Our friend Tracy gives you her advice for hurricane season: As we watch Hurricane Irene churn her way up the east coast of the United States, all of us who live in Acadiana know EXACTLY what those folks can expect. Unfortunately, many of them don't! Once you get north of the Carolinas, they haven't seen a real hurricane in over a hundred years. They are scared of what they don't know. If you think about it, we have seen so many different levels of hurricane damage. From minor to Katrina or Rita. We know. All they know is what the national news covered and that was basically Katrina. I really feel for them and the fear they must be experiencing. One emergency preparedness official said he doesn't think they are at all ready for it in New York. The mayor there had started ordering evacuations of lower Manhattan on Thursday which I think is a smart move. I've never been to New York City but if it's low and on the banks of a river, it seems like a smart move to get out. I was thinking that if I could give them a short list what would it be. So here's my take on it.

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    Listen to emergency preparedness officials.

    If they say leave, LEAVE! This is especially true for those folks up in the northeast who have NO idea what to expect. It's true that some folks down here don't evacuate when they are told to (I'm gonna not say any more than that) but these people who may be affected by Irene REALLY don't know how to handle a hurricane. And I’d share with them our state’s great preparedness website www.getagameplan.org.

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    Get bug spray for when you get back home.

    Don't look at the computer screen like I'm crazy. Mosquitos, bugs, creepy crawlies... it just seems like they are even worse after a storm blows in. And with the loss of electricity and the fact that you have to open windows for ventilation, they are EVERYWHERE.

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    A generator is a good investment but you better have what you need!

    A couple of extension cords and a box fan come to mind. And you may want to plug in your refrigerator/freezer and a lamp. But don't overload the generator. AND don't put it in the house. This whole generator thing could pose a problem for all those people who live in apartments in NYC. Poor things!

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    For information, your local stations (radio and television) are the best.

    They just are. Have a battery-operated radio. Make sure your cell phone is charged. Remember, you may not have a computer!

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    Remember, you are all in this together!

    One of the most heart-warming and ultimately helpful things about recovering from a storm is the ability of a community to pull together to get back to normal. If you aren't hurt, if your property is still in tact, help your neighbor.