Parish Guide

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This general information on hurricane preparedness has been updated for the 2015 hurricane season.

DOWNLOAD THE HURRICANE GUIDE

DOWNLOAD THE ST. CHARLES PARISH EMERGENCY CONTACTS GRAPHIC


The Well-Stocked Disaster Supply Kit

Store all items in a waterproof container.

WATER:
One gallon per person per day for 2 weeks

NON-PERISHABLE FOOD:
2-week supply of ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables, canned juices, energy bars, vitamins, peanut butter, nuts, crackers and canned soups

CLOTHING:
Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person. Include rain gear and sturdy shoes or work boots, as well as sunglasses and hats and gloves

FIRST AID SUPPLIES:
Bandages, antiseptic, tape, compresses, non-aspirin pain reliever, anti-diarrhea medication

TOOLS AND EMERGENCY SUPPLIES:
  • Emergency manual
  • Flashlight / batteries
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Utility knife
  • Duct tape
  • Matches in waterproof box
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Mosquito repellant / citronella candles
  • Camera and film
  • Batteries
  • Coolers for food and ice
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, towelettes
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Fire extinguisher – Small canister ABC type
  • Paper cups, plates and utensils
  • DOTD Louisiana highway map
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Needles and thread
  • Pliers
  • Signal flare
  • Paper and pencil
  • Medicine dropper
  • Water purification – Chlorine tablets, iodine
SPECIAL ITEMS: Infant and medical supplies, supplies for elderly or disabled, 2-week supply of prescriptions.

ENTERTAINMENT:
Games and books

IMPORTANT FAMILY DOCUMENTS:
  • Wills, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
  • Passports, social security cards and shot records
  • Bank account numbers
  • Credit card numbers and company addresses
  • Inventory of valuable household goods and important phone numbers
  • Birth, marriage and death certificates

Important Numbers and Websites
AT&T U-Verse: 1-800-288-2020 | www.att.com ATMOS Energy: 1-888-286-6700 | www.atmosenergy.com
Community Services: (985) 764-7944
stcharlesparish-la.gov/communityservices
Contract Monitor: (985) 331-8604
Garbage, street lighting, mosquito control
Cox Cable: (504) 304-8444 | www.cox.com Entergy: 1-800-ENTERGY | www.entergy.com
FEMA: 1-800-621-FEMA | www.fema.gov Flood Insurance: 1-888-379-9531 | www.floodsmart.gov
Jefferson Parish: (504) 349-5360 Lafourche Parish: (985) 532-8174 | www.lafourchegov.org
La. State Police: 1-800-469-4828 | www.lsp.org Red Cross: 1-866-GET-INFO | www.redcross.org
SCP Hospital: (985) 785-6242 | www.stch.net St. John Parish: (985) 652-2222 | www.sjbparish.com
United Way: (985) 331-9063 | www.uwaysc.org VIA Link Assistance: 211

Sheltering in Place
If you can safely stay home during a storm threat...
  • Offer your home as shelter to friends or relatives who live in vulnerable areas or mobile homes.
  • Check your disaster supply kit. Make sure you have at least a 2-week supply of food and water.
  • Protect windows and glass doors with plywood or shutters. Secure boats. 
  • Clear ditches and catch basins to ensure proper drainage of rainwater.
  • Stay inside and away from windows.
  • If you lose power, turn off major appliances, such as the air conditioner and water heater, to reduce damage.
  • If flooding threatens your home, turn off electricity at the main breaker.
  • Avoid using the landline phone.
  • Clear your yard of potential flying debris, including lawn furniture, potted plants, bicycles and trash cans.
  • Open refrigerators sparingly to preserve food freshness.
  • Stay tuned for advisories about tap water and sewer usage. It is common in St. Charles Parish for officials to ask residents to curtail use of wastewater-related activities such as clothes washing, dish washing, showering and flushing during storm events if there are widespread power outages.

Mandatory Evacuations
  • Take the precautions to your property listed in the ‘sheltering in place’ checklist.
  • Shut off electricity at the main source and lock up.
  • Fuel and service family vehicles.
  • Use recommended evacuation routes. Be sure to leave early, before the onset of contraflow.
  • Take along needed items in your disaster supply kit, especially important papers, extra clothing and food and water.
  • Bring personal hygiene items (toothbrush, deodorant, etc.) and sleeping bags, pillows and blankets.
  • Know where you are going, and get in touch with family members outside the affected region to alert them of your plans.
  • Do NOT leave your pets at home. Pack a pet evacuation kit.

