As it turned out, Tropical Storm Gordon wasn’t much more than a blip on the radar to folks in south Louisiana.

But the tropical storm that narrowly missed becoming a hurricane as it lumbered onto shore Tuesday night and Wednesday morning was a timely warning.

It missed us completely. It didn’t even spur any rainfall here. But the significance of Gordon isn’t so much what it did but what it could have done.

Perhaps because we have enjoyed such incredibly good luck in recent years, we might have a tendency to believe that luck will continue.

But make no mistake: It is hurricane season, and any storm that develops in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico could have use in its sights.

The best we can do – for ourselves and our family members – is to stay informed by paying attention to the weather reports and forecasts and maintaining a plan of action for what we will do if a storm is headed this way.

We don’t like to think about that, but if we wait until a storm is coming, some of the preparations will be much more complicated and rushed.

It is far better to do what you can now and wait for a storm that, we hope, will never come.

Make sure you have a plan of attack and that you’ve communicated it to anyone who plays a part in it. This could be family members, neighbors, fellow church members or employees. If you are depending on your nephew to help drive elderly family members in the event of an evacuation, make sure the nephew knows. It might seem like a mundane task, but don’t assume that everyone knows the part he or she will play.

Have an evacuation kit handy, and make sure it contains all the essentials for spending a prolonged period away from home. You will need extra medicine, clean clothes, hygiene supplies and anything else you use on a daily basis.

The same is true of staying put. If you decide to go against the best judgment of the state and local safety experts, be sure you have what you need to live without water and electricity for days or weeks.

Have a plan for how to get your pets to safety along with you.

We have been lucky, as Gordon has once again reminded us. But we simply cannot assume that our good fortune will continue. It is much better to be prepared for an emergency that never happens than to be unprepared for one that does.

Take Gordon as a timely reminder that it’s still hurricane season, and we still have to remain prepared.


Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.