Louisiana preppers face many of the same threats as anyone else in America: civil collapse, EMP, natural disasters, etc. However, Louisianans have unique challenges than preppers in other states. What makes sense for a prepper in Alaska may not make sense for a prepper in Georgia. This applies to Louisiana as well.
NOTE: Do you live in Louisiana? You know your state, so let us know in the comments section how this article can be improved. What did we miss? What did we get right?
Louisiana Overview – Prepper’s Perspective
The nickname “Pelican State” is because of the many pelicans that inhabit the state’s gulf coast, swamps, and bayous. Louisana is a hot, muggy, but beautiful state that is full of potential for someone that wants to live off the grid and on their own. While preppers will be confronted with a series of unique challenges brought on by nature and the residents of the state, it is also highly conducive to prepping due to its laws and food supply.
Each year, more than a million visitors flock to New Orleans for the many festivities leading up to Mardi Gras. This festival marks the last day of the Carnival season and the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras brings parades, costumes, food, dancing, parties, and balls. Along with the New Orleans Jazz Festival, this makes the city a major US tourist destination. In 2014 more than 9,5 million people visited the city and set a record for tourist spending at $6,8 billion.
While agriculture is an important industry in Louisiana, 41% of US wetlands are located in Louisiana. This leads to vibrant commercial fishing in the state. It manages to produce 25% of seafood in the US and is ranked 1st for crawfish, shrimp, and oysters. Those living in Louisiana need nothing more than a fishing pole and some simple know-how to feed themselves and their family with relative ease.
One thing about Louisiana is its absurd amount of water. While this is an asset to someone that has a water purifier and knows how to fish, it can also be an impediment for those that are looking to move about the state during times of crisis. Therefore, living in this state requires owning a small boat and knowing how to safely operate it. Whether it is moving over its waters or simply motoring down your city street when it floods, to live in Lousiana is to live on the water.
Louisiana Specific Concerns
Race relations in the United States have been a point of tension since the first Europeans landed on the eastern seaboard. Nowhere else is it as tense as in Louisiana. During national events such as Hurricane Katrina and the George Floyd riots, these tensions easily bubble to the surface and take over the narrative. This leaves Louisiana perpetually susceptible to the follow-on riot, protest, or other disruption every time there is some sort of disaster.
If you’re going to live in Louisiana, you need to understand how to protect your family from hurricanes. It is not a matter of if a Hurricane hits, its when. Being able to survive the storm is relatively simple, but being able to live and protect your home as society copes with the massive damage caused by them is another matter entirely. Being able to provide for your own repairs, sustenance, and security is vital to living in this state.
Louisiana Natural Disasters
By far, hurricanes are the state’s biggest concern. However, there are other natural disasters the state suffers including floods, severe storms, power outages, tornadoes, ice storms, and landslides. Granted, many of these are second or third-order effects of hurricanes. However, the northwestern section of the state is prone to tornados, though small and infrequent. The eastern border of the state is made up entirely of the Mississippi River and is susceptible to the floods it brings.
1) Hurricane Betsy – Hitting on September 9, 1965, this hurricane was the first one to cause over $1 billion in damages. However, it would be far from the last. Though it killed 76 people, its death toll is one of the smallest in the history of the state. That should give you an idea of the level of hurricane damage this state experiences.
2) Hurricane Camille – Only a few years later, hitting on August 17, 1969, this hurricane spawned tornadoes, caused massive flooding, destroyed crops throughout the region, and caused widespread power outages for weeks. Hurricane Camille would be the last major hurricane for a few years.
3) Hurricane Andrew (1992) – In 1992, one of the largest hurricanes to hit the southern United States made landfall. However, since it had already pushed through Florida, Hurricane Andrew was reduced in strength. However, it was still strong enough to completely disrupt the lives of Louisiana residents. More than 9 tornadoes spun off this storm as it hit Louisiana, resulting in $1.56 billion in damages.
4) Hurricane Katrina –The largest and most destructive hurricane in the history of Louisiana, Hurricane Katrina completely destroyed parts of New Orleans and rocked the entire nation. This 2005 storm was the costliest hurricane to ever hit the US, causing $108 billion in damages in 2005 money while also killing 1833 people.
