center at 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway in Monroe, where they will be housed in the shelter. No prior signup is required. If you need assistance getting to the pickup point, officials are asking you to register in advance with the Terrebonne Council on Aging at 868-8411. RETURNING HOME If you’re a business owner seeking to return home after the storm to assess damage and make repairs, you need to obtain an early reentry permit from the Office of Emergency Preparedness. To register, visit www. and select Terrebonne. For information, call 873-6357. A storm that inflicts major damage can mean you may not be allowed to return for several days or even weeks, parish officials said. Reasons include downed power lines and scattered debris on the roads that can create dangerous travel conditions. Water service may not be available, and water may be unsafe to drink. Widespread power outages can also make living conditions difficult. Residents without early entry passes are usually not

Gustav sent a tree crashing across the yard of a home in Gray. The Courier and Daily Comet/ File

permitted to return to the parish until evacuation orders are lifted. The parish president has the final authority to make that determination.

-- Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 857-2202 or at Follow him on Twitter@DanVCopp.


Thursday, May 31, 2018


Here’s what you need to know if

Members of the Louisiana National Guard pass food to Lafourche residents in Raceland on Sept. 3, 2008, after Hurricane Gustav. The Courier/Daily Comet File

By Julia Arenstam Staff Writer

The Lafourche Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is following relatively the same storm plan as last year. With hurricane season running from June 1 to Nov. 30, here’s what Lafourche Par-

ish residents need to know. The Emergency Preparedness Office has the primary responsibility for public information during storms. It’s assisted by the Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, the cities of Thibodaux, Lockport and Golden Meadow and their police departments, the Greater

Lafourche Port Commission, Harbor Police, ambulance services, area hospitals and local fire departments. Residents can download the Alert FM app on their smartphones for weather alerts and other emergency information. They can also register for emergency notifications by

visiting the parish website at and clicking the “Emergency Information” button at the bottom of the page. Once on the Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness page, click “sign up for emergency notifications” found on the right side of the page. The parish’s social media


pages, and lafourchegov, are also updated simultaneously during weather events, Lafourche Public Information Officer Caroline Eschette said. Residents requiring transportation assistance for evacuation to area shelters can contact emergency preparedness clerk Ann Bruno, at 532-8174 or For hurricanes weaker than Category 3, parish officials may open shelters at any of these locations:

■ Larose Civic Center 307 East 5th Street, Larose. ■ Central Lafourche High School 4820 La.1, Raceland. ■ Thibodaux High School 1355 Tiger Drive, Thibodaux. ■ Lafourche Parish Recreation Center 241 Recreation Drive, Raceland. Major storms may prompt parish officials to call for an evacuation. In those cases, people without transportation will be bused to the Monroe Civic Center, 401 Lea Joyner Memorial Expressway, Monroe. Arrangements

will also be made for pets. After a storm passes, the parish will decide when it’s safe for residents to return depending on the severity of damage. Residents can register with the parish’s re-entry system at It allows business owners and others to undergo pre-screening so a limited number of workers can return to the parish to assess damage and determine what it will take to bring their businesses or services back online.

Thursday, May 31, 2018 13

Residents with special health needs or their caregivers are asked to call the parish’s Emergency Preparedness Office as soon as possible to make arrangements to have the appropriate resources available in the event of an evacuation. Louisiana State Police monitor road closures. The agency can be reached at 1-800-469-4828. For information about other ways to prepare for hurricane season, visit


Thursday, May 31, 2018


Sandbags - How to use and find them

Lafourche Parish supervisor Bobby Chiasson (far right) watches as jail trusties fill and sack sandbags June 24, 2012, as Tropical Storm Debby threatened. The Courier and Daily Comet/File

Using sandbags is one of the most inexpensive and effective ways to prepare your home against flooding. Terrebonne and Lafourche parish governments make sandbags available to residents before storms hit. Below are the locations that usually offer sandbags. Additional temporary locations may be added as needed. You may have to fill their own sandbags, so you may have to bring your own shovel. Not all locations will have sandbags for every storm, so check with The Courier and Daily Comet if a storm approaches for up-to-date information. TERREBONNE ■ Bobtown Fire Station, 4717 Grand Caillou Road. ■ Mechanicville Gym, 2814

Senator St., Houma. ■ Houma-Terrebonne Civic Center, 346 Civic Center Blvd., Houma. ■ Upper Dularge Fire Station, 1767 Bayou Dularge Road. ■ Bayou Black Fire Station, 2820 Savanne Road. ■ Houma Airbase Adult Softball Complex, 9544 East Main St. ■ Pointe-aux-Chenes Knights of Columbus Hall, 1558 La. 655. ■ St. Ann Catholic Church, 4355 La. 24, Bourg. ■ Ward 7 Citizens’ Club, 5006 La. 56, Chauvin. ■ Cannata’s supermarket, 6307 W. Park Ave., Houma. ■ Devon Keller Memorial Center, 5575 Bayou Black Road, Gibson. ■ Gibson East Fire Station, 5218 N. Bayou Black Road.

■ West Terrebonne Fire Station, 110 Merry Moss St., Gibson. LAFOURCHE ■ Thibodaux Field Office, 2565 Veterans Blvd. ■ Choctaw Field Office, 122 Choctaw Barn Road. ■ Raceland Field Office, 129 Texas St. ■ Lockport Field Office, 6236 La. 308. ■ Bayou Blue Field Office, 104 Myrtle Place. ■ Galliano-Cut Off Field Office, 128 W. 97th St. HOW TO FILL A SANDBAG The Terrebonne Readiness and Assistance Coalition, a nonprofit comprised of groups in Terrebonne and Lafourche, suggests these tips: ■ It’s a two-person job, one to

hold the bag open and one to fill. ■ Sand is abrasive; wear gloves. ■ It isn’t necessary to tie the end of the bag. ■ Remove any debris from the area there the bags are to be placed. ■ Lift the sandbags from their neck, place the half-filled bags lengthways across the doorway and parallel to the direction of the water flow. Tuck the open end under the filled half of the bag and position it pointing into the water flow. Ensure it is bedded in against the door frame. ■ Place bags in layers. Like a brick wall, make sure that in the next layer, each bag overlaps the one below by half. ■ Stamp bags firmly into place to eliminate gaps and create a tight seal.


Strengthening your house Securing key components of the structure can reduce your house's vulnerability to hurricanes. A good time to retrofit your house is when you are making other improvements. While you can make some of them yourself, other projects may require a building contractor or someone with an engineering background.

Hurricane straps Hurricane straps are designed to hold the roof to the wall. Made from galvanized steel, each strap is wrapped around a truss and nailed in place.

Hurricane winds can cause uplift forces Wind that can take the roof off your house, pressure especially if wind

Hurricane straps used with a concrete block house Installing straps requires removing sheathing around the perimeter of the roof to reveal the top of the wall, or you may also remove the soffit to gain access.

Concrete-block house


The Roof

Wood-frame house

Buildings with gabled roofs need to be braced against the force of the wind generated by a hurricane.

A gabled roof should be braced using 2x4s in an "X" pattern from the top center of the gable to the bottom center brace of the fourth truss, and from the bottom center of the gable to the top center brace of the fourth truss.

