The Gulf Coast is bracing itself for what is likely to be Tropical Storm Barry tomorrow, which may turn into a hurricane by Saturday. Louisiana has already declared a state of emergency and this is the sort of weather you dont want to mess around with. Now is the time to plan how, when and to where you might evacuate, if necessary.
If possible, have a few places in different directions that you could evacuate to. Hopefully that could be a family member or friends home in another town, but it could also be a hotel youve mapped out ahead of time. This gives you options in case certain roads or areas are closed down from the weather.
Also bring a copy of a physical map or write down directions before you leave; if cell service becomes an issue, youll still be able to find your way. Listen to a battery-powered radio to follow local evacuation instructions.
Only service pets may be permitted in public shelters, so find pet-friendly hotel options (or family and friends who will welcome you and your animals). You can also try contacting local veterinarians, animal hospitals or boarding facilities in the area youll be evacuating to for temporary shelter.
Make sure your pets vaccinations are current and bring any necessary paperwork along with you so you can get them boarded or medical care, if necessary, when you arrive.
As time allows, the Department of Homeland Security recommends taking these steps before you evacuate:
A full tank of gas is obviously best, but keep it as close to full as possible when severe weather is headed your way. Gas stations may not be open or may be overcrowded in the event of an evacuation.
Make sure to stash these items in your car:
Do not drive through flooded areas (your car can float in as little as a foot of water), and beware of areas where floodwaters have receded, as roadways may have been weakened. If a power line falls on your vehicle, remain inside until a trained professional has removed it and you are safe from an electrical shock.
And do not take shortcutsthe recommended evacuation routes are your best options because other routes may be blocked.
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