According to current forecasts, Hurricane Irma is projected to hit the Central Florida area on Monday, September 11th, at 2am. The storm is likely to hit as a Category 3 storm, with winds reaching up to 120mph, though Wednesday and Thursday, the storm is expected to slam the Caribbean as a Category 4 or 5; the highest category for a hurricane.
ABC News reports that that National Hurricane Center (NHC) has reported that Florida could “direct impacts”, though it’s too soon to tell for sure. The storm may also have an impact on the Carolinas and the East Coast, simply due to the sheer size and power of this storm.
With Irma rapidly approaching the Nonahood, we’ve gathered a couple of tips and tricks from CNN, ABC News, and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), that may be helpful to you.
BEFORE THE HURRICANE:
- Keep in stock extra plastic bags and sheets of plastic. Plastic is essential to prevent important documents, paintings, equipment and furniture from getting wet.
- Store extra food, especially things that can be eaten without cooking or which need very little preparation. Electricity may be off during a hurricane, leaving you without refrigeration.
- Make sure you have emergency equipment in your home. These include water boots, raincoats, flashlights, batteries, portable radio, kerosene lamps and matches.
- Have simple first-aid equipment such as iodine, bandages, eye lotion, etc. at home.
- Keep handy a supply of lumber, plywood, timber, etc. for battening down purposes.
- Trim trees that touch power lines or hang over the house and other buildings.
DURING THE HURRICANE:
- Do not go outside unless it is absolutely necessary. Small children are at risk of being blown away by strong wind gusts.
- If you are away from home, remain where you are until the hurricane has passed. Many people have lost their lives trying to go from one place to another.
- If the house shows signs of breaking up, stay under a table or stand in a sturdy closet.
- If your glass windows have not been boarded up, place a large heavy object in front of the window to protect yourself and others from splintering glass.
- Listen to the radio for information on what is happening.
AFTER THE HURRICANE:
- Do not touch loose or dangling electrical wire. You risk being electrocuted.
- Immediately after the hurricane don’t use stored water for washing houses, cars and watering gardens until normal water services have been restored.
- Boil all drinking water until you are sure that a safe water supply has been restored.
- Do not go outside barefooted. Avoid wearing open shoes and watch out for broken glass.
Above all, make sure that you remain calm throughout the hurricane. Panicking can cause a lot more harm than good, and safety should always be your number one priority.
- Citizen Info Line: 407.246.HELP (4357)
- Local Emergency Radio Station: 1650 AM
- City of Orlando Emergency Management: Cityoforlando.net/emergency
- National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.
- NHC Page for Irma: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_at1.shtml?cone
- Orange County Public Schools: https://www.ocps.net/
Nonahood News hopes that you stay safe during Hurricane Irma, and any other upcoming storm.