Red Cross, others push storm preps ahead of Isaac
BATON ROUGE - Several agencies urged people in the Baton Rouge area to get prepared this weekend in case Tropical Storm Isaac targets southern Louisiana.
Earlier today the Red Cross flew several volunteers out to Florida to help set up shelters. Isaac is currently projected to affect that state's coastal communities, and could turn into a hurricane before it reaches land.
Spokesperson Nancy Malone said earlier this month the Red Cross also released a free hurricane preparedness app for smartphones that will issue personalized weather alerts, list the locations of Red Cross shelters, provide disaster checklists and let people instantly send messages to social media outlets letting family members know they're okay.
EBR Mayor-President Kip Holden's office also issued a warning for people in Baton Rouge to check on each other, and make sure they are stocked with supplies.
"Take this time to talk to your neighbors, check on the elderly and make plans to work together to ensure everyone is Red Stick Ready," Holden said in a press release. "Remember to have your Family Disaster Kits updated with the items you may need, including extra medicine, water, snacks, flashlights and batteries to last at least three days."
The Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office reminded residents there to take advantage of their emergency alert system. In the event of a storm alerts would be sent out through cell phone, landline, text message or email.
The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness also said they would monitor the storm through the weekend. They noted that even though Louisiana was in the "cone of uncertainty" at this point, things could change quickly and the state could still feel some effects.
"Even if the storm does not make landfall in Louisiana, parts of Southeast Louisiana could feel strong winds and see rain," said GOHSEP spokesperson Christina Stephens. "Should the track change, GOHSEP stands ready to open its Emergency Operations Center."
FEMA issued an alert to people in coastal Floriday and other coastal states today, warning them to keep an eye on conditions through the weekend. They also asked people to remember food safety as part of their preparedness plans, and said planning ahead can help prevent foodborne illnesses.
"USDA food safety tips include having a cooler on hand to keep refrigerator food cold in case of power outage, and to group food together in the freezer; this helps the food stay cold longer," the agency said in a release.
You can find the latest information about Isaac as well as more preparedness resources by visiting the WBRZ Hurricane Center.