On Monday a large area of severe storms with very heavy rainfall pushed across most of South Louisiana. Some parts of Acadiana were peppered with severe weather warnings and threats of tornadoes.

Other places were inundated with unrelenting rainfall that overtopped the banks of bayous, coulees, and creeks. Regardless of what issue you experienced if you have damage you need to let someone know.

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Now, I understand that goes against the grain of "Cajun upbringing". Most South Louisiana residents and families don't like to lean on the government for help. They'd much rather pick themselves up by their own bootstraps and get back to business but this is a report you really need to make.

We can't expect the government on any level, local, state, or national, to be responsive to our needs if they don't know what those needs are. That's why Lafayette Consolidated Government is encouraging you to file a damage report with the state of Louisiana.

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Just for clarity's sake, you don't have to be in just Lafayette or Lafayette Parish to report the damage. No matter where you are in the state, it's a good idea to fill out the paperwork for damages that may you may have incurred.

You can file that damage report with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Here's why you want to do that. When you and everyone else that has experienced damage file those reports the state gets a better idea of just how bad the disaster was. If there is enough damage and enough reports have been filed then the state can apply for federal aid.

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Now, in order to qualify for federal money the state and the parish much reach a certain damage threshold. My guess is that damages sustained Monday and damages that might still be inflicted as part of this week of stormy weather will be enough to get some federal assistance.

However, the feds and the state won't know unless we tell them. So, for this or any other natural disaster file those damage reports. This will help expedite the assistance you or someone in our community might really be needing.

Then once you've done that you can get back to complaining about traffic and the way people drive.

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