HAMMOND – Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards reports the following:
A Hurricane Storm Warning has been issued for all of the Tangipahoa Parish. This means tropical storm force winds are expected to begin within 24 hours, though with such a strong tropical storm expected to pass over or near the Parish, there is a possibility of hurricane force winds. “If you choose to remain in the Parish during this storm, the only safe place for you to be is inside. Our main goal here is to keep everyone safe,” Edwards states.
Mobile home residents, low lying areas residents and those residing on their boats are also directed to seek shelter. Red Cross Shelters will be opening at 5:00 PM today. Red Cross Shelters will be located at: Kentwood High, Newsom, Natalbany Elementary, Hammond Jr. High and the Amite High School gym. If you plan to go to a shelter, make sure to bring all necessary supplies with you. The shelters WILL NOT have any supplies. Bring bedding, food, medicine and anything you might need to entertain yourself and your family members. Alcoholic beverages will not be allowed in the shelters.
There are many areas in our Parish and city roadways where water does not drain well, or where water encroaches on the roadway, making driving hazardous. In residential areas, people driving through standing water can cause wakes, which can wash into yards and into homes. Due to all of these issues, people should not be driving anywhere during the storm.
The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office communications department, law enforcement and corrections personnel will be working to keep residents safe and secure. All sheriff’s office enforcement personnel will be working and personal leave has been suspended. We will run double shifts beginning at 5:00am tomorrow morning.
The sheriff’s office is ready and prepared with food, water and enough gas to keep us sustainable and functional pre and post storm activity. We are and have been in close communication with the OEP, the Parish, State Police and local municipality Fire and Police Departments.
Sheriff Edwards encourages you to check on the needy and disabled to ensure their safety. Remaining in close contact with them throughout the storm is imperative. Anyone needing assistance should contact us at 985-345-6150 or in an emergency situation 911.
Everyone should be watching the storm very closely as conditions and timing of the storm remains in flux. Make sure to complete storm preparations.
Reference website- www.ready.gov
1. Make a plan. If you live in flood-prone areas, make plans to protect your property (by using sandbags, or raising items off of the floor. Take photos of your property and possessions for insurance purposes. Gather important family documents (such as birth certificates, passports, etc.) so that they are readily available to pack if your family evacuates. Know how to operate your generator prior to the storm arriving. If you will be evacuating, make certain you have the tools to turn off utilities (if applicable), and that you know how to properly turn them off. 2. Purchase supplies. Stock up on 3-5 days of water and non-perishable supplies. (This includes food and water for pets). Make certain that you have a supply of medications that your family members are currently prescribed. Fill up all gas tanks (including generators). If you are staying in your home for the storm, make sure that you have enough food, water, and gasoline to run generators. Ready.gov recommends the following supplies: • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both • Flashlight and extra batteries • First aid kit • Whistle to signal for help • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities • Manual can opener for food • Local maps • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charge
3. Know where to go. If you are evacuating, make sure you know the route to safety, and that you leave in time to escape the wrath of the storm. If you are bringing pets, make certain that accommodations are pet-friendly.
4. Stay informed. Watch the local news, listen to the radio, and keep informed as to where the storm is located, its projected path, and expected effects. Ask about emergency plans that are in place at work and at school, so that the entire family knows when the storm is expected to arrive, the plan of action when it does arrive, and what is expected by employers and schools/daycare.
5. After the Storm - After the storm passes, or your family returns home, plan for some basic storm cleanup. Turn on utilities. Do a walk-through of your home and property to document any storm damage. Check with you local waste management company for collection of any downed tree limbs or other storm debris.
Hurricanes and tropical storms can be frightening and a time of anxiety for families. By making and following a plan (like the one above), your family will make it through the storm, and be better prepared for any future storms on the horizon.