Is your yard/garden ready to withstand the storm??
Warm weather, outdoor BBQ’s, swimming, and Hurricane Season…all signs that the summer season is here in South Louisiana!
The 2015 Hurricane Season is starting in mere weeks on June 1; is your landscape ready for a storm? With the recent thunderstorms, we got a little taste of what high winds and rain can do to the yard. Being prepared when a named storm blows through is the only way to keep your house and family safe.
Below are a few tips on what to do to prepare:
- Start with trees; trim any dead limbs or branches that may fall in strong winds. Do not leave trimmings or clippings in the yard since they can easily become projectiles.
*Remember the ‘6/40 Rule’ when putting yard and lawn trimmings out for pick-up: no pieces longer than 6 feet and weigh no more than 40 pounds.
- Next, bushes and plants should be trimmed so the wind can easily flow through them and not carry any loose pieces away. Clean out gutters and downspouts, too.
- Containerize all your lawn clippings, pine needles, leaves, etc. and dispose of it before a storm is even named. Once a storm is named and a “Warning” or “Watch” has been issued, garbage/trash pick up and removal services are likely not going to be making pickups. This is why it is a good idea to get all trimming finished beforehand.
- Have a plan to tie up large furniture, pet houses, grills and other items in the yard. Clear a space in the shed or garage for other items that you use daily so they can be put away with ease if a storm makes its way up the Gulf. Get rid of broken lawn furniture, planters, recycle bins, compost, toys, or anything else that can become a flying missile in high winds. Think about how to protect windows; if you do not have shutters on your house, use 5/8” plywood cut to fit over windows. Drill holes around window to secure covers before a storm and remember tape will not protect or prevent windows from breaking.
- Although not technically in your yard, this is also a good time to review home and flood insurance policies if you are a homeowner. If you rent, double check with your landlord to see who is responsible for the costs of preparing your property and the cost of cleanup after a storm.
Lastly, after the storm, before walking outside, check for down power lines and stay clear of standing water. Keep storm debris separate from trash and recyclables. Tune in to local news or NOAA for updates on “boil orders”, road closures, local curfews, etc.
Investing just a little time in maintenance and having a plan for your lawn/garden for Hurricane Season, will pay off greatly in the event of a severe storm. And if South Louisiana is lucky enough to avoid having a named store make landfall, your landscape will be ready, clean and manicured for the summer season… and there is nothing wrong with that!
For life threatening emergencies: 911
Power & Electricity:
- Customer Service: 1-800-368-3749
- Emergencies: 1-800-968-8243
NOLA 311, New Orleans online city service information site, can be accessed by dialing 311. Mobile phone users or persons outside of the New Orleans area may need to dial 504-658-2299. NOLA 311 provides a prompt, courteous, and professional customer service experience to New Orleans residents, visitors, and businesses seeking general information and services.
Animals in Distress:
Call the LA/SPCA. They have a dispatch officer on staff 24-hours a day and animals in distress are responded to immediately.
Orleans Parish: 504-368-5191 ext. 100
Jefferson Parish Animal Control:
- West Bank 504-349-5111
- East Bank 504-736-6111
Kenner Animal Control: 504-468-7503