Flood and Hurricane Preparedness

Family Disaster Supply Kit
There are six basics that you should stock for your disaster supply kit; water, food, clothing and bedding, first aid supplies, tools and emergency supplies and special items. Keep these items in a waterproof container that can be easily transported from your home to your car and your safe place. Assemble you kit now to allow for immediate action during an emergency. Your family's disaster supply kit should include at least a five-day supply of:
•Water - One gallon of water per person per day.
•Non-perishable food - Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Include the following items:
Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables, Canned juices, High energy foods, Vitamins, Comfort goods, Condiments ,Food for infants.
•Clothing and bedding - Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person and the following weather-appropriate items: Sturdy shoes or work boots, Rain gear, Blankets or sleeping bags, Hat and gloves,Thermal underwear, Sunglasses.
•First aid supplies
•Tools and emergency supplies
Louisiana Citizen Awareness and Disaster Evacuation Guide, Official DOTD Travel Map, Flashlight and extra batteries, Non-electric can opener, utility knife, Tube Tent, Tape , Matches in a waterproof container, Plastic storage containers Pen, Paper, pencil, Medicine dropper, Whistle, Sanitation supplies, Battery-operated radio and extra batteries, Cash or traveler's checks, change, Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC-type, Pliers, hammer, screwdriver, nails and screws, Hatchet, or any other tools you feel you may need, Compass, Aluminum foil, Signal flares, Needles, thread, Shut-off wrench to turn off household gas and water, Plastic sheeting, Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils
•Special Items - Infant and medical supplies: Remember supplies for family members with special requirements, such as infants, elderly, persons with disabilities and persons taking medication
•Entertainment - Games and books
•Important family documents
Wills, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds, Passports, social security cards and immunization records, Bank account numbers, Credit card account numbers and company addresses, Inventory of valuable household goods and important telephone numbers, Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)

Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the supply kit in the trunk of your car. Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh. Replace your stored food every six months. Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.

Plan ahead for your family pets. Food, water, food bowls, shot record and if you plan to evacuate, check for nearby kennels and veterinarians near where you plan to go.

Visit Westwego City Hall to pick up information booklets, Hurricane Survival Guides and Disaster Evacuation maps.

Additional Links: CRS | FEMA | SLFPAW

Now is the time to prepare!

Informational video from recent FEMA Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps Open House in Jefferson Parish.
Click here for an informational video from the recent open house.

Flood Zone Determination for Your Property
Click here for http://www.fema.gov/online-lomc

WHAT IS YOUR FLOOD RISK: FEMA FLOOD INSURANCE RATE MAPS
http://maps.riskmap6.com/LA/Jefferson and LSU AgCenter

NEW - Changes Coming to National Flood Insurance Program: What to Expect
Short Version BW12 Slides and Final BW12 Sec 205-207 Fact Sheet

Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West

Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West is the organization responsible for maintaining all existing and new levees that are part of the West Bank and Vicinity Hurricane Flood Protection Project. They are responsible for the areas served by the Algiers Levee District and West Jefferson Levee District.

The SLFPAW website website is a useful tool for citizens of the City of Westwego to use as a resource.

www.slfpaw.org

Got Flood Insurance?

Because future flooding in some areas will undoubtedly occur, a good defense is flood insurance. Homeowner's insurance policies, in most cases, do not cover damage from floods. Flood insurance covers damage from all surface floods and can be purchased through your insurance agent. Renters can also buy policies to protect their personal property.

Don't wait for the next flood to buy insurance protection. There is a 30-day waiting period before National Flood Insurance Program coverage takes effect.

For more information on flood insurance, see http://www.fema.gov/nfip/infocon.

Property Protection

There are many things you can do to an existing building to minimize or eliminate the potential for flood damage.

Sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting, and lumber can be used to protect property temporarily. (Remember: sandbags should not be stacked against the outer walls of a building since bags may create added pressure to the foundation.)

Permanent flood proofing measures for flood prone structures are preferable to temporary ones. These permanent retrofitting methods include elevating the structure, building flood walls and closures and protecting utilities. Inspecting and retrofitting the areas of your house most vulnerable to flood damage - garage doors, double doors, windows and often require the assistance of a licensed contractor. Contact the City of Westwego's Community Rating System Department for assistance with floodproofing at 504-341-3424.

Drainage System Maintenance

The City of Westwego Public Works Department has a regular program of drainage system maintenance but it is impossible to keep all drainage systems clear at all times.

