As the Southeast coastal region begins the process of cleaning up after Hurricane Isaac, we are reminded of just how detrimental even a Category 1 can be. These powerful storms are not only devastating to homeowners and business owners, but what makes them even more dangerous, is their unpredictability.
When Hurricane Isaac was just a depression, the expected path included South Florida before hitting the Gulf of Mexico where it would make landfall in the Florida panhandle. After several days of close monitoring, the storm changed direction and headed for Louisiana, leaving those residents with not much time to prepare. Industry Expert, John Minor spent the storm with the University of Florida Hurricane Research Group near Houma, Louisiana.
John then continued on to Algiers Point across the riverfront downtown. They were without power for several days as many heirloom trees came down after this storm hampering the ability of the energy companies to get the power back up.
http://viewoutage.entergy.com/nola.aspx#incarthbx is the website that shows the residences and businesses still without power. In addition, the International Airport in New Orleans has been closed and will remain so until Friday of this week. The Mississippi beaches have been closed by order of the Mississippi State Department of Environmental Quality [MSDEQ] until further notice.
Isaac has come and gone, leaving significant damage to thousands primarily in Slidell old town, the LaPlace area of St. John's Parish and Plaquemine Parish.
John toured much of the area and, except for the places identified above, he found a little damage everywhere. Many of the clients were in a place where their deductibles were such that he recommended they just move forward with fixing their buildings out of their pockets. Many will spend the next few months and possibly years rebuilding.
Following the storm, the Red Cross opened 47 shelters in 15 parishes throughout Louisiana and deployed more than 900 disaster response volunteers. To make a contribution to the Red Cross, call 800-RED-CROSS or visit www.redcross.org and locate the desired chapter in the state of Louisiana. The state of Mississippi is accepting donations online at www.mississippi-redcross.org; contributions can also be made through your local Red Cross office.
What everyone must keep in mind is that now is height of hurricane season, with the possibility of more storms to come. We must all stay prepared by keeping up with the weather, maintaining a supply of hurricane essentials, and having an evacuation plan in the event that a storm heads your way. We cannot prevent the storms, but we can take steps to ensure that our homes and businesses are as protected and that our families are safe. A great place to start is the Institute for Business & Home Safety www.ibhs.org or the National Flood Insurance Programs website www.floodsmart.gov.