The Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office sent a "tip" to residents of Vermilion Parish regarding Hurricane Laura that sent chills up my spine.

The "tip" was for those who are choosing to ride out the storm at home. It read, "If you choose to stay and we can't get to you, write your name, address, social security number and next of kin and put it in a ziplock bag in your pocket."

I recall the devastation after both Hurricanes Rita and Ike, as I had dozens of friends and relatives who had their homes flooded (some destroyed) by those storms. This storm is predicted to be as severe as Hurricane Ike.

Even without the hurricane, our emergency personnel stay fairly busy. Combine that with the need for emergency medical evacuation due to people injuring themselves trying to clean up or traveling in dangerous conditions after the storm and something will fall through the cracks.

My point is this: don't do anything that will put you in harm's way. The safest, smartest thing to do is to evacuate. Now. If you don't, take the advice of the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office and keep something on your person that identifies you, and lists your next of kin. When you DO list your next of kin, don't list anyone who is riding out the storm with you.


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