As of this morning, Florence has been upgraded to a Category 2 hurricane. As Florence continues to churn towards the Southeast, here's how you can prepare before the storm makes landfall.
With a rapidly intensifying storm such as Florence, it's important to get a plan together, in addition to needed supplies.
If you live along the coast of Georgia, Virginia, or the Carolinas, take precautionary measures to make sure your home is prepared for the hurricane.
These steps include: (source: ABC 11)
Cleaning out your gutters
Relocating outdoor furniture/trash bins to the garage
Purchase/install hurricane straps to help protect your roof from damaging winds
Purchase/install plywood or storm shutters on windows/glass doors
Buy some caulk and make sure all window/door frames are sealed
Trim/secure all trees/bushes by tying them down, move hanging plants inside
Secure all fuel tanks
Know how to turn off water/gas
Once your home is secure, continue to monitor the latest developments on the storm. Gather supplies, and make a plan.
These supplies are recommended: (source: Ready.gov)
Gather a three day supply of water for your family. Each family member should have one gallon for each of the three days
You