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Jul 23, 2010 7:05 PM by Carolyn Cerda

Prepare Now, Don't Panic Later

Bonnie may not make a direct hit on Acadiana but, the Office of Emergency Preparedness is warning residents not to be complacent. Officials are hoping Acadiana residents prepare now, so they won't panic later.

Shoppers were passing up the hurricane displays at Home Depot Friday. Even those who admitted not having any basic items, like batteries and flashlights. Employee, Gregory Hills, says he always tries to remind customers that now is the time to prepare. Not after a disaster strikes, when the demand is huger than the supply.

"It can be very tiring for the customer, because it becomes a rush, rush situation," said Hills.

When it comes to hurricane preparedness, people automatically think of batteries and flashlights, but it's important not to forget other essentials, such as canned food and bottled water.

At getagameplan.org there are lists of all things you should do even before a storm is named in the Gulf. Things like putting together an emergency kit, including important papers, such as your social security card and stocks and bonds, in a portable, waterproof container.

Even if Bonnie stays clear of Acadiana, Hills hopes residents heed the warning, "we cry it out all the time... being prepared, being prepared...let us not wait until the last minute, come now."

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