Thursday, May 31, 2018 15

Wind pressure

2x4 braces

Wall to foundation Strap

Truss bracing consists of 2x4s that run the length of the roof. These braces should be installed 18 inches from the ridge, in the center span, and at the base, with 8 to 10 feet between the braces.

Attic floor


Block wall

Exterior walls should be anchored to the foundation. Metal clips are available at building suppy stores. Drill holes through the existing sill plate into the concrete foundation to install anchor bolts.

Hurricane straps used with a wood-frame house

2x4 horizonta l braces

Attic floor

The hurricane strap is wrapped around the truss and nailed to the wall stud.


SOURCES: Institute for Business and Home Safety, FEMA

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16 16Thursday, Thursday,May May 26, 31, 2016 2018



Louisiana emergency evacuation map Arkansas



STOP HERE FOR INFORMATION State officials have established a network of sites along major highways across Louisiana that will guide evacuating motorists to shelter, food, gas and other services. This list corresponds with the numbers on the map. 1. Tourist welcome center at the reentry from Mississippi on U.S. 64 and 84. Address: 1401 Carter St. (U.S. 184), Vidalia. 2. Tourist welcome center at the reentry from Mississippi on I-10. Address 836 I-20 West, Tallulah. 3. Paragon Casino, for evacuees headed from the southeast area on La. 1. Address: 711 Paragon Place, Marksville. 4. Sammy’s Truck Stop, from the southeast and central areas on I-49. Address: Take I-49 to Exit 53. 3601 La. 115 West, Bunkie. 5. Med Express Office, from the southeast and central areas on U.S. 71. Address: 7525 U.S. 71, Alexandria. 6. P.E. Gym, LSU-Shreveport, from the southeast, southwest and central areas on U.S. 171 and I-19. Address: 1 University Place, Shreveport. 7. Pickering High School, from the southwest areas on U.S. 171. Address: 180 Lebleu Road, Leesville. 8. Tourist information center, from the southwest and central areas on U.S. 165. Address: 8904 U.S. 165, Oberlin. 9. Maddie’s Truck Plaza, 15972, La. 1, Simmesport.






167 49




1 84









8 171

Baton Rouge


Lake Charles


Intercoastal waterway

Lafayette 10


New Orleans


10 miles Louisiana

EVACUATION PHASES During the threat of a hurricane, a phased evacuation will be based on geographic location and time in which tropical storm winds are forecasted to reach the affected areas. Phase I: 50 hours before onset of tropical-storm winds. Includes areas south of the Intracoastal Waterway. These areas are outside any levee-protection system and are vulnerable to Category 1 and 2 storms. These areas are depicted in red on the Evacuation map. During Phase 1 there are no route restrictions.

Phase II: 40 hours before onset of tropical-storm winds. Includes areas south of the Mississippi River which are levee protected but remain vulnerable to Category 2 or higher storms. These areas are depicted in orange on the Evacuation Map. During Phase II there are no route restrictions. Phase III: 30 hours before onset of tropical-storm winds. Includes areas on the East bank of the Mississippi River in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area which are in the levee-protection system but remain vulnerable to a

slow-moving Category 3 or any Category 4 or 5 hurricane. These areas are depicted in brown on the Evacuation Map. During Phase III, certain routes will be directed and the Contraflow Plan will be implemented. ■ Phased evacuation procedures are for traffic management purposes only. Consult your local Office of Emergency Preparedness for further evacuation information.

Source: Louisiana Office of Emergency Source: ????©HERE Preparedness GATEHOUSE MEDIA


work with parish governments to determine a contraflow strategy depending on the hurricane’s speed, size and direction, as well as the traffic situation at the time. Reasons abound as to why residents might stay behind despite a mandatory order. For instance, employers might refuse to let off their employees too early, though, in many cases, residents simply remain skeptical about the storm’s severity. Residents who choose to say during mandatory evacuation put themselves and their families at risk during a time where emergency responders might not be readily available. Typically, a voluntary evacuation for low-lying areas is issued when it comes to Category 1 or 2 hurricanes. Above that, the order becomes mandatory for the entire parish. The last evacuation called for both parishes was in 2008 for Hurricane Gustav. Officials said most Lafourche residents heeded warnings and left. In Terrebonne, an estimated 95 percent to 97 percent evacuated.


Lake Pontchartrain


i ppi






Don’t get arrogant. Don’t assume that just because you survived the last storm, means you’re going to survive this one. Officials say their biggest concern during hurricane season are the residents who don’t listen when the parish and the state call for them to move to safety. In fact, officials encourage residents to anticipate the call for evacuation and be ready to move immediately. Waiting too late will clog the few roads out of Terrebonne and Lafourche, officials said. Major evacuation routes such as La. 1 or U.S. 90 west may become severely congested, preventing people from getting out in time and potentially putting them in the storm’s path. State Police suggest taking La. 20 north to Vacherie to I-10; taking La. 1 to I-10 or La. 70 east; or taking U.S. 90 west. State officials advise residents to leave before contraflow, which is when traffic on Louisiana and some Mississippi interstates are ordered to only flow in one direction, away from the storm’s path. State officials usually


is s

Heed the call to evacuate

17 17

Hurricane evacuation routes iss

A sign along U.S. 90 guides residents as they evacuate during a storm.

Thursday, Thursday,May May26, 31, 2016 2018
















Morgan City



Houma 315

Cut Off







Gulf of Mexico

5 miles

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Thursday, May 31, 2018


Hurricane planes

Air Force reserve

Despite the danger, agencies fly a fleet of aircraft into the center of a storm, all in the name of statistics – and public safety.

Hurricane hunters (WC-130) fly into the eye, providing information on the hurricane’s strength; there are 10 WC-130s that fly out of Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Miss.

NASA planes • Study why some hurricanes suddenly intensify

Altitudes of study Ranges planes fly for data gathering

National Center for Atmospheric Research

1 Douglas DC-8 Studies storms in real time Altitude 1,000-42,000 ft. (305-12,801 m)

3 2

Hurricane’s eye

2 WB-57 • Studies storms from high altitude Altitude Up to 60,000 ft. (18,288 m)

7 5 1

5 Gulfstream G-V • Studies near the storm’s top Altitude Up to 43,000 ft. (13,106 m)

NOAA planes • Study storm intensity 3 UAV An unmanned aerial vehicle that can stay aloft for more than 30 hours, providing a long look at storms Altitude Up to 65,000 ft. (19,812 m) Range 10,000 mi. (16,093 km)

6 WP-3D Orion


Air Force reserve


Detail area

4 WC-130 hurricane hunters Altitude 1,000-10,000 ft. (305-3,048 m)


NOTE: Storm heights vary Source:, U.S Air Force, NASA,, Sun Sentinel Graphic: Staff, TNS

• Equipped with remote sensing equipment Altitude 5,000-12,000 ft. (1,524-3,658 m)

7 Gulfstream G-IV • Studies atmosphere around storms Altitude Up to 45,000 ft. (13,716 m)




Thursday, May 31, 2018 19



cane, a phased on geographic h tropical storm ach the affected

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS GUIDE PUBLIC SHELTER INFORMATION Shelters are operated by trained individuals and ensure that the safety, security, and basic needs of its residents are met. What to bring to a shelter?

ropical storm h of the Intrareas are outside m and are nd 2 storms. no route restric-

• Change of clothing, blanket, and pillow for each family member. • Your disaster supply kit, including food, medications, comfort items, and special items for infant or elderly family members.

