Millions of people along the northern Gulf Coast have been told to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Ida.
The storm is expected to be a major hurricane when it makes landfall, bringing life-threatening storm surge, dangerous rainfall flooding, potentially catastrophic winds and tornadoes.
Time to prepare is running out with landfall expected Sunday evening. However, impacts along the coast will begin to be felt Saturday night.
Below is a hurricane safety checklist from the American Red Cross along with links to resources The Weather Channel is making available to help you get ready.
That includes a list of shelters and evacuation orders to how to prepare your home and take care of your pets.
What Should I Do?
— Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for critical information from the National Weather Service.
— Check your disaster supplies and replace or restock as needed.
— Bring in anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
— Close windows, doors and hurricane shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, close and board up all windows and doors with plywood.
(MORE: Evacuations in Louisiana, Mississippi: Where They’re Mandatory and Optional)
— Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
— Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
— Fill your car’s gas tank.
— Talk with members of your household and create an evacuation plan. Planning and practicing your evacuation plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
(MORE: Evacuation Shelters Open in Louisiana and Mississippi)
— Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for your pets to be cared for.
— Evacuate if advised by authorities. Be careful to avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.
What Supplies Do I Need?
— Water: at least a three-day supply; one gallon per person per day
– Food: at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare food
– Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
– Extra batteries
(MORE: 8 Hurricane Kit Must Haves)
– First aid kit
– Medications (seven-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries,
glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
– Multi-purpose tool
– Sanitation and personal hygiene items
– Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, insurance policies)
– Cell phone with chargers
– Family and emergency contact information
(MORE: How to Prepare Your Home for Storm Surge)
– Extra cash
– Emergency blanket
– Map(s) of the area
– Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
– Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
(MORE: Hurricane Evacuations and Pets: What You Need to Know)
– Tools/supplies for securing your home
– Extra set of car keys and house keys
– Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
– Rain gear
– Insect repellent and sunscreen
– Camera for photos of damage
What Do I Do After a Hurricane?
– Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
– Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
– If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
– Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges.
(MORE: Where Life-Threatening Storm Surge Will Be the Worst)
– Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
– Stay out of any building that has water around it.
– Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes.
– Use flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles.
– Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
(MORE: Shelters Enact COVID-19 Rules)
– Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
– Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
– Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
– Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.