• 66°

Governor declares state of emergency due to possible storm

Gov. John Bel Edwards on Saturday declared a State of Emergency in advance of Tropical Storm Sally, which is forecast to strengthen to a hurricane that could impact Louisiana as early as Monday morning. Already, the National Weather Service has issued hurricane and tropical storm watches for areas of Southeast Louisiana.

“While we ultimately don’t know where Sally will make landfall, much of Southeast Louisiana is in the storm’s cone and the risk of tropical storm force or hurricane strength winds continues to increase,” Edwards said. “Please stay weather aware for the next several days and heed the directions of your local officials. This storm has the potential to be very serious.

“Barely two weeks ago, Louisiana suffered a devastating blow when Hurricane Laura came ashore as the strongest hurricane ever to make landfall in Louisiana history, leaving a trail of destruction in its path. This, when combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, can make us all weary. I implore Louisianans to take their preparations seriously.”

Edwards held a Unified Command Group meeting and received a briefing from the National Weather Service this afternoon. On Monday afternoon, he will hold a media briefing about the storm.

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is monitoring these storms and the state’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated since March to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and Hurricane Laura.

GOHSEP provides preparedness advice on its GetAGameplan.org website. People should check their emergency supplies and remember to include any items needed to sustain each family member for at least three days.

Supply kits should include:

  • A three to five- day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won’t spoil.
  • A supply of face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes due to COVID19 concerns.
  • One change of clothing and footwear per person, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person.
  • A first aid kit that includes your family’s prescription medications.
  • Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
  • An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler’s checks.
  • Sanitation supplies.
  • Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members.
  • An extra pair of glasses.
  • Important family documents in a portable, waterproof container.
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels.
  • Paper and pencil.
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.
  • Infant formula and diapers.
  • Pet food and water.

The governor’s office will share updates about potential severe weather and COVID-19 through its texting system. People may opt-in by texting LAGOV to 67283 and sign up for phone calls by going to Smart911.