WHAT NOT TO BRING? • There are no weapons, drugs or alcohol allowed.

ropical storm h of the Missisprotected but gory 2 or higher here are no route

ropical storm he East Bank of e New Orleans re within levee ain vulnerable to or any Category 4 II, certain routes ntraflow Plan

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS PATIENTS “THE FIRST 72 HOURS ARE ON YOU” During a storm, services may not be available, transportation may be cut off and roads may be inaccessible. In some cases, you may be forced to evacuate. Be ready to respond to any situation by assembling and maintaining a Disaster Supply Kit with enough food, water, and other supplies for each person in your family for 72 hours. It may take up to 72 hours for relief supplies to be delivered to Terrebonne Parish. A DISASTER SUPPLY KIT IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ASSETS THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY CAN HAVE PREPARED. AN EXAMPLE OF A FULLY STOCKED DISASTER SUPPLY KIT SHOULD INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: (AT MINIMUM, A THREE DAY SUPPLY)

Water, non-perishable food, formula, and diapers for infants, first aid kit, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, cash or travelers checks, flashlight and extra batteries, non-electric can opener, utility knife; fire extinguisher (ABC-type), shut-off wrench to turn off household gas and water, sanitation supplies, Official DOTD Highway Map, entertainment, important family documents, inventory of valuable household goods and important telephone numbers, and family records (birth, marriage, death certificates).

Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the supply kit in the trunk of your car. Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh. Replace your stored food every six months. Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.

System. In the Event


/ FM 101.9 (KNOE)




/ FM 94.5

nuous weather National Weather ay.

Keep these items in a waterproof container that can be easily transported from your home to your car and your safe place. Assemble your kit now to allow for immediate action during an emergency.


For residents who have medical special needs, or will need transportation during an evacuation of Terrebonne Parish, please contact the Terrebonne Council on Aging at (985) 868-8411. To pre-register for Disaster Food Stamp assistance, please call

1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578).

SEVERE WEATHER TERMS TO KNOW… Natural disasters most likely to occur in Louisiana, particularly in low-lying areas bordering the Gulf of Mexico, include hurricanes and flooding due to heavy rains. Residents should be familiar with several terms that describe severe weather conditions:

STORM SURGE An abnormal rise of the sea along a shore as the result, primarily, of the winds from a storm. TROPICAL STORM/HURRICANE WATCH Adverse conditions are possible in the specified areas of the WATCH, usually within 48 hours. May be applied to thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods, or hurricanes.

TROPICAL STORM/HURRICANE WARNING Adverse conditions are expected in the specified area of the WARNING, usually within 36 hours. May be applied to thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods, or hurricanes.

PREPARING YOUR ANIMALS Making plans for your family is extremely important. Don’t forget to plan for the animals in your life, too! • The location of your evacuation destination may or may not accept pets, so call ahead and check. Animal shelters will be set up in various parts of the state on an “as-needed” basis. The Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry works year round with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) to provide sheltering opportunities. Species-specific disaster preparedness advice is available at • Create a disaster readiness kit for your animal that includes food, water, first aid supplies, feeding supplies and other items that are necessary to keep your animal comfortable for at least 3 - 5 days. • Remember, animal ownership is a responsibility! Be ready to take care of your whole family.

your registration.

Printed with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security



Washington D.C.


Atlantic City



Ocean City






Cape Hatteras




TEXAS Lake Charles Galveston

1 2 3 4 5


Very dangerous winds will produce some damage


Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage


Devastating damage will occur


Catastrophic damage will occur





Catastrophic damage will occur


Charleston Savannah Gulf Port

Baton Rouge


Mobile Pensacola Tallahassee

New Orleans






Palm Beach Fort Meyers

H 25°




Key West


Ft. Lauderdale Miami








Merida Campeche Veracruz







Belize City


HAITI Port-au-Prince




San Juan


Puerto Cortes







Cabo Gracias a Dios ST. LUCIA




San Andres














500 mi





500 km

MERCATOR PROJECTION The scale is accurate along the equator. Elsewhere on the map, scale increases toward poles.



Balboa 0

B Find the longitude (the second coordinate in the pair, usually followed by a W or E), and locate the vertical line on the map that matches this longitude. C Find the place on the map where the two lines intersect. This is the location of the storm eye. Draw a symbol at this spot, and note the advisory number, eye position, intensity, forecast direction of movement, the date and time next to the symbol.




Advisories are numbers consecutively for each storm, and describe the present and forecast position and intensity of the storm. Tropical cyclone advisories are issued at six-hour intervals—at 4am, 10am, 4pm and 10pm Central Daylight Time. Bulletins provide additional information. Each message gives the name, eye position, intensity and forecast movement of the tropical cyclone. Hurricane eye positions are given by latitude (for example, 13.2 degrees North) and longitude (for example, 57.8 degrees West), to the nearest one-tenth of one degree.

A Find the latitude of the storm (the first coordinate in the pair), and locate the horizontal line on the map that matches this latitude.

Cape Canaveral


Corpus Christi



Daytona Beach











HURRICANE WARNING CHECKLIST Freeze-dried food Ice chest, water Battery-powered radio Flashlight Batteries Fuel, first aid kit Sleeping bag Matches, candles Prescription medications

Eyeglasses Items for infants and elderly Pet food and supplies Backup of computer on external hard drive Checkbook, cash and credit cards Map of area


24 Thursday, HURRICANE Thursday, May 31, May 201825, 2017 HURRICANE GUIDE GUIDE




During a threat of a hurricane, a phased evacuation will be based on geographic location and time in which tropical storm winds are forecasted to reach the affected areas.

Emergency ............................................................................................................................................................ 911 Terrebonne Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.................. 985-873-6357 FEMA.................................................................................................................................................... 800-621-3362 American Red Cross .......................................................................................................................... 504-620-3105 Pre-Disaster Food Stamps Registration ......................................................................................1-888-524-3578 Road Closure Information ............................................................................................................1-800-469-4828 Louisiana Information ....................................................................................................................................... 211 Louisiana State Police Troop “C”.................................................................................................... 985-857-3680 Chabert Medical Center.................................................................................................................... 985-873-2200 Terrebonne General Medical Center.............................................................................................. 985-873-4141 Poison Control .................................................................................................................................1-800-222-1222 Terrebonne Parish Community Hotline .....................................................................................1-844-916-4737


Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government........................................... 1-800-35-HOUMA/985-868-5050 Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office ................................................................................................. 985-876-2500 Houma Police Department ............................................................................................................... 985-873-6371 Terrebonne Parish Council on Aging............................................................................................. 985-868-8411 Terrebonne Parish School Board..................................................................................................... 985-876-7400 Terrebonne Parish Utilities Department ....................................................................................... 985-873-6755 Terrebonne Parish Public Works..................................................................................................... 985-873-6735 Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter ................................................................................................. 985-873-6709 SLECA ..................................................................................................................... 1-800-256-8826 / 985-876-6880 Entergy ..................................................................................................................1-800-ENTERGY/800-968-8243 ATMOS ................................................................................................................1-888-286-6700 / 1-800-692-4694 City of Thibodaux Gas ............................................................................................ 985-446-5021 / 985-446-7216 South Coast Gas ................................................................................................................................. 985-872-0376

Terr. parish



• Leave as soon as possible.

