WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement on the severe weather in Louisiana:
“Severe weather is nothing new in Louisiana, and we sometimes downplay the seriousness of storms like this. A young child was hit by flying debris in Alabama today and killed. I urge everyone to remain calm and stay safe as Tropical Storm Cindy approaches our state. Monitor local radio and TV for updates and emergency information. If you have to be on the road, give yourself a little extra time to get where you’re going,” said Sen. Kennedy. “What matters right now is keeping your family safe.”
Below are some helpful tips, information, and guidelines, provided by FEMA, on how to stay safe and informed over the next several days.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Cindy will approach the coast of southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas late today or tonight and then move inland over southeastern Texas or Louisiana on Thursday. Very heavy rain totaling 6 to 9 inches, with isolated amounts of 12 inches, bring a high risk of reaching excessive levels and producing life threatening flash floods along the central Gulf Coast. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for San Luis Pass, Texas, to the Alabama-Florida border, including metropolitan New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. History shows that storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly.
A FEMA liaison officer is deployed to the emergency operations center in Louisiana to help coordinate any requests for federal assistance. Additionally, FEMA incident management assistance teams are deployed to the Louisiana and Arkansas state emergency operations centers to support response activities and ensure there are no unmet needs.
FEMA encourages individuals and families in the affected areas to continue to monitor local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information, and to follow the instructions of state, tribal and local officials. Only enter areas that have sustained damage after local officials have said it is safe to do so.
If you have a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood policy, you may be eligible for reimbursement of actions taken to protect your property. Call your insurance agent to find out more.
To file a flood insurance claim under the NFIP, contact your insurance agent immediately. You can also call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) – select option 2 – to learn more about your policy, and be directed to the appropriate claims resource. Within 24 to 48 hours, an adjuster will call you to schedule an appointment.
Download the FEMA mobile app to set up alerts for the latest weather updates, shelter information, disaster resources, preparedness information, and safety tips, in English and in Spanish. The app provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service. The app also enables users to receive push notifications reminding them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters.
- We urge all individuals to monitor NOAA Weather Radio and their local news for updates and directions provided by their local officials.
- Be familiar with evacuation routes, have a communications plan, keep a battery-powered radio handy and have a plan for your pets. Visit www.ready.gov or www.listo.gov to learn more about these and other preparedness tips for tropical storms.
- Tropical storms have the potential for tornado formation. If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately in the center of a small interior room (closet, interior hallway) on the lowest level of a sturdy building. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
- There is the potential for flooding with this storm. Driving through a flooded area can be extremely hazardous and almost half of all flash flood deaths happen in vehicles. When in your car, look out for flooding in low-lying areas, at bridges and at highway dips. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- If you encounter flood waters, don’t attempt to pass through water – TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN. Don’t drive or walk through flood waters. It only takes a small amount of water to move people or vehicles.
- Get to know the terms used to identify tropical storms and discuss with your family what to do if a watch or warning is issued.
- A Tropical Storm Watch is issued when tropical cyclone containing winds of at least 39 MPH or higher poses a possible threat, generally within 48 hours.
- A Tropical Storm Warning is issued when sustained winds of 39 MPH or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less.
- Get to know the terms used to identify floods and discuss with your family what to do if a flood watch or warning is issued.
o A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding.
o A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.
o A Flash Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flash flooding.
o A Flash Flood Warning is issued when flash flooding is imminent or occurring.
o A Flash Flood Emergency is issued when severe threat to human life and catastrophic damage from a flash flood is imminent or ongoing.
o A River Flood Watch is issued when river flooding is possible at one or more forecast points along a river.
o A River Flood Warning is issued when river flooding is occurring or imminent at one or more forecast points along a river.
If you have any questions, please contact FEMA’s Congressional Affairs Division at (202) 646-4500.
Download the FEMA App to locate and get directions to open shelters across the state, and receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.
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FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.