Nine years ago, a Category 3 hurricane made landfall on America’s Gulf Coast, displacing hundreds of thousands of people from Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. After all was said and done, this hurricane categorized as the third deadliest hurricane in United States history.
Though the majority of people evacuated before Hurricane Katrina hit, close to 120,000 residents of New Orleans, Louisiana did not leave.
By the time the storm made landfall, the city of New Orleans was already water-logged from hours of rain. Due to the city’s geographical location—laying mostly undersea level and being surrounded by water—flooding was inevitable. Katrina’s power was too great for the city’s levees and within a very short time, St. Bernard Parish and The Ninth Ward were underwater.
In the end, Hurricane Katrina killed 2,000 people, affected 90,000 square miles and cost $100 billion in damages. One of Cheaper Than Dirt’s! own spent time deployed to New Orleans to aid in the aftermath. He says, “Finding bodies became commonplace, and we felt relieved when we entered homes and only smelled mold.”
A hurricane is when a large, circulating tropical storm starting in a warm ocean reaches a surface wind speed of 74 miles per hour. The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and goes through November 30. While the Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 to November 30. Hurricanes are generally 2,000 times larger than tornadoes and last an average of 10 days. The states most at risk of hurricanes are the coastal areas of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and all of Hawaii and Florida.
The safest place to be during a hurricane is away from where it hits. Fortunately, weather experts give us a fair warning of storms. Your best survival plan is to evacuate the area. However, if evacuation is impossible or for preparing to return after evacuation, you will need plenty of food, water and other supplies for your family for at least 10 days. It is most likely city utilities—water, electricity and natural gas—will be unavailable.
Below is a hurricane preparedness checklist of things you will need to help you and your family survive hurricane season.
- Potable water
- Non-perishable food
- Alternative means to heat food
- Clothing, including rain gear and a good pair of boots
- First Aid Kit
- Toys, diapers, etc. for infants and children
- Pet care kit (food, carrier/leash, immunization records, etc.)
- Travel toiletry kit
- Battery operated radio with AM/FM and NOAA reception
- Critical documents in waterproof pouch (banking info, insurance, passports, birth certificates, etc.)
- Full fuel tanks in all vehicles along with additional spare fuel cans
- Blankets and pillows
- Cash, including small bills
- Portable toolset
- Fully-charged cell phone, preferably with spare battery
- Essential medications
To learn more about hurricane preparedness, read the following articles:
- Hurricane Preparedness
- Be Ready! National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 25-31
- A Part-Time Grunt’s Hurricane Katrina Experience
- Emergency Water Supply for Hurricane Season: the AquaPodKit
- Prepper v. Survivalist? How About Using the Term Smart Instead
Do you live in a hurricane-prone area? What do you do to prepare? Share it with us in the comment section.