• Listen to radio/television for storm progress reports.

• Make a Family Communication Plan. Tell someone outside of the storm area where you are going.

• Check emergency supplies. • Board up windows and check tie-downs on your travel trailer or mobile home.

• Protect your home by unplugging appliances and turning off electricity and water.

• Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings.

• Turn off the main water valve and disconnect the hose. • Turn propane tanks off.


50 Hours before onset of tropical storm winds. Includes areas south of the Intracoastal Waterway. These areas are outside any levee protection system and are vulnerable to Category 1 and 2 storms. During Phase I, there are no route restrictions.


40 Hours before onset of tropical storm winds. Includes areas south of the Mississippi River which are levee protected but remain vulnerable to Category 2 or higher storms. During Phase II, there are no route restrictions.


30 Hours before onset of tropical storm winds. Includes areas on the East Bank of the Mississippi River in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area which are within levee protection system but remain vulnerable to a slow-moving Category 3 or any Category 4 or 5 storm. During Phase III, certain routes will be directed and the Contraflow Plan implemented.

• Fuel your car.

• Take emergency supplies, clothing, and blankets/sleeping bags to shelter.

• Turn off the main electrical power switch.


• Review evacuation plan.

LOUISIANA EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM • Stay tuned to local radio or television for information from your local or state officials. - Twitter: - Facebook: Terrebonne Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness - Website:,

The following radio stations are key participants in the Louisiana Emergency Alert System. In the Event of an emergency, these stations will broadcast emergency information.

• Return home only after state or local officials advise that it is safe to do so.

AM 1150 (WJBO) FM 102.5 (WFMF)



FM 102.9 (KAJN)


FM 106.3 (KXOR) FM 96.7 (KCIL) AM 1490 (ESPN)





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Re-think yo update cloth


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• Store drinking water.




AM 1470 (KLCL) FM 99.5 (KHLA)


AM 870 (WWL) FM 101.9 (WLMG)


AM 540 / FM 101.9 (KNOE)


AM 1490 (KRUS) FM 107.5 (KXKZ)

SHREVEPORT AM 1130 / FM 94.5

NOAA Weather Radio is a nationwide network of radio stations broadcasting continuous weather information direct from a nearby National Weather Service Office. NWR broadcasts National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazardous information 24 hours a day.

Keep these i from your h allow for im



Get EMERG Visit www. your registrat


Thursday, May 31, 2018 23

Flood insurance may never be cheaper It’s possible there will be no better time than right now to purchase flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program is the only place you can get it, and it takes effect 30 days after you buy a policy. That means if you lack flood insurance now, you’re home won’t have protection for at least part of hurricane season, which runs June 1 through Nov. 30. Local officials have long advised everyone in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes to obtain flood insurance -- regardless of whether your lender says you need it -- because of the significant risk of flooding from rain, tides and Gulf of Mexico storms. An analysis by the Louisiana Insurance Commissioner’s Office last year showed about a third of homes in the two parishes had flood insurance in 2016, a figure that declined slightly over the previous two years. About seven of every eight homes in the two parishes are at risk of being damaged by hurricane storm surges, according to an annual report released at the start of last year’s hurricane season. CoreLogic, global property research company, found that 70,738 local homes are at risk of flooding from hurricane storm surges. Combined, the homes would cost

Hurricane impacts How a hurricane can affect coastal land:

Storm surge erodes dune

Increases salinity in estuaries

Kills marsh plants, creates open water

Without barrier, the impact of storms reaches farther inland



Coastal waters

Estuary Dune Source: Dallas Morning News research Graphic: Staff, Tribune News Service

an estimated $13 billion to rebuild. “Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States, and it can occur almost anywhere — not just in high-risk areas,” FEMA says. “On average, 25 to 30 percent of all flood claims paid by NFIP are for properties outside highrisk flood areas.” Homes in high-risk areas have at least a one-in-four chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage, the agency notes. A measure approved by Congress in 2014 keeps rates mostly affordable for private homeowners, local officials say. The measure has allowed homeowners to keep something close to their existing costs as FEMA updates its maps used to calculate risk. Those maps show what elevation a home will need to be at to survive a benchmark

storm. Homes built above that prescribed elevation pay less; homes below pay socalled “punitive” rates. Historically, FEMA has allowed homeowners to keep flood insurance costs tied to the prescribed elevation in use when the home was built, even though updated maps may reflect greater risk. This so-called “grandfathering” of rates has been at the center of Congress’ continuing struggle to reform the program, which is an estimated $25 billion in debt after catastrophic storms starting with Katrina in 2005. As FEMA continues its long process of updating its risk maps, local officials suggest homeowners enroll now and build as high as possible. Terrebonne and Lafourche’s maps are tied up in appeals, and parish officials have said they are uncertain

when they will be available for final review and approval by their respective parish councils. Both parishes are trying to persuade FEMA to include levees and other flood protection measures not certified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers into the maps, which could result in lower insurance costs. Meanwhile, national debate continues as Congress again prepares to re-authorize the flood insurance program. It has delayed doing so for months, and the latest deadline is July 31. Critics are pushing to end taxpayer subsidies they say keep flood insurance costs artificially low and encourage people to build and live in harm’s way. They are continuing efforts that for years have sought to bring insurance costs more in line with the actual risk of flooding. But local officials and others counter that would make insurance unaffordable for almost everyone in places like Terrebonne, Lafourche and coastal Louisiana, wrecking lives and decimating economies. To buy flood insurance, visit or call your homeowner’s insurance agent. You can learn more at the National Flood Insurance Program’s’ website,, which includes a calculator to estimate your cost.


Thursday, May 31, 2018



Ways to Prepare

How to protect your family, pets and property Preparation is crucial when it comes to hurricane season, which runs June 1 through Nov. 30. Follow these 10 tips, and you’ll go a long way toward ensuring you and your loved ones stay safe and your property is as secure as possible.

Mariah Jade Chauvin unloads her freezer in Chauvin in preparation for Hurricane Gustav, which hit Terrebonne and Lafourche on Sept. 1, 2008. Chauvin and most of her family evacuated to Tennessee. The Courier/Daily Comet FIle

pets. Keep phone numbers for hotels on hand to check rates and book rooms in advance. Traveling to a friend or family member’s home usually is the best plan if their homes are structurally safe and outside the risk area. As a last resort, go to a designated shelter.

