As Louisiana residents marked the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Americans along the East Coast were dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

We’re glad that Louisiana was spared from Irene’s destruction, but our hearts go out to all of those who lost loved ones and property in the storm.

We believe those in Irene’s path were better prepared to deal with the hurricane because of America’s experience with Katrina.

The worst-case scenario that played out with Katrina was a wake-up call to the rest of the country. Katrina taught officials it’s better to prepare for the worst and be pleasantly surprised than to be caught off-guard when bad things happen.

We have little patience with the post-Irene grudgers who have complained officials were too zealous in ordering evacuations and taking other precautions as Irene approached. In areas where those evacuations and precautions proved unnecessary, those inconvenienced by the measures should be counting their blessings, not complaining.

Even in our technologically advanced age, forecasters cannot know exactly where a storm will go or how strong it will be when it arrives.

Given the uncertainty, prudence is always the best option when lives could be at risk.

The ordeal of Irene isn’t over. Flood water from the storm continues to threaten some areas, and power outages and clean-up efforts will strain residents of the Northeast for days, if not weeks.

For those who lost loved ones in the storm, life will never be the same.

Here in Louisiana, we know how terrible hurricanes can be. Our thoughts and prayers are with those still suffering from Irene’s wrath.