NATCHITOCHES, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – There are only three weeks left until hurricane season begins and local leaders in Natchitoches aren’t wasting any time preparing.
Natchitoches Mayor Ronnie Williams said failing to plan is a plan to fail and that’s a lesson that they have learned in the past dealing with hurricanes Laura and Delta.
“What we really want to do is make sure we put it on people’s radar to go ahead to start to plan for it,” Mayor Williams said.
During a meeting on Monday, the Mayor and his team talked about the introduction of an app called Regroup-Alert Me. He said this app would allow them to have better communication with their citizens in the city and parish in the event of a storm.
Mayor Williams said he was sworn in only a few days before Hurricane Laura, so he knows the devastation Laura brought to the city and state.
“We’ve seen again that they are not just a distant thought. These situations happen and affect us. Laura certainly came with significant strength,” Williams said.
The city’s public relations manager, Hannah Wenninger, said this is their first and only meeting before the season begins but urges everyone to participate in the Regroup-Alert Me and Code Red through the parish. Both services are free.
“So in 2020 on into 21, we experienced several natural disasters. This is a way for us to stay in touch with our citizens and constitutes to provide them with information regarding any type of disaster awareness that they need to be aware of,” Wenninger said.
They said Hurricane Laura and Delta left the parish and city without power for days and some even for weeks.
Mary Jones with the sheriff’s department said citizens should also shop for hurricane supplies now instead of later.
“You need batteries, you need flashlights, you need your medical information and should have that with you at all times,” Jones said.
She said one of the main problems people called about during Hurricane Laura was lack of power.
Hurricane Season begins June 1 and lasts all the way until November 30.
“Not only is having a plan important but also communication. Being able to communicate the information to the residents, even if it is not good information or it’s not necessarily the best news they want to hear, I think people still want to know what their situation is,” Williams said.