Assisted Evacuation Plan
The St. Charles Parish Assisted Evacuation Plan is meant for those without transportation who do not have special needs and their companion animals. USE OF THIS PROGRAM SHOULD BE A LAST OPTION. Residents should first work with neighbors, family, friends and social networks to secure transportation out of the parish in the event of a mandatory evacuation.

Those wishing to use assisted evacuation:
  • Can register with St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations now. Please call (985) 783-5050 and speak to the emergency coordinator on duty.
  • Pick-up by school bus will be scheduled after a mandatory evacuation order is issued. Residents will NOT be able to access the parish’s shelter using their own transportation.
  • Evacuees will be staged at the West Bank Bridge Park in Luling and transported to the parish’s shelter site outside of the storm surge area.
Pets should have:
  • Items in the pet evacuation kit.
  • Animals will be housed separately. This service is ONLY?available to those making use of the assisted evacuation program.
Please bring:
  • ONE BAG PER PERSON.
  • Personal medications. (Medications will not be available at the shelter.)
  • Personal and/or comfort foods.
  • Comfortable clothing.
  • Needed toiletry items, especially for infants.
  • Books and games for the kids.
  • Pillows and blankets.

Hurricane Preparedness Smartphone Apps
  • Get a Game Plan: From the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (iPhone)
  • Alert-FM: Integrates iMap Weather Radio with ALERT FM’s state and local notifications. Receive timely, localized 
    emergency information – from weather alerts to available shelter locations. (iPhone and Android)
  • Hurricane App by American Red Cross: Monitor conditions in your area or throughout the storm track, prepare your family and home, find help and let others know you are safe even if the power is out. (iPhone and Android)


Evacuation Routes


If the parish calls for a mandatory evacuation, both sides of the river will be asked to evacuate at the same time. According to the state contraflow plan, once contraflow has started you will not be able to access I-10 from I-310. St. Charles Parish will evacuate 40 hours prior to the onset of tropical storm force winds.

Delays on the I-310 interchange connecting to I-10 West may be heavy. Expect local traffic to be heavy as well, especially LA 48 (East Bank River Road), U.S. 61 (Airline Hwy.) and U.S. 90. The state will set up information points for evacuees re-entering Louisiana on nine major Interstates and highways. See the state guide to view the list.

EAST BANK: Residents living on the East Bank should evacuate north following U.S. 61 to the I-10 and I-55 interchanges, taking I-55 through Hammond. An alternate route is to take LA-48 to I-310 south to LA 3127 north, turn onto LA 70 East then left on LA 3089. From here you are able to take either I-10 west to Baton Rouge or LA 1 to West Baton Rouge.

WEST BANK: Residents living on the West Bank are encourage to evacuate west on U.S. 90 to Lafayette then north on I-49. An alternate route is to take LA 18 to I-310 south to LA 3127 north, turn onto LA 70 east then left on LA 3089. From here you are able to take either I-10 west to Baton Rouge or LA 1 north to West Baton Rouge.

Please become familiar with state highways as Interstates will be difficult to travel.

Re-entry Information
St. Charles Parish uses an open re-entry approach. This practice allows all residents and business owners access to the parish as soon as authorities deem it safe to enter and move about.

However, if a storm has caused significant damage, it may be necessary to allow access to essential personnel, such as first responders and cleanup crews ONLY.

 

St. Charles Parish authorities understand that it is important for those with assets in our parish to return quickly. The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office and Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will make every effort to allow all residents back as quickly as possible following a storm-related evacuation.

Please stay tuned to local media outlets and the parish website at stcharlesparish-la.gov for up-to-date re-entry information.


Threat From Hurricanes in St. Charles Parish
Our parish is uniquely vulnerable to hurricanes and related wind flood damage.

A slow-moving Category 2 storm has the potential to inundate 80 percent of the structures on the West Bank, especially in areas that have no current levee protection or a levee under construction.

As we saw with 2012’s Hurricane Isaac, even a Category 1 storm has the potential to create widespread flooding. Had Isaac’s track shifted slightly to the west, the West Bank of St. Charles Parish could have seen flooding on par with what was experienced in the LaPlace area. 

For more information on levee protection in SCP, visit www.scplevees.com. For the 2015 season and beyond, the National Hurricane Center will issue storm surge maps prior to a storm making landfall alert the public to flooding threats in their particular areas.

