After leaving a trail of destruction across the Caribbean, the powerful Category 5 Hurricane IRMA, with winds of up to 180 mph, is now headed for the United States. The hurricane is expected to arrive as early as Saturday morning, September 9th, along the coastlines of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. State Governments are aware of the life-threatening impact this fearsome storm could have on its residents.
Florida officials have announced mandatory advance evacuations in some areas, most notably, The Keys. Experts are calling this “the most powerful hurricane to strike the Atlantic coast in more than a decade.” The storm’s exact trajectory is still unknown, but if you are near or within the possible path of Hurricane Irma you should be prepared and stay indoors. Take a look at our Disaster Preparedness Checklist to help keep you safe during the hurricane:
- Check on your vehicle’s condition and make sure to refill gas.
- Have enough cash to get you through the next week or so.
- Inform your bank if you plan on leaving the state.
- Stay aware: have a fully charged backup phone and radio on hand.
- Put original documents in sealed bags and store them wisely.
- Take screenshots of important, personal documents and send them to your email. You could also print copies.
- Purchase food and supplies for the whole family as well as your pets.
- Stock up on your favorite unperishable food items.
- Purchase ice bags and store in the freezer.
- Consume perishable goods first.
- Set evacuation plans per your local city guidelines. Share these with family and friends to let them know where you could be in case of an emergency.
- Store heirlooms and photos in plastic bins in high storage places or a safe room if you don’t plan on taking them with you.
- Use old rags and beach towels to temporarily seal your windowsills.
- Reinforce garage doors and use them as storage for other equipment and furniture.
- Install clips or straps to help keep your roof intact.
- Don’t forget to have a first aid kit ready and accessible at all times.
- Keep your generators on a safe distance away from your home’s entry points.
- Make a shortlist of your properties and assets. Important: secure all firearms and ammunition properly.
Start your preparation early, and don’t risk going out during the storm. According to reports, the storm will reach the Florida Keys by the weekend before it will make a sharp turn northward. Also, read more about staying safe during a flood for extra tips.
However, the path of Hurricane Irma beyond that remains uncertain, with models showing that it could then track up either the west coast of Florida or the East Coast of the United States, or even climb up the center of the peninsula.