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Jun 1, 2014 7:45 PM by Akeam Ashford

Hurricane Season Preparation Tips

Rain continued to fall as the first official start of the 2014 hurricane season begins today.

As many Acadiana residents saw, you don't need to be in hurricane season in order to get heavy rains that can wash out roads and leave families stranded.

"This is something that the Red Cross prepares for basically 365 days a year, and 24 hours a day," Director of the Acadiana Chapter of the American Red Cross Tony Credeur said. "You never know when something like this will happen that's why we're always promoting preparedness."

Last week's torrential thunderstorms were a frightening example of how rainfall can build up in a matter of minutes.

It was those minutes that left Maurice resident Jonathan King and his family trapped in their home.

"First it was the rain, then floods just came in," King said. "We have two curves that lead to the house, and at the time it was chest deep. We couldn't get in or out."

Eventually rescued by the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office, King said his family had to stay at the American Red Cross temporary shelter in Maurice for four days.

"It's been a big strain on everyone," King said. "I'm the only one that works in my family, and I've been out of work since Thursday."

Credeur said flooding can be unpredictable, which is why he's urging Acadiana families to prepare now for the upcoming hurricane season before it's too late.

"A lot of people say believe they're not in a flood zone, but if you get 10 to 12 inches of rain on top of you within a 24 hour period, then you're in a flood zone," Credeur said. "More than likely, you're probably going to have some flooding no matter where you are."

Credeur says a family preparation plan should include a variety of emergency response items, such as a three-day supply of food, battery operated communication equipment to call for help, a place to put important papers and documents, and physical cash in the likelihood banks are closed for several days.

"You can actually go to the Red Cross app store and we have some free tools there that you can get. Specific to your area and situation your in," Credeur said.

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