Coast Guard urges community to take early action for Isaac

The Coast Guard is urging communities along the gulf coast to monitor Tropical Storm Isaac TMs progress.

They are asking for people to take early action and to protect themselves and their property.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Isaac is expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico by Monday morning and make landfall as a hurricane on Tuesday night.

Here is what the Coast Guard is advising residents to do:

Stay informed: Everyone should monitor the progress and strength of the storm through reputable news and weather reporting sources. Boaters should monitor marine VHF-FM channel 16 for news of the storm TMs progress and small craft advisories and warnings.

Get a game plan: Logon to the Federal Emergency Management Agency~s (FEMA) portal to help prepare for various emergencies, especially hurricanes and/or tropical storms. When disaster strikes, it TMs critical that you and your loved ones have a plan to provide for your own safety.

Evacuate as necessary: Mandatory evacuation orders should be obeyed. Coast Guard personnel and other emergency responders may not be able to evacuate those who are in danger during a storm.

Secure your property: Owners of large boats are urged to move their vessels to protected areas where they will be less likely to break free of their moorings or to be otherwise damaged. Boats that can be placed on a trailer should be pulled from the water and stored in a place that is not prone to flooding. Those mariners who leave their boats in the water are reminded to secure life rings, life jackets, EPIRBs, and fenders.

Be cautious of hazardous materials: If you have hazardous materials on or near the water, you are responsible for any spills that may occur. Take the necessary precautions to secure these materials prior to any foul weather. Contact the Coast Guard if you find or suspect that a hazardous material has been spilled into the water.

Be cautious of inland flooding: Be aware of low lying areas and the potential for storm surge. Even areas not near a body of water could be susceptible to flooding because of steady rain from a major storm.

"The Coast Guard is already preparing for heavy weather from Isaac," said Rear Adm. Roy Nash, Coast Guard District Eight Commander. "Staying informed, taking early action and following a good emergency plan for a major storm are essential to protecting yourself, your family and your property. Take the time now to prepare for whatever weather Isaac may bring to the Gulf Coast.

In the event of any marine emergencies, the public is encouraged to contact the Coast Guard Command Center at 504-589-6225.

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