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Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness : Keep an Eye on the Gulf of Mexico

photo courtesy of http://gohsep.la.gov/

The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is urging everyone to monitor a tropical system as it moves across the Gulf of Mexico this week.

Posted: Jul 22, 2020 12:54 PM

BATON ROUGE – The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is urging everyone to monitor a tropical system as it moves across the Gulf of Mexico this week.

Here is the latest from the National Hurricane Center (NHC):

A tropical wave is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms over the eastern Gulf of Mexico, central and southern Florida, and western Cuba. Gradual development of this system is possible while it moves west-northwestward. A tropical depression could form during the next few days. This disturbance is expected to move over the central Gulf today. It will reach the northwestern Gulf on Thursday and Friday. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the system later today, if necessary.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...40 percent.

* Formation chance through 5 days...medium...50 percent.

Information on Potential Impact to Louisiana from the National Weather Service (NWS):

Any storm or band of rain/storms may contain gusty winds in excess of 35 to 45 mph. A few isolated higher gusts (>45 mph) possible in any stronger storm through Friday.
Outside of any thunderstorm activity, winds will become breezy in and around coastal areas starting today (gusts 15-25 mph), spreading more inland Thursday and Friday.
Locally heavy rainfall possible in any heavier bands of showers and storms at any point today through Friday. Watch for localized flooding Thursday and Friday, as we remain in a Marginal Risk for excessive rainfall.
Dangerous lightning possible.
Higher than normal tides could produce some coastal flooding along coastal southeastern LA and southern MS. More so in and around areas that traditionally see coastal flooding from enhanced onshore wind flow.

“We are urging everyone to closely watch this system as it moves across the Gulf of Mexico,” said GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom. “While the forecast tracks continue to indicate a Texas landfall, any tropical system in the gulf could potentially result in dangerous weather conditions in Louisiana. Monitor the NHC, your local NWS office and the media for updates. At this time, heavy rains and higher than normal tides appear to be the biggest threat for the state. The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) remains activated due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. GOHSEP stands ready to respond to any requests for support from our parish partners related to the potential weather threat. GOHSEP has recently redesigned our www.getagameplan.org website to help provide you with preparedness information. We are now heading into what is traditionally the heart of hurricane season, so it is important to finalize your emergency game plan, even while we all continue the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

If flash flooding becomes a problem due to heavy rainfall, never drive on flooded roadways. Check out the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s website www.511.la.gov for updated road closure information.

Finalize an emergency communications plan with your family and co-workers.

Check your emergency supplies. Remember to include any items needed to sustain each family member for at least 3 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.

Find more tips on weather and preparedness on GOHSEP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Listen to conversations on all aspects of emergency management by downloading GOHSEP’s The Get A Game Plan Podcast. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App. It is free for basic service. The Get A Game Plan App is another resource available to help you and your family prepare for any type of emergency. You can download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at www.getagameplan.org.

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