Iberia Parish President Larry Richard says Iberia Parish is a month and a half into the six month 2018 hurricane season, and this season’s activity forecast is slightly above average.

“So far this year we have seen subtropical storm Alberto in the Caribbean Sea and Hurricanes Beryl and Chris in the Atlantic Ocean,” Richard said. “While Iberia Parish Government has well developed plans for tropical storms and hurricanes, the primary burden of preparedness lies on individuals, families and businesses to see after their own specific needs in the event of a storm.”

Richard encouraged all Iberia Parish residents to carefully consider their own hurricane preparedness requirements. 

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Remember that due to changing circumstances the plan which worked for you in 2008 for Hurricanes Gustav and Ike probably isn’t adequate for your circumstances in 2018,” Richard said. “The state of Louisiana has excellent disaster preparedness information for individuals, families and businesses at GetAGamePlan.org which all Iberia Parish residents should become familiar with.”

Richard strongly recommended that parish residents and business owners honestly assess their current circumstances and decide now how far in advance of a hurricane they will execute their personal preparation steps, including how and where to evacuate.

The website mentioned above has information about planning for family, business and a section that your kids can utilize to help out.

“Although we are speaking about hurricane preparedness, don’t wait until we have a named system to make these preparations,” Richard said. “During 2016, we experienced a weather event that caused much flooding throughout Iberia and other parishes. This event was not a hurricane but created a flooding event which occurred without warning.”

“Therefore, it is important to always be prepared. I ask that you utilize the information contained at GetAGamePlan.org and do what you can to assure that you, your family and place of business are prepared.

• This time of year is also an active time for Mosquitoes, and Richard also spoke about the parish’s  Mosquito Abatement District.

“I want to speak a little about our Mosquito Abatement District and to say I think we have a great program in place,” Richard said. “The protection of public health and safety as well as the cost benefit provided by parishwide mosquito control is often overlooked. This may be due to the fact that surveillance and control operations are conducted before many wake for the day or have retired for the evening.”

The Iberia Parish Mosquito Control District is responsible for the surveillance, detection and abatement of mosquito-borne pathogens. For instance, a person infected with the most serious neurologic for of the West Nile Virus, could have lifelong medical issues.

“We live in a region where mosquitoes are found in great abundance and the potential problems they represent are worrisome to all of us,” he said. 

Richard said that statistics show 2 percent of the population is expected to contract neuroinvasive or the worst case scenario of West Nile Virus. 

“But over the 11 year period of the current parish program, this degree of West Nile Virus was realized in only one tenth of a percent of our population with no reported fatalities,” he said. “I would say that we are ahead of the game.”

“Our Mosquito Abatement District is determined to continue to provide for the public health and safety of the citizens of Iberia Parish.”

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