WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — Let’s use our imagination for a second, there is a storm, be it a hurricane, tropical storm, or other impacting our area. Assuming we prepared accordingly, we have either evacuated or made proper plans to stay. In this scenario, we decided to take shelter in a stable, well-built, storm-prepped home with everything we could need for a few days without running water and electricity.

As the storm approaches, it’s time to utilize everything we have prepared. Pay attention to your local emergency management, meteorologists, National Hurricane Center, and your region’s National Weather Service office. If there is an evacuation order issued, listen to it; assistance will be scarce during and after the storm.

Watches and Warnings, what’s the difference?

Tropical Storm WatchTropical Storm Warning
– Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours.-Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within your area within 36 hours.
Hurricane WatchHurricane Warning
– Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are possible within your area. Because it may not be safe to prepare for a hurricane once winds reach a tropical storm force, The NHC issues hurricane watches 48 hours before it anticipates tropical-storm-force winds.-Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are expected somewhere within the specified area. NHC issues a hurricane warning 36 hours in advance of tropical-storm-force winds to give you time to complete your preparations. All preparations should be complete. Evacuate immediately if so ordered.

Things to consider while the storm is overhead:

  • Be prepared to shelter in an interior portion of the structure/home you are in. Get as far away from windows and doors as possible. The more walls you can put between you and the outside, the better. 
  • NEVER go outside during the calm period when the eye of the storm passes. The eyewall is the most dangerous part of a hurricane and can come on suddenly. Wait until your local NWS office, meteorologists, or emergency management tells you it’s safe to go out.
  • Stay out of flooded areas, just six inches of water can knock an adult off their feet and flood waters can carry disease. If you know your area is prone to flooding, prepare ahead by evacuating or having ample sandbags.
  • Have a way to stay up to date, and make sure you have a way to receive news about the storm or any alerts your area may receive. Having backup chargers and batteries is a must for electronics and light sources. Candles aren’t recommended due to the fire hazard.

Be prepared, not scared!

This is the second part of a three-part series, the final part coming soon.