1. Make a plan now

2. Buy flood insurance and review your homeowner’s policy

Officials from both parishes maintain the most important thing residents can do to ease stress during a storm is to have a plan. Start by visiting, run by the state Office of Emergency Preparedness. Determine where you and your family will go, what you will bring, how you’ll get there and what you will do with elderly or special-needs family members as well as

You can buy a National Flood Insurance policy through most local insurance agents. Officials say many residents are unaware that flood insurance isn’t automatically included in a homeowner’s policy. Because there’s a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance takes effect, officials recommend buying it as soon as possible. Keep an electronic copy that can be accessed easily, either on a

USB drive you can take with you if an evacuation is ordered or stored in the cloud with a service like Dropbox or Google Drive. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy to ensure it offers adequate coverage against wind damage and hail. Like flood insurance, that coverage might not be included in your homeowner’s policy and may have to be purchased separately. Other tips are to save your insurance agent’s number in your mobile phone and use a video or camera to document everything in your house so you can use to file damage claims. 3. Prepare a disaster kit now Keep documents, keepsakes, clothing, medicine, food and a first-aid kit in an easy-access storage area so when it’s time to pack, they’re ready to go. Keep

copies of prescriptions and, if possible, have your doctor supply additional refills ahead of time. Also, make sure to stock up on water. 4. Leave early and stay tuned Leaving before state officials enact contraflow, routing interstate one way, away from the storm, will make it easier to find safety. Make sure you have enough fuel and other supplies for a lengthy time on the road. Also, make sure your vehicle is in safe condition. Check your tires and spares and keep a jack in the car. Monitor local television and radio stations to stay current on evacuation routes, traffic and storm conditions. The Courier and Daily Comet’s websites, www.houmatoday. com and www., also provide a good source of information.


5. Plan for special needs Check with elderly family members to find out their disaster plans and prepare places for them to go ahead of time. If you have a family member in a nursing home or hospital, ask now about that facility’s plans for a hurricane -- whether it plans to evacuate patients or residents, how it plans to evacuate them, where it will take them and other specific questions. Make sure special needs family members have medicine, prescription refills, any special foods they require, health insurance policy information and phone numbers for local Councils on Aging, 868-8401 in Terrebonne and 537-3446 in Lafourche.

Thursday, May 31, 2018 25

harm’s way. For information on planning for pets, call the Terrebonne Animal Shelter at 873- 6709 or the Lafourche Shelter at 446-3532. 7. Protect your valuables

Keeping copies of important documents is key. Scan documents into your computer and keep digital copies on a USB drive or backed up on online services such as Dropbox, Google Drive or Amazon Cloud Drive. Keep your Social Security cards, birth certificates, marriage and death records, driver’s license, cash, credit cards, bank account information, wills, insurance policies, deeds, mortgages, contracts, stocks, bonds, cameras, watches, jewelry, 6. Plan for pets computer backups and photos and videos in waterproof Have at least five days’ containers or plastic bags. worth of food, water, treats and medications for each 8. Save money pet. Keep up-to-date medical records, including vacciThe costs of evacuatnations, as well as an ID col- ing can pile up. Start saving lar, pet carrier or cage, leash, now, even if it means setting a favorite toy, trash bags, aside a little at a time. Saving food and water bowls, kitty a dollar every day will give litter and a current photo of you $365 in one year, enough the pet. for gas and a few nights stay Plan now to keep your pet at a hotel. with you or board the pet If a storm doesn’t hapin kennels or at the home pen during the year, keep of a friend or relative out of the savings going. That will

An elevated building in Dulac stands high above floodwaters Aug. 30, 2012, after Hurricane Isaac passed over Terrebonne and Lafourche. The Courier/Daily Comet File

leave you more prepared next season. Estimate what you need to secure your home and valuables plus the cost of five to seven days’ worth of food and supplies and travel expenses. Buy plywood, storm shutters, water, nonperishable food, generators and other supplies now so you won’t face long lines or empty store shelves later. 9. Prepare your home Now is the time to survey your yard for any rotting or precarious trees, branches or shrubs and remove them. Plan for how you will secure items in your yard, such as playhouses, so they don’t become projectiles. Using tape on windows is not recommended. Instead, make hurricane shutters now so you don’t waste

valuable time later. 10. Plan for family communication Make sure each member of your family is clear on what the emergency plan is, then share that plan with a family member or friend out of state. That person should become a point of contact for you and other family members to relay your locations as well as other information should you become separated. Also, prepare for phone lines to be down. Cellphone service can also be disrupted. If a family member plans to evacuate on a government bus, buy that person a prepaid cell phone, such as a GoPhone, if you can.


Thursday, May 31, 2018


Gustav and Ike: the last major hits Hurricane Isaac passed directly over Houma in 2012 but caused only scattered damage throughout Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. The last hurricanes that caused widespread flooding and damage in the two parishes were Gustav and Ike, hurricanes that hit the area less than two weeks apart in September 2008. Here is a collection of Courier and Daily Comet photos from those two hurricanes, which serve as a reminder of how vulnerable our coastal community is to Gulf of Mexico storms.

Volunteers pass sandbags to help secure a pump station in Chauvin on Sept. 13, 2008, hours after Hurricane Ike hit. Water from Lake Boudreaux was rushing under the station and flooding parts of the community in southern Terrebonne Parish.

What’s left of a supply store at Port Fourchon is seen Sept. 2, 2008, a day after Gustav struck.


Thursday, May 31, 2018 27

Ike’s tides flooded Grand Caillou Elementary in Dulac just as Hurricane Rita did three years before. The school has since moved north to escape repeated flooding. A long line forms at a truck stop in Raceland, one of the few places open for gas and groceries the day after Gustav hit.

Mille Crochet, 37, gets help from her fiancĂŠ, Willie Coleman, 37, as they evacuate their flooded Senator Circle apartment in Houma on Sept. 13, 2008, after Hurricane Ike swamped much of the parish.


Thursday, May 31, 2018




Thursday, May 26, 2016


Which way will you go? Officials will enact a so-called “contraflow” plan if a hurricane threatens Louisiana. All lanes on interstate highways will only allow traffic to flow one way: away from the storm.



Thursday, May 31, 2018 29







Lake Maurepas


Lake Pontchartrain


Lake Pontchartrain Causeway

10 5 mile

Mississippi River



Contraflow Crossover I-10 West to I-59 North I-10 East to I-59 North I-10 East to I-59 North (contraflow)


I-10 West (contraflow) to I-10 West I-10 West to I-55 North to I-55 North (contraflow) I-12 to U.S. 190 West Causeway to I-12 West to I-55 North


Lake Borgne

NEW ORLEANS Intracoastal Waterway




Thursday, May 31, 2018


Prepare a grab-and-go box It’s possible to replace birth and death certificates, tax records, banking information, wills, medical information, deeds and other important documents should they be lost or destroyed. But it’s a lot easier to protect them instead. The LSU AgCenter has developed a guide to building a collection of records and documents — a “grab-andgo box” — modeled off similar suggestions from other Gulf Coast states. The AgCenter suggests placing records in portable boxes that are durable, sealed, fireproof and waterproof. Papers in the box should be sealed in waterproof plastic bags. The AGCenter also recommends a backpack, preferably waterproof, for easier carrying. Gathering and storing personal records also can help you recover in case of other disasters, such as fires. The box should include the following: •Traveler’s checks or cash. •Rolls of quarters. •Emergency phone numbers including family members, doctors, pharmacies, financial advisers, clergy and repair contractors. Keep

those in your cellphone too. •Copies of important prescriptions such as medication and eyeglasses. Put these and other records on a USB drive and store backups with internet cloud services such as Dropbox, Box and Google Drive. Unless you absolutely need paper copies, this can not only save plenty of time as you evacuate but make your go box more manageable. •A cellphone charger and cable. •Copies of children’s immunization records. •Copies of health, dental and prescription insurance cards and phone numbers. •Copies of auto, flood, renters and homeowners insurance policies or at least the policy numbers. •Insurance company telephone numbers, including numbers for local agents and company headquarters. •Copies of real-estate deeds, vehicle titles, wills, durable power of attorney, health care directives, stock and bond certificates and birth, death, adoption, citizenship and marriage certificates. •Copies of a home inventory. •Copies of passports.

