Louisiana State Police is urging the people of northwest Louisiana to exercise caution during the upcoming storm:
Prior to the storm, make sure to store drinking water, canned food and nonperishable items; secure your pets indoors and any loose items around homes (as they travel onto the roadways and impede traffic); have vehicles in good working order with sufficient fuel; and adhere to advisories issued by local municipal, parish and state officials.
Additional safety tips include:
Stay Put -- Avoid driving in heavy storms unless absolutely necessary. Often, injuries and deaths occur during and in the aftermath of such storms. Sightseers impeding roadways cause obstacles for emergency personnel responding to those in need.
Slow Down -- Decrease your vehicle speed during inclement weather to avoid hydroplaning and to account for increased stopping time. Periods of heavy rain may necessitate traveling at speeds below the posted speed limits.
Be cautious of high winds -- Windy conditions adversely affect all vehicles, particularly high profile vehicles, such as buses and trucks, as well as smaller vehicles such as motorcycles. Gusty wind makes driving difficult, especially when it is rapidly changing in speed and direction.
Pay attention -- You may come up on an intersection that is no longer controlled by a functioning traffic control device. If a law enforcement officer is directing traffic, follow his directions. Otherwise, treat the intersection as you would treat an intersection governed by a four-way stop sign. Refrain from utilizing cell phones, or other devices, which further distract drivers.
Do not drive around any barricades -- You may come into contact with a road closed barricade that is blocking a normal route, this would indicate that the road way is or could be closed due to high water. Don't attempt to proceed with your route even if you think you can make it through.