By Dinah Landry
You need to plan for your hurricane destination. You need to have plan 1 and plan 2 and maybe even plan 3. Depending on the direction the hurricane is taking and its strength, will depend on your evacuation direction. If you are lucky enough to have a family scattered around the central or northern portion of Louisiana, and they welcome you to visit them, you are one of the lucky ones.
If you are like the rest of us, you need to be checking into potential locations including campgrounds, hotels, motels, and even places to rent by the week. Have a list with telephone numbers handy. If you are traveling with pets, be sure you locate those that will welcome your pets. Have this list with you when you first you throughout your evacuation trip. Don’t forget places in Texas or Mississippi or even Arkansas (just in case).
Be sure to take cash money with you. Many of the areas did not have a way to take your debit or credit card or your check. Be wise when traveling with cash. Store cash in different places and don’t let people see you pull out a wad of bills. Of course, take your debit and credit cards and your identification.
Important papers should accompany you on your trip. Your marriage license, divorce decree, voters registration card, covid shot record, insurance policies, last bank statement, proof of income, list of medications with dosage information, dogs and cats rabies certificate (up to date), horses Coggins test (also up to date), photos of everything in your home that should be covered by insurance, also things outside of the home that are covered, social security card, passport (if you have one), health insurance cards, Medicare card, auto insurance card, copies of your investments, your will, address book and be sure to include everyone in the households documents too!
Now would be a good time to purchase a three-ring binder, box of clear sheet protectors and begin collecting the documents ahead of time. It’s a great way to keep them all together at home and easier to grab on your way out!
Purchase a plastic box with a lid from any dollar store. Use the box for shelf stable foods such as tuna, spaghetti and meatballs in a can, crackers, cereal, packs of sweetened cool aide, water, small packs of cookies, chips and other food items that may come in handy. And please don’t forget cat food or dog food and treats. And if you are traveling with a cat, those small throw away litter boxes will come in handy. Have collars or halters on all animals and leashes.
Of course, no one would leave without clothes for themselves and others in the family. Don’t overpack, remember you must have room for the people you are traveling with. Three suites of clothes for each should be enough to get by. And only essentials such as make up and hair dryers should be included! You are the judge!
It would be a good idea to have a printed map to outline your course of travel, just in case the internet fails you. Be sure to have chargers for all telephones, computers, watches and other items that need to be charged. Those who sleep with C-Pap machines, please pack it up and any special water you need for it. If you are on oxygen, have spare travel tanks with you. Don’t count on being able to secure these products in another area.
I sincerely hope that you and I don’t have to use any of the tips outlined in this column or last week’s column. Hopefully we can all have a smooth, non eventful hurricane season in 2023 and for many years to come!