Mario Mendizabal paddles along Lyles Street in Houma to bring food and water to his family Sept. 13, 2008, after Hurricane Ike swamped much of Terrebonne and parts of Lafourche. The Courier and Daily Comet/File

•Copies of employee benefit documents. •Copies of the first two pages of the previous year’s federal and state income-tax returns. •Keys to any safe-deposit box. •Negatives and disks for personal photos. Upload your photos to an internet service like Flickr, which gives users a full terabyte of storage space free of charge. •List of numbers for Social Security, bank accounts, loans, credit cards, driver’s licenses and investment accounts. •Usernames and passwords. •List of debt obligations, due dates and contact information. •Photocopies of the front and back of all credit cards. Store the boxes or back-

packs in safe, out-of-sight spots in the home such as an easily accessible closet shelf or utility room cabinet. When evacuating, keep the boxes with you all times and avoid leaving the information in unattended vehicles. It’s a good idea to keep originals of personal documents in the “grab-and-go” box with a trusted friend or relative who lives outside the hurricane zone. Having access to personal information can help you avoid extra hassles following disasters, such as missing payments and damaging credit ratings. The records also can make filing FEMA claims easier. Replacing most personal information is doable but can take months.


Thursday, May 31, 2018 31

Know your storm vocabulary Tropical disturbance: An Tropical storm: An orgaarea of thunderstorms in the nized system of strong thuntropics that maintains its derstorms with a defined identity for at least 24 hours. circulation and maximum sustained surface winds of Tropical cyclone: a generic 39-73 mph. term used by meteorologists to describe any rotatTropical storm watch: ing, organized system of Tropical storm conditions clouds and thunderstorms are POSSIBLE in the specithat originates over tropi- fied area of the watch, usucal or subtropical waters and ally within 36 hours. has closed, low-level circulation. Tropical storm warning: Tropical storm conditions Tropical depression: An are EXPECTED in the speciorganized system of clouds fied area of the warning, and thunderstorms with usually within 24 hours. a defined circulation and maximum sustained surface Hurricane: An intense tropwinds of 38 mph or less. ical system with a well-defined circulation and a maxi-

mum sustained winds of 74 should not venture out into mph or greater. the open ocean. Hurricane season: June 1 El Niño: A 12- to 18-month through Nov. 30. period during which unusually warm sea surface temHurricane watch: Hurri- peratures occur in the eastcane conditions are POS- ern half of the equatorial SIBLE in the specified area of Pacific. Moderate or strong the watch, usually within 36 El Nino events occur irreguhours. larly, about once every three to seven years on average. Hurricane warning: Hurricane conditions are EXLa Niña: Unusually cold PECTED in the specified ocean temperatures in the area of the warning, usually equatorial Pacific that ofwithin 24 hours. ten occurs between El Nino events. Because there’s only Small-craft advisory: When so much energy available in a hurricane moves within the tropics, La Nina usually a few hundred miles of the means more active hurricane coast, small-craft owners season in the Atlantic.


Thursday, May 31, 2018


Separating fact from fiction If you’re relying on tapedup windows instead of flood insurance to protect your home from a hurricane, you’ll want to learn more about these common hurricane myths. Myth: It’s never flooded at my house before, so it won’t flood this time. Fact: That’s such a common refrain among local flood victims for each successive hurricane that it has become a cliche. Every single home in Terrebonne and Lafourche is threatened by the wind, flood, rain or all three, more so as coastal marshes, wetlands and barrier islands that once buffered inland communities continue to erode. Public officials have constantly urged every home and business owner to have flood insurance, which in many cases only costs a few hundred dollars a year compared with the tens of thousands it will cost to replace your building and its contents.

Stephen Theriot, a mechanic at Terrebonne Lawn and Service Center in Galliano, primes a recently purchased generator in advance of Hurricane Isaac in late August 2012. The Courier and Daily Comet/File

you live if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, as Terrebonne, Lafourche and all surrounding parishes do.

Myth: You can’t buy flood insurance immediately before or during a flood. Fact: You can purchase flood coverage anytime. There is a 30-day waiting period after you’ve applied and paid the premium before the policy is effective, with Myth: You can’t buy flood few exceptions. Visit www. insurance if you are in a floodsmart. gov for details. high-flood-risk-area. Fact: You can buy flood Myth: Homeowner’s insurinsurance no matter where ance policies cover flooding.

Fact: Unfortunately, many homeowners do not find out until it is too late that their homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage. Only flood insurance does. Myth: Open the windows so air pressure doesn’t explode the house. Fact: This would not only be unsafe for you and your home, but it would also allow wind-driven rain to stream through your house and ruin belongings and potentially tear off your roof. Normal leakage of air around windows and doors will tend to keep the pres-

sure in your house slightly lower than the atmospheric pressure caused by the storm outside. The greatest danger comes when a large window or door fails on a wall facing the wind. The key is keeping all wind and water out with proper opening protection. Myth: You only need to protect openings facing the ocean or gulf. Fact: Because hurricanes are a moving rotating storm, winds can come from any direction, which can change rapidly if you are near the eye. You should protect all your windows and doors.


Thursday, May 31, 2018 33

How to cope with flooding Nobody can stop a flood. But if you are faced with one, there are actions you can take to protect your family and keep your property losses to a minimum. The Louisiana Office of Emergency Preparedness offers these tips to keep you safe before, during and after the flood. BEFORE THE FLOOD •Keep a battery-powered radio tuned to a local station, and follow emergency instructions. •If the waters start to rise inside your house before you have evacuated, retreat to the second floor, the attic and, if necessary, the roof. Take dry clothing, a flashlight and a portable radio with you. Then, wait for help. Don’t try to swim to safety; wait for rescuers to come to you. •Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if evacuation appears necessary. •Move valuables, such as papers, furs, jewelry, and clothing, to upper floors or higher elevations. •Fill bathtubs, sinks and plastic soda bottles with clean water. Sanitize the

sinks and tubs first by using bleach. Rinse, then fill with clean water. •Bring outdoor possessions, such as lawn furniture, grills and trash cans, inside or tie them down securely. ONCE THE FLOOD ARRIVES •Do not drive through a flooded area. If you come upon a flooded road, turn around and go another way. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. •Do not walk through flooded areas. As little as 6 inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. •Stay away from downed power lines and electrical wires. Electrocution is another major source of deaths in floods. Electric current passes easily through water. •Look out for animals and insects, especially snakes and ants. AFTER THE FLOOD •If your home, apartment or business has suffered damage, call the insurance company or agent who handles your flood insurance policy right away to file a claim. •Before entering a building, check for structural

damage. Don’t go in if there is any chance of the building collapsing. •Upon entering, do not use matches, cigarette lighters or any other open flames, since gas may be trapped inside. Instead, use a flashlight to light your way. •Keep power off until an electrician has inspected your system for safety. •Floodwaters pick up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms and job sites. If your home has been flood-

ed, protect your family’s health by cleaning up your house right away. Throw out foods and medicines that may have come into contact with floodwaters. •Until local authorities proclaim your water supply safe, boil water for drinking and food preparation for five minutes before using. •Be careful walking around. After a flood, steps and floors are often slippery with mud and covered with debris, including nails and broken glass.



