When every second counts, be prepared!
Hurricane season is June 1 through November 30. But, here in Louisiana, flash floods, tornadoes and other severe weather events can happen year-round. If you don’t already have a game plan for yourself and your family, it’s time to make one!
Preparing for Your Medical Needs
It’s important that you plan for your medical needs before a disaster strikes. Talk to your doctor about how to take care of your medical needs during and after an emergency.
Make sure your medical care instructions are written down. Include information about any allergies or dietary restrictions you have, and instructions for any medical equipment you may need to bring with you. If you have to evacuate, remember to take this information with you.
We’re here to help!
If you are a Louisiana Healthcare Connections member and you need help before, during or after a disaster, call us at 1-866-595-8133 (Hearing Loss: 711).
We can help you:
- Find an emergency shelter
- Locate doctors or pharmacies wherever you are
- Get 24/7 nurse advice or crisis counseling
- Get replacement medications if yours were lost, damaged or left behind
Making Your Emergency Preparedness Plan
- An emergency kit that is packed and ready to take anywhere.
- A plan for what to do and where to go if you must evacuate your home.
- A plan for where to meet if your family becomes separated.
- A plan for how you will get emergency alerts and warnings.
Family members with disabilities, babies, older adults, and pets may need a special plan. Make sure you have a plan for everyone!
Make sure you have an emergency supply kit ready when you need it. Emergency kits should include three days’ worth of basic supplies, like water, food, flashlights, clothing, medications, and personal items. It is also important to include a first aid kit containing basic medical supplies like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.
Emergency kits should be specific to you and your family. Remember to add any other items based on your family’s needs. For example, if you have an infant, you will want to pack formula and diapers.
Use Get a Game Plan’s Emergency Supply Checklist (PDF) to guide you while you put your kit together.
During an emergency, it's important to stay informed about any changes or updates. Listen to the news on the radio or television for updates on the hurricane's path and to hear any instructions from local authorities. Another great way to get updates is on social media.
Louisiana has several systems that share emergency alerts and warnings. Some of these include:
- Call 411 for general alerts and updates
- Call 511 for road closures
- NOAA Weather Radio
- Louisiana Emergency Alert System (EAS)
How do I find information on social media?
- Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
- U.S. Army Corp of Engineers - New Orleans District
- National Weather Service - New Orleans
- National Weather Service - Lake Charles
- National Weather Service - Shreveport
Connect with us on Facebook @LouisianaHealthConnect for regular updates about hurricanes or other health topics.
Before a disaster happens, it’s important to know where you can go if you must evacuate your home. If a storm is coming, pay close attention to alerts in your area so you know how you can leave safely.
If you have to leave your home, make sure you know a safe place to go. The more options you have, the better.
You may find shelter by staying at a:
- Family member or friend’s house
- Community shelter
For up-to-date community shelter information:
- Call 211
- For statewide information, text LASHELTER to 898-211.
- New Orleans residents should call 311 or text DELTA to 888777.
- Follow the sheltering guidance of your parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
In case of an emergency, it’s important to have all your important documents in one safe place where they are easy to grab and take with you. Pack your family’s important documents in a separate waterproof container or zip-top plastic bag.
- Driver’s licenses and identification cards
- Include your Louisiana Healthcare Connections Member ID card and Medicaid cards.
- Social Security cards
- Proof of residence
- This can be a utility bill, credit card statement, lease agreement or mortgage statement.
- Insurance policies and healthcare documents
- Birth and marriage certificates
- List of medications
- Remember to include the medication’s name, dose, frequency, and prescribing doctor.
- List of medical supplies you need such as glasses, diabetes test strips or syringes (include strength and sizes)
- List of medical equipment your family uses such as wheelchairs, blood pressure monitors or hearing aids (include: brand, measurements, name of business that provided it)
- If your medical equipment requires electricity, contact emergency authorities and your power company to make certain you have a way to power your device during a power outage. Learn more about power outage.
- Stocks, bonds and other negotiable certificates
- Wills, deeds, and copies of recent tax returns
Preparing your home before a storm or a disaster can help you lower the chance of damage.
Take these steps to help protect your home:
- Turn off electricity and water
- Leave natural gas on
- Turn off propane gas service
- If you expect flooding, use sandbags to keep water away from your home
- Cover the outside of windows with shutters or plywood
- Bring things indoors (outdoor furniture, toys, hanging plants and any other objects that can blow around)
If you are planning on using a generator in case of a power outage, it’s important to practice generator safety. It can save your life!
- Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors. This includes in a garage, carport, crawl space or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even those with ventilation.
- Gas-powered generators produce an exhaust of carbon monoxide (CO) which is odorless and colorless. CO inhalation can rapidly lead to full incapacitation or death. Opening windows or doors or using fans will not prevent the build-up of CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air IMMEDIATELY.
- Place the generator away from doors, windows and vents that could allow CO to come indoors.
- Keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions.
Your plan should include your pets, too. The best way to prepare is to pack a pet kit just for them. Make sure it includes food, water, medications, documents, and other items your pets may need.
Remember: If you have to leave your home, don’t leave your pets behind. Be sure to take them with you.
You can keep your pets safe by:
- Bringing them indoors.
- Finding pet-friendly lodging in case you need to evacuate.
- Making sure your pets have all their current vaccines. Pet shelters may require proof of vaccination.
- Having current photos of your pets in case you get separated.
- Making sure your pet has a collar with an ID tag.
- Having a leash or pet carrier ready.
- Having enough food, water and newspapers or trash bags for clean-up.
Get a Game Plan
Visit Get a Game Plan website for more helpful resources and information.