Still a long way to go after slow start to hurricane season: ‘Too early to wave victory flags’


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After months of an eerily calm season, a hurricane and a tropical storm are now in the Atlantic.

While none of these storms are expected to impact the United States, emergency officials say those in the southern Gulf should still prepare for what may come later this season.

In New Orleans, the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is preparing to help families who cannot evacuate due to tighter budgets and inflation.

“A single storm can change the whole dynamic of this hurricane season,” said director Collin Arnold. “Finances shouldn’t be the reason for not preparing.”

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Free supplies are distributed in Lafourche Parish after Hurricane Ida.
(FoxNews)

Arnold said the city is working with community partners to collect supplies that can be distributed to residents for free in the event of a storm, but said families should also get what they can now.

“We know the economy is a bit heavy right now, but people need to gather as many supplies as possible to try to be self-sufficient for about 72 hours,” Arnold said.

AAA also recommends setting aside at least $1,500 in case you need to evacuate.

“It is absolutely more expensive to evacuate this year than in previous years,” said AAA Louisiana spokesman Don Redman.

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A car drives through a flooded street as Tropical Storm Henri approaches in Hoboken, New Jersey on August 22, 2021.

A car drives through a flooded street as Tropical Storm Henri approaches in Hoboken, New Jersey on August 22, 2021.
(Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty)

Take the evacuation to Houston for example.

In 2021, a round trip from New Orleans to Houston costs around $85 in gas. Now it’s closer to $133.

Your hotel stay will also be more expensive. Last year, prices were close to $265 a night. Today, you would pay closer to $282.

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“I think families really need to be prepared for this,” Redman said. “Definitely a category 3 and above, my advice is to evacuate.”

With a slower start this season, families have even more time to prepare.

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“We may only be at Earl or ‘E’ right now, but it’s a little early to start waving victory flags,” Arnold said.

If this trend continues, this hurricane season will be the fourth calmest year of the past century.


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