40 May31, 26,2018 2016 34 Thursday, Thursday, May


Use a power generator safely Power generators are convenient when storms have knocked out the power to your homes. But if used improperly, they can be dangerous. In 2005, a Houma resident died of carbon monoxide poisoning after running a power generator in the closed garage of his Plum Street home, which, like many across Terrebonne and Lafourche, had lost power after Hurricane Katrina. The enclosed generator allowed toxic gas to build up and seep into the house as he and his family slept. If you decided to use a generator after a storm, follow these safety tips from the American Red Cross, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

Purchasing a generator The right power: If you choose to buy a generator, make sure you get one that is rated for the amount of power that you think you will need. Look at the labels on lighting, appliances and equipment you plan to connect to the generator to determine the amount of power that will be needed to operate the equipment. For lighting, the wattage of the light bulb indicates the power needed. Appliances and equipment usually have labels indicating power requirements on them. Choose a generator that

Generating a good idea When the power goes out and you need to keep the household running, a portable generator will keep electricity going.

How it works Powered by gasoline, diesel or natural gas, an engine turns the generator to make electricity. Inside each generator is a wire coil, which is held between two poles of magnets. When the wire coil turns in the magnetic field, electricity is produced in the wire. The magnetic electrons in the wire coil move, generating an electric current.



Field structure (magnets)

Coils of wire Carbon brushes A direct current (DC) generator has a device called a commutator, for reversing or altering the electric current. This ensures that the current always flows the same way instead of alternating — flowing in one direction and then the other. SOURCE?????

produces more power than will be drawn by the combination of lighting, appliances and equipment you plan to connect to the generator including the initial surge when it is turned on. If your generator does not produce adequate power for all your needs, plan to stagger the operating times for various equipment. Ask an expert: If you can not determine the amount of power that will be needed, ask an electrician to determine that for you. If your equipment draws more power than the generator can produce, then you may blow a fuse on the generator or damage

the connected equipment.

Using it safely Toxic fumes: The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator. Proper ventilation: Under no circumstances should portable generators be used indoors, including inside a garage, carport, basement, crawlspace or other enclosed or partially-enclosed area, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or

using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide buildup in the home. The carbon monoxide from generators can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death, but it can’t be seen or smelled. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to carbon monoxide. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately. Avoid water: Because you may have windows open to get fresh air while the power is out, be sure to place the generator away from windows, doors and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. To protect the generator from moisture, operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, such as under a tarp held up on poles. Dry your hands if wet before touching the generator. G e t a n a l a r m : It is a good idea to install battery-operated carbon monoxide alarms or plugin alarms with battery backup in your home. If toxic gas from the generator enters your home and poses a health risk, the alarm will sound to warn you. Test the battery frequently and replace when needed. Turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite.


Thursday, May 31, 2018 35

Storms pose multiple dangers All tropical storms and hurricanes pose a variety of hazards; knowing them can help you avoid or minimize damage. Storm surge and large waves produced by hurricanes pose the greatest threat to life and property along the coast. Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds. Storm surge can reach heights well over 20 feet and can span hundreds of miles of coastline. Storm tide is the water level rise during a storm due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide. The destructive power of storm surge and large battering waves can result in loss of life, buildings destroyed, beach and wetlands erosion and road and bridge damage along the coast. Storm surge can travel several miles inland. In local estuaries and bayous, saltwater intrusion endangers public health and the environment.

drown.” Rainfall amounts are not directly related to the strength but rather to the speed and size of a storm, as well as the area’s geography. Slower-moving and larger storms produce more rain.

HIGH WINDS Tropical-storm-force winds are strong enough to be dangerous. That’s one reason local emergency managers plan on having evacuations complete and their personnel sheltered before the onset of tropical storm-force winds, not hurricane-force winds. Hurricane-force winds, 74 mph or more, can destroy buildings and mobile homes. Debris, such as signs, roofing material, siding and small items left outside become flying missiles. Winds can stay above hurricane strength well inland. In 2004, Hurricane Charley made landfall at Punta Gorda, on the southwest Florida coast, and produced major damage HEAVY RAIN AND well inland across central FlorFLOODING Tropical storms often pro- ida with gusts of more than 100 duce widespread rain in excess mph. of 6 inches, which may result in deadly and destructive floods. RIP CURRENTS The strong winds of a tropiFlooding is the major threat from tropical cyclones for peo- cal cyclone can cause dangerple living inland. Flash flooding, ous waves that pose a signifidefined as a rapid rise in water cant hazard to mariners and levels, can occur quickly due to coastal residents and visitors. intense rainfall. Longer term When the waves break along the flooding on rivers and streams coast, they can produce deadly can persist for several days af- rip currents - even at large dister the storm. When approach- tances from the storm. ing water on a roadway, always Rip currents are channeled remember, “turn around; don’t currents of water flowing away

from shore, usually extending past the line of breaking waves, that can pull even the strongest swimmers away from shore. In 2008, despite the fact that Hurricane Bertha was more than a 1,000 miles offshore, the storm resulted in rip currents that killed three people along the New Jersey coast and required 1,500 lifeguard rescues in Ocean City, Md., over a oneweek period. In 2009, all six deaths in the U.S. directly attributable to tropical cyclones occurred as the result of drowning from

large waves or strong rip currents. TORNADOES Hurricanes and tropical storms can also produce tornadoes. These tornadoes most often occur in thunderstorms embedded in rain bands well away from the center of the hurricane; however, they can also occur near the eyewall. Usually, tornadoes produced by tropical cyclones are relatively weak and short-lived, but they still pose a significant threat.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016


Shuttering your windows: How-to’s and do’s and don’ts Protecting a home’s openings from winds and wind-blown objects is the single most important step a homeowner can take in protecting the structure from serious damage. If you can keep the wind outside, you and your obsessions will be safe inside. Many products and systems are available to protect your home’s openings, but it is critical that any product or system be both tested and approved for wind load and windborne debris. Unprotected stan dard glass windows can be penetrated easily by wind-borne debris in hurricanes, allowing damaging water and wind to enter your home. Once the window glass fails, the subsequent pressurization of the structure can destroy the house. Here are some tips from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes:

Shutter your windows Installing storm shutters is one of the best ways to protect your home. Purchase or make storm shutters for all exposed windows, glass surfaces, French doors, sliding glass doors and skylights. There are two types of shutter systems, permanent shutter systems, permanent shutters and temporary shutters. Permanent shutters should

A Lafourche Parish resident put up boards and sandbags in preparation. Abby TAbor/sTAff

be installed by trained individuals and according to the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure the shutters will perform as designed and tested. Permanent shutter types include the Bahamas, roll downs, accordion, awning and colonial hinged. Choosing a shutter style can be based on several criteria, including the building location relative to the coast and the cost and ease of operation. If shutters cover windows on an upper floor or hard-to-reach location, they should be operable from the inside. Temporary shutters are designed to withstand wind-borne

debris impacts and wind loads during a hurricane. They are commercially available in many types of materials including steel, aluminum and clear plastic. Temporary shutters are typically corrugated panels that come in standard widths and can be joined to cover wider openings. The mounting hardware for temporary shutter systems should be installed well before hurricane season by trained individuals according to the manufacturer's specifications. Each panel should be clearly labeled to aid in quick installation and should also bear approved labels.