5) Deepwater Horizon Explosion – Despite the reoccurring impact of hurricanes, the state also has man-made disasters that cause heartache as well. On April 20, 2010, the largest marine oil spill in history took place off the coast of Louisiana. An estimated 60,000 barrels’ worth of oil was leaked per day from here as raw crude covered the Gulf Coast. The end result was disruption to fishing, shrimping, and rampant contamination of the food and water of southern Lousiana.
6) Hurricane Rita – Right after Katrina came to Rita in 2005, a smaller hurricane hit and caused excessive damage. Mass evacuations of rescue workers were put into place. However, due to a severe heat wave that hit at the same time, approximately 90-118 people died from the heat before the storm even arrived. Additionally, a bus evacuating nursing home residents during this time also caught on fire, killing 23, and is attributed to the storm as well.
Build on Stilts
Along the coast and close to major waterways, you will find homes built on stilts far off the ground as far north as Caddo Lake. The reason is the state’s rampant flooding that happens regularly. If you are living in Louisiana, you will need to consider if your home is built to the appropriate level. If not, consider moving since raising your home will be quite the undertaking. However, if you are moving to the state or considering building a new home, build or buy high.
Louisiana has a rampant crime problem. Though it is mostly confined to the cities, it will plague people anywhere in the area. Therefore, use natural or planted vegetation to your advantage. Most crimes are done out of convenience. Therefore, if people can’t see what you have from the road, they will likely never attempt to steal it.
When SHTF this is a major advantage. Since things grow easily in Louisiana, consider planting some natural bushes that will keep your home hidden from those passing by. We’ve published an entire article on landscaping for home security. Check it out.
Know Your Local Waters
One asset Louisiana has going for it is its natural food sources. If you know how to passively fish with nets, trot lines, and yo-yos, you will not only be able to feed yourself, you will likely gain some weight in a crisis. However, trying to figure out how to fish using these techniques and learning where to go will take time. Adopt fishing as a hobby as it will pay dividends when you need food.
One of the most important pieces of equipment for any prepper planning to bug out is to have decent maps of their state. Having an identified bug out location is crucial. All preppers in any state should begin their bug out plans with a paper map of their state. Nothing is better for all-purpose use than the DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer.
- topo maps of entire state of Louisiana
- maps to back roads and outdoor recreation in Lousiana
You Need A Mud Motor
Mud motors are shallow water motors that come in the form of long tails and surface drives. Either will get you where you are going in Louisiana. Since most of the state has shallow water, a normal outboard will not suffice during your bugout. However, a mud motor will go through anything, at any depth, and do it with a high level of fuel efficiency. Look to get a second-hand mud motor and attach it to a boat big enough to move you and your family to safety.
Louisiana is a unique fishery that requires a unique set of tools to fish it effectively and efficiently. While a rod and reel will get you what you need, it is a lot better to have several hooks out at once. Consider having prebuilt trotlines in your bug out bag and know how to set it. You will be able to put them up where you camp at night and then pull them the following morning. You will be surprised at how easy it is to catch large catfish, turtles, and other edible fish with just a little effort.
Your Security Is In Your Hands
Moving through Louisiana in a crisis is no simple task. Remember, this is the state that had Blackwater and the 82nd Airborne deployed to it in order to keep order during Katrina. Therefore, buy a sidearm and gain a level of proficiency in its use. If you find yourself running from the floodwaters, tornados, and storm surges of the next major hurricane, you will undoubtedly come across robbers and looters trying to take advantage of the situation. Be ready for them.
Further Reading for Louisiana Preppers
This article just scratches the surface of what Louisiana preppers need to know. The following links could held educate you more on prepping in the state.
Louisiana Prepping/Survival – A Facebook group that is active and focuses on living off the land.
Louisiana Prepping Guide – Government booklet that outlines everything that should be done to prepare for the next storm.
8 Ways Academy – Louisiana’s biggest bushcraft and survival school that offers courses on how to live off the land in the state.
Louisiana Disaster Response – Government information page that provides official updates concerning ongoing crisis.