YOU CAN HELP BY MONITORING LOCAL DRAINS AND REMOVING DEBRIS!

Debris in local storm drains or storm sewers can cause flood waters to back up and inundate areas that normally do not flood. Debris is not limited to natural materials. Garbage cans, children's toys and balls, metal roofing material, lawn furniture, landscape timbers, grocery carts and other items have been found in drains blocking storm water and causing flooding.

  • Report illegal dumping of trash, shopping carts, etc. to the Westwego Police Department at 341-5428.
  • Report minor and emergency repairs to the Streets Department at 341-3424.

Flood Response System for Citizens with Special Medical Needs

In an effort to insure the safety and general welfare of the citizens of Westwego, the city coordinates its emergency operations in accordance with Parish, State and Federal Emergency Management Agencies.

When Jefferson Parish calls for an evacuation, a telephone number will be released to the pubic via radio and television. At that time those needing assistance, who are not serviced by a home healthcare agency are to call the publicized number to determine their eligibility.

Senior Citizens with special needs should contact the Westwego Committee on Aging at 341-2957.

Medically needed individuals who do not have assistance from relatives/friends or are too ill to leave the area will be categorized and housed, along with one caregiver only, in a designated J.P. hospital refuge.

Only Jefferson Parish Emergency Management can assign individuals for hospital refuge.

If you are presently serviced by a home healthcare agency, you are to go through your healthcare agency and not the City of Westwego or Jefferson Parish.

Floodplain Development Permit Requirements

All developments, regardless of the location, require a permit that includes buildings, fill, and any other type of development. Contact the City of Westwego's Permit Office to obtain necessary permits at 341-3424. Additionally, if any citizen observes an illegal development in the floodplain, it is to be reported immediately to Westwego's Community System Coordinator at 341-3424.

Substantial Improvement/Damage Requirements

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), as well as current City of Westwego ordinances, requires that when the cost of reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvements to a building equals or exceeds 50% of the structure's fair market value must also be elevated above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) in flood zones where BFEs exist. Questions regarding this subject may be directed to the City of Westwego Permit Office at 504-341-3424.

Flood Warning System

The City of Westwego operates a flood warning system to residents of the City regarding the possibility of impending flood caused by Hurricanes, Tropical Storms, and heavy rains resulting from prolonged thunderstorms, tornadoes, winter storms, or a combination thereof. A warning period will be available for most emergency situations, although the amount of lead time may vary from hazard to hazard. Proper use of this warning period will save lives, reduce injuries, and protect property. These warnings are routinely disseminated through Emergency Alert System (EAS). Upon notification, three (3) short dual tones over TV and radio stations, residents should tune to Cox Cable TV, Channel 6 (Government Access Channel) or in the event of the lack of cable TV, WWL Radio 870 AM or 101.9 FM for initial warning information and subsequent updates.

Motorists and pedestrians in or passing through the advisory area should:

  • Keep abreast of road conditions through the news media.
  • Avoid crossing flooded roads, and allow extra time to reach your destination.
  • Be aware that heavy rainfall can reduce visibility to zero.
  • Be aware that driving too fast through low water will cause the vehicle to hydroplane and lose contact with the road surface.

Natural and Beneficial Functions

A large portion of Jefferson Parish and the City of Westwego is at or below sea level. While there are some areas that are above this level, the entire parish is prone to the possibility of flooding caused by a variety of circumstances as enumerated above. This condition is primarily attributed to the fact that wer are surrounded by rivers, lakes, bayous, and canals that necessitate our protection through a series of levee systems. We therefore must use drainage canals pumping stations to ensure that stormwater is removed as quickly as possible into the surrounding waterways outside the levee system to help mitigate the possibility of flooding. Subsequently, citizens who observe any illegal activities with regard to our canal systems should immediately report these instances to the City of Westwego Public Works at 341-3424. The importance of protecting our flood prevention resources cannot be understand.

FEMA Elevation Certificates

These certificates are necessary to determine Base Flood Elevation (BFE) when building a structure, commercial and residential, or mitigation of structure, which has been repetitively flooded or substantially damaged. The Certificate of Elevation provides consistent regulations to prevent one development from adversely affecting another development. Only licensed Surveyors can provide this service at a specified cost. Copies of these certificates are kept on file and can be obtained by the respective building owner by calling City Hall at 341-3424. The FEMA elevation and floodproofing certificates include detailed instructions for completing them. The latest version can be downloaded from FEMA's website at http://www.fema.gov/nfip/.
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