Friday, June 1, 2018
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – June 1st marks the start of hurricane season and residents are strongly encouraged to finalize preparations for their families and businesses. This includes finalizing family/business plans, checking supply kits, replacing old batteries, and determining the best evacuation route.
Residents and businesses should have received hurricane brochures via mail or visit the parish website at sjbparish.com or www.getagameplan.org for more hurricane preparedness information. Items such as battery-powered flashlights, extra batteries, medications, water, non-perishable foods, hand-operated can openers, utility knives, first aid supplies, radios and waterproof bags for important documents should be readily accessible.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). While a near-normal season is likely (40 percent), there is a 35 percent chance of an above normal season, and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season.
Robottom and her staff remain committed to hurricane preparedness and outreach efforts to assist residents in their preparedness efforts. Public Safety Officials and department leads have ongoing communication with state and weather agencies during weather events and other emergencies. “Sub-Tropical Storm Alberto, the first named storm of the year, formed outside of hurricane season – not to mention the ongoing severe weather events our region has faced in the past few months. This should alert residents that they need to be prepared every day. It only takes one storm or severe weather event to devastate a community,” advised President Robottom.
Prepositioned contracts and agreements for transportation, sheltering, pets and debris are in place while staff continues to meet to review emergency plans and procedures. The EOC staff has attended numerous training exercises held by GOHSEP, the National Weather Service, and other agencies. In an effort to also obtain local data, rain gauges are monitored at fire stations and water plants throughout the Parish in addition to the lake levels at Lake Pontchartrain, Lac Des Allemands and Lake Maurepas.
Residents continue to be encouraged to sign up to receive personalized messages to their phones and email addresses by visiting sjbparish.com and clicking “Stay Connected” or calling the Parish Office at 985-652-9569 to sign up. Weather warnings are automatically sent based on notifications from the National Weather Service. During an emergency, notifications and updates will also be shared on the parish website, Facebook, twitter, SJTV and 870 AM. Residents with medical disabilities or special needs should call the Health and Human Services Department at 985-652-9569 to register in advance for evacuation plans.
To view the hurricane brochure electronically, please visit sjbparish.com.