NEW ORLEANS — Are you prepared if an emergency were to happen?
It's important to know the difference between a watch and a warning: a "hurricane watch" means conditions are a threat within 48 hours and you should be ready to act.
A "hurricane warning" means life-threatening conditions are expected within 36 hours, and you should be ready to evacuate if encouraged by local officials.
Ready.gov suggests that you have a Ready Kit prepared with all the gear you'll need. They also suggest that you prepare a portable kit in case you have to hit the road.
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These items are recommended for your Ready kit:
- Water. One gallon per person per day, for at least 3 days, for drinking and hygiene
- Food. At least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food
- Click here for recipe ideas featuring non-perishable foods, manual tools and alternative heating sources.
- Can opener. For food, if kit contains canned food
- Radio. Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert, and extra batteries for both
- Emergency charger for mobile devices
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle. To signal for help
- Face mask. To help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties. For personal hygiene
- Wrench or pliers. To turn off utilities
- Local maps
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- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food, extra water, pet supplies, toys and vaccination forms.
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
- Cash or traveler’s checks and change
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider adding bedding in cold weather.
- Complete change of clothing. Include a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider adding clothing in cold weather.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, plastic utensils and paper towels
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children.
It's important to plan ahead as grocery and supply stores will be in short supply in the days and hours leading up to a hurricane.
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The American Red Cross also has a hurricane safety checklist you can download here to prepare your family from danger.
Stay with Eyewitness News on WWL-TV and WWLTV.com for more on this developing story.