Fellow Louisianans,

As June 1 approaches, many of us are thinking about vacations, children, and how to stay cool in the heavy South Louisiana heat. What we must also consider, however, is the arrival of Hurricane Season. As Louisianan’s we understand this fact of life and know its time to prepare.

This weekend, the State of Louisiana offers a Sales Tax Holiday for the purchase of any supplies related to preparing for the season. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity for savings. While local sales taxes will still apply, purchases of hurricane-related supplies such as generators, flashlights, batteries, etc., will be exempt from state sales taxes. It’s a small way in which we encourage you to prepare for the season.

I am personally preparing my family and I am also preparing as your Public Service Commissioner. I am in contact with your utility providers and I have double-checked with each of them to ensure they are also as prepared as possible. I am confident that each of them are prepared to restore your services as quickly as possible in the event of a tropical weather event.

You can benefit yourself by being prepared. Have your hurricane plan include a review of evacuation routes, planning a place to stay, and travel with basic supplies. When it becomes clear that you will be impacted by a storm you can further prepare by filling your gas tank and ensuring that you have all necessary medications. If no evacuation order is made and you choose to stay, make sure you have adequate supplies of non-perishable food and bottled water for your whole family – including your pets.

Focus your concerns on you and your family. While you do your part, I will do everything within my power to have utilities restored in a reasonable timeframe. We all hope and pray it doesn’t happen but if it does, we need to be ready.

Eric Skrmetta