Tropical Storm Barry: How to Stay Safe

We care a lot about our hometown of New Orleans and our neighbors, so it’s important that we talk about Tropical Storm Barry and the things we can do to stay safe over the weekend. New Orleans just experienced flash-floods that affected areas such as Mid-city, Uptown, Lower Garden District, and the Irish Channel. It’s scary to think that these flash-floods largely destabilized the city – but they’re “small” in comparison to what we can expect from Tropical Storm Barry, which is anticipated to bring a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday morning.

The main cause of concern is the torrential rain that will drop about 10 – 15 inches of water. For the first time in over 50 years, the Mississippi River has reached significantly high and dangerous levels that can prove to be devastating for the levies holding it at bay. If the levies fail, then we’re in for horrible consequences.

Plan of Action

To ensure your chances of survival, prepare an emergency kit for your family. This should contain things like:

- Flashlight and extra batteries

- At least 3 gallons of bottled water per person

- Battery or crank-powered radio

- Protective clothing and canned food

- First aid kit with the special medication a family member may need

- Toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as soap.

It’s also essential that you obtain a waterproof container and store very important documents in it, such as:

- Any form of government ID

- Documents to prove your home address

- Social Security Card

- Home, Medical, and Life Insurance Policies

- Birth and Marriage certificates, wills or deeds, and copies of your recent tax returns.

It is crucial that you do your part for the community by cleaning your catch basin and bringing inside all of your outdoor furniture. The rain and storm surge are – for now – the biggest threats. As mentioned earlier, the Mississippi River is currently at unusually high levels, and in the case of a major flood, the catch basins on our streets will act as the first line of defense. By removing any trash or debris covering the openings, we can ensure that the catch basins will take in a lot of the water flooding our streets.

Please stay alert and follow the local news as much as possible for updates on the storm and information on local shelters. If a mandatory evacuation is ordered, leave immediately and find out ahead of time which shelters have reached maxed capacity. Please stay safe and follow the advice and direction of local authorities. And if a road is flooded, do not drive on them.