Plywood: last resort Covering your windows and doors with plywood should only be a last-resort alternative to actual storm shutters. Plywood that is not properly to your house can rip off during high winds and become a projectile.

No masking tape Many people still believe they can use masking tape to protect their windows when a hurricane is on its way. This is a myth. Imagine a mailbox that has been ripped from the ground, post and all, by a 120-mph wind gust. It will not even slow down as it passes through masking tape.



Thursday, May 26, 2016



Thursday, May 31, 2018 37

Where to find the latest news online Local news and more The Courier and Daily Comet: The Courier and Daily Comet newspapers’ websites have been recognized nationally for their innovative and comprehensive around-the-clock coverage of hurricanes. We’re the place to go before during and after a storm. www. and www.

Prepare, respond, recover Terrebonne Readiness and Assistance Coalition: This Houma-based nonprofit, which serves Terrebonne and Lafourche, offers a wealth of preparedness and recovery tips, including a printable preparedness guide. www. Federal Emergency Management Agency: Information about federal storm aid, the National Flood Insurance Program and storm preparation and recovery information. Insurance Information Institute: Readiness tips geared to, you guessed it, insuring your home against floods and hurricanes. www.iii. org LSU AgCenter: You’ll find a couple of the best printable guides out there. “South Louisiana Guide to Living with Hurricanes” and “There’s a Hurricane Forming” are a couple of examples that can be found in the site’s publications section. www.

Louisiana House: Find out what it takes to build a hurricane-resistant house and get a look at LSU’s prototype. http://www.

Emergency agencies Terrebonne and Lafourche Parish government's: Posts storm tips, sandbag and local shelter locations and other emergency information as a storm nears. and www. Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness: Preparation tips, Louisiana contraflow and evacuation maps state storm advisories. www. Louisiana State Police: Emergency section of this agency’s Web site includes

a printable disaster guide and a link to road closures.

Tracking the storm National Hurricane Center: Widely considered the most reliable source for storm tracking, predictions and related information, run by the National Weather Service. http:// National Data Buoy Center: Check out wind speed, wave height and other readings from buoys in the Gulf of Mexico and along Gulf and Atlantic coasts, as well as around the world. Run by the National Weather Service, it provides live data as the storm approaches. http://

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Lose an important document? If you follow the advice offered elsewhere in this guide, you will have already made sure your important paperwork is safe and doesn’t get destroyed during a hurricane. For peace of mind, experts suggest uploading copies of those documents online through either Dropbox, Google Drive or Amazon Cloud Drive. For even more insurance, save more copies to a thumb drive and take it with you when you evacuate. But if you do need to replace documents, here are a list of agencies, websites and procedures that can help. Birth and death certificates To replace birth or death certificates for U.S. citizens who were born or died in the United States visit For those who were born or died in Louisiana, visit http:// Credit cards American Express: 1-800-528-4800. Discover: 1-800-347-2683. Mastercard: contact issuing financial institution or 1-800-622-7747. Visa: contact issuing financial institution or 1-800847-2911.

siana driver’s licenses may the parish where the marriage be renewed online at http:// license was obtained or where the divorce was filed. Contact information for parish clerks Income tax returns of court is available at www. Call the nearest U.S. De- partment of the Treasury In Terrebonne, you can visit office, IRS office or 1-800- the Clerk of Court’s Office on 829-3676 and request form the first floor of the Houma 4506 (Request for Copy of Courthouse, 7856 Main St. Tax Return). To find your lo- Phone: 868-5660. The ofcal office, go to http://www. fice’s website,, includes fees and other information on obLocal-IRS-Office-1. For Terrebonne and La- taining copies of marriage and fourche residents, the closest divorce records. office is in the federal building In Lafourche, the Clerk of at 423 Lafayette St. in Houma. Court’s Office is at 303 West Call 876-0949. 3rd St. Thibodaux. Call 4474841 or 1-866-447-4841 or Insurance policies visit www.lafourcheclerk. Contact the agent or com- com. pany providing the coverIf the marriage or divorce age. You may be required to occurred in another state, complete a form, pay a fee or contact the National Center duplicate copies or both. The for Health Statistics at http:// policy number will expedite this request. Consumer contact infor- Military discharge papers mation for major insurance Request Standard Form 180 companies doing business in (SF 180) from any office of the Louisiana and their agents U.S. Department of Veterans may be accessed at the state Affairs, the American Legion, Insurance Department’s the Veterans of Foreign Wars, website, https://www.Idi. the Red Cross, a veterans Click on “Online Ser- sociation or military recruitvices” and “Search for Com- er. It may be found at https:// pany or Agent.” The direct link to the com- research/order/standardpany search is https://www. form-180.pdf. Send the completed form as ActiveCompanySearch/. The advised in the instructions. direct link to the agent search is Mortgage papers onlineservices/ProductAdContact lending institujusterSearch/. tion.

Driver’s license or state ID The quickest way to obtain a duplicate driver’s license Passports is to apply in person at any Marriage license Obtain instructions and state Office of Motor Vehicles or divorce records Contact the clerk of court in complete form DS-64 (StateDriver’s License Office. Loui-

ment Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport) available form passport/lost/lost_848.html. Submit completed form to U.S. Department of State; Passport Services; Consular Lost/Stolen Passport Section; 1111 19th St. NW Suite 500; Washington, DC 20036. Property deeds Contact the clerk of court in the parish where the property is located. Contact information for parish clerk of court is available at Social Security Card Go the a Social Security Administration office. Complete form SS-5 (Application for Social Security Card). It can be downloaded at http:// pdf. Contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800772-1213 if you need additional help. Vehicle title Complete the “Vehicle Application” form available at Click on “Vehicle Services.” Wills Contact the attorney who prepared it. If circumstances have changed, a new will may be appropriate. -Source: LSU AgCenter





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Hurricane Guide 2018  

The Courier and Daily Comet's annual guide to help you weather the storm. It's the official hurricane guide of Terrebonne and Lafourche pari...

Hurricane Guide 2018  

The Courier and Daily Comet's annual guide to help you weather the storm. It's the official hurricane guide of Terrebonne and Lafourche pari...