Disaster Preparation

hurricane clouds

United Way of Southwest Louisiana is here before, during and after any natural disaster. 

Use 211 to access up-to-date information and available resources in your zip code from local, state and federal agencies. United Way of Southwest Louisiana is a valuable and trusted partner that receives first-hand information from many sources.

Calling 211 will connect you to a specialist who will help pinpoint critical aid available in your zip code.

From any phone:

DIAL 211

TEXT your zip code to 898-211

ONLINE at unitedwayswla.org/211

Build an emergency kit for your home

After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own foodwater and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Once you take a look at the basic items consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets or seniors.

Basic Supplies

To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)

  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)

  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert

  • Flashlight

  • First aid kit

  • Extra batteries

  • Whistle (to signal for help)

  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)

  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape in case of shelter in place

  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)

  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

  • Manual can opener (for food)

  • Local maps

  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Additional Supplies

  • Face Masks (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces

  • Prescription Medications

  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives

  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution

  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream

  • Pet food and extra water for your pet

  • Cash or traveler's checks

  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container

  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Matches in a waterproof container

  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items

  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils

  • Paper and pencil

  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

LA DOTD Contraflow Map

La contraflow map for hurricanes

If evacuations are ordered due to a tropical threat along the coast, GOHSEP encourages you to follow the guidance of your local leaders and leave in a timely manner.

  • If needed, Louisiana’s contraflow plan may be part of the evacuation process.

For road closures, call the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) at 877-4LA-DOTD (visit online at 511la.org), or Louisiana State Police at 800-469-4828 (visit online at lsp.org)

More information