Debris Pickup GuidelinesDebris Graphic
Following these specific guidelines when hauling storm-related debris and household garbage to the curb will make a for a speedier removal process.

SEPARATE INTO CATEGORIES:

 

  1. Household Garbage: Bagged trash, discarded food, packaging, and papers. All garbage should be placed curbside the night before pickup as directed by the parish.
  2. Construction Debris: Building materials, drywall, lumber, carpet, furniture, mattresses, plumbing.
  3. Vegetative Debris: Tree branches, leaves, logs, cuttings.
  4. Household Hazardous Waste: Oils, batteries, pesticides paints, cleaning supplies, compressed gas.
  5. 'White' Goods: Refrigerators, dryers, washers, freezers, air conditioners, stoves, water heaters and dishwashers.
  6. Electronics: Televisions, computers, radios, stereos, DVD Players, telephones.
HELPFUL HINTS:
  • Limit curbside garbage to two 32-gallon containers or 8 trash bags.
  • DO NOT bag storm debris.
  • Tires and shingles are not considered storm debris and should be separated as well.
  • Refrigerator doors must be secured with duct tape.
  • Any debris placed from sidewalk toward  your property or away from the parish right-of-way near the street will not be picked up.
  • Contractors cannot collect items on private property.
  • Do NOT set debris against trees or poles. Doing so makes it harder for cleanup crews to scoop up the items.
  • Different types of debris will be picked up on separate passes. 
Route updates will be posted to the parish website as appropriate.

Recovery Information
PRE-APPLY FOR DISASTER FOOD STAMPS (DSNAP):
Residents can pre-apply for DSNAP by visiting www.dcfs.la.gov/preapply or by calling 1-888-LA-HELPU (1-888-524-3578).

Applicants must provide the following:
  • Names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth for each household member.
  • Current address and parish of household.
  • Monthly income for each household member.
  • All liquid resources for each household member (cash on hand, checking, savings and money market account balances and certificates of deposit).
    * The information will be kept confidential.
In the event that a disaster is declared and a DSNAP program is launched, residents – or their authorized representatives – who have pre-applied only need to visit a DSNAP issuance site to verify their information and identity, determine final eligibility and receive their benefit cards, if eligible. Exact eligibility requirements and DSNAP issuance sites will be announced only after a disaster is declared. For more information on DSNAP, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/dsnap.

GET DISASTER ASSISTANCE FROM FEMA: If St. Charles Parish is declared a federal disaster area, residents may be eligible to receive individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Residents can apply by visiting www.disasterassistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-FEMA.

At a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), survivors can meet face-to-face with FEMA staff to learn about various ways they can get help after a disaster. DRCs are set up in convenient locations to make it easier for survivors to learn about the disaster assistance process or to ask questions about their registration.

When a DRC location is set up in St. Charles Parish, the location, hours of operation and contact information will be available on the parish website or by using the DRC?Locator provided by FEMA. To search for DRCs, text DRC and a ZIP Code to 43362 (4FEMA).

BUILDING PERMITS: Permits are required for the repair of storm-related damages to structures, including roof repairs. Damage to home or business electrical service requires permits and inspections prior to reconnection.

Please keep in mind that insurance companies frequently require proof of compliance with building codes for the release of funds. For more information, call the St. Charles Parish Department of Planning and Zoning at (985) 783-5060.

Home Damage Mitigation Tips
Mitigate TodayDid you know that for every dollar spent on mitigation, approximately four dollars are saved in reduced losses, according to an independent study conducted by the National Institute of Building Sciences?

There are things you can do now to reduce damage from high winds and water. Some are fairly simple and inexpensive; others will require a professional contractor. You’ll need to consider the characteristics of your home, your financial resources and local building regulations via the St. Charles Parish Department of Planning and Zoning. This homeowner’s checklist will help you learn what you can do.

INFORMATION YOU NEED

Do you have enough flood insurance?
Even if you have taken steps to protect your home from flooding, you still need flood insurance. Home owners’ policies do not cover flood damage, so you will need to purchase a separate policy under the National Flood Insurance Program. For more information, visit floodsmart.gov.

PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM HIGH WINDS
Is the roof sheathing properly installed?
During a hurricane, wind forces are carried from the roof down,to the exterior walls, down to the foundation. Homes can be damaged when wind forces are not properly transferred. Roof sheathing (the boards or plywood nailed to the roof rafters or trusses) can fail during a hurricane if not properly installed. Examine the sheathing from the attic. If many of the nails have missed the rafters, you may need to renail the sheathing.

Are end gables securely fastened to the rest of the roof?
In a hurricane, the side walls of the roof (end gables) take a real beating and can collapse. Gable bracing often consists of 2x4s placed in an “X” pattern at both ends of the attic: From the top center of the end gable to the bottom of the brace of the fourth truss, and from the bottom center of the end gable to the peak of the roof. If your end gables do not appear to be braced, use a licensed contractor to install bracing.

Are double entry doors secured at the top and bottom?
The exterior walls, doors and windows are the protective shell of your home. If the shell is broken during a hurricane, high winds can enter the home and put pressure on the roof and walls, causing serious damage. For each double door, at least one of the doors should be secured at both the top of the door frame and the floor with sturdy sliding bolts. Most bolts that come with double doors, however, are not strong enough to withstand high winds. Your local hardware store can help you select the proper bolts.

Has the garage door been properly secured?
If the garage door fails, winds can enter your home and blow out doors, windows, walls and the roof.

PROTECT YOUR HOME FROM HIGH FLOODING
Is the main electric panel board located above potential flood waters?
The main electric panel board should be at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation for your home. (To find this information, contact the St. Charles Parish Department of Planning and Zoning at (985) 783-5060.) The panel board height is regulated by code. All electrical work should be done by a licensed electrician.

Are electric outlets and switches located above potential flood waters?
Consider elevating all electric outlets, switches, light sockets, baseboard heaters and wiring at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation for your home. You may also want to elevate electric service lines (at the point they enter your home) at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation. In areas that could get wet, connect all receptacles to a ground fault interrupter (GFI) circuit to avoid the risk of shock or electrocution. Have electrical wiring done by a licensed electrician.

Does the sewer system have a backflow valve?
If flood waters enter the sewer system, sewage can back up and enter your home. To prevent this, have a qualified, licensed plumber install an interior or exterior backflow valve.

Are the air conditioner and water heater above potential flood waters?
The water heater can be placed on masonry blocks or concrete at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation, moved to inside a floodwall or moved to a higher floor. Outside air conditioning compressors, heat pumps or package units (single units that include a furnace and air conditioner) can be placed on a base of masonry, concrete or pressure-treated lumber. All work must conform to state and local building codes.

(Information courtesy the Federal Emergency Management Agency)

Powerline and Utility Safety
  • Stay away from downed power lines and areas of debris. Report downed lines immediately to Entergy at 1-800-ENTERGY, or call the St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations Center at (985) 783-5050.
  • Don’t walk in flooded areas or standing water. Wet tree limbs can conduct electricity.
  • Look for electrical system damage once power is restored. If you see sparks, broken or frayed wires, or the smell of hot insulation is noticeable, turn off the electricity at either the main fuse box or circuit breaker.
  • Stay alert for natural gas leaks. If you smell natural gas, or if you hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and leave the area immediately. Do not operate electrical switches. If possible, turn the outside main gas valve off and call the gas company from a neighbor’s house.
  • For more safety tips and information, visit www.entergystormcenter.com.

 


How to Stay Connected
St. Charles Parish offers a variety of ways to stay connected during storms and other emergencies.

 

PHONE:

  • Emergency Information?Line: 1-888-SCP-9EOC
  • Emergency Operations Center: (985) 783-5050
  • Parish President and Council Main Line: (985) 783-5000
INTERNET:
NEWS AND EMERGENCY MESSAGING:
  • Visit www.scpemergencyalerts.com to sign up for e-mail, phone and text alerts directly from the St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations Center. 
  • Go to www.stcharlesparish-la.gov/enews to sign up for community news, including emergency press releases, road closures and other important notifications, via e-mail
  • Receive parish Tweets via text message by texting ‘follow stcharlesgov’ to 40404.
  • Never miss a Facebook update by hovering over the ‘Like’ button on the parish page and then clicking ‘Get Notifications.’
TELEVISION:
  • SCP-TV is available on Cox Cable Channel 6, AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 and streaming at scp-tv.com.
RADIO:
  • 1370 AM transmits emergency inormation during and after hurricanes.
* Please note that SCP provides complete updates to all New Orleans media outlets at least twice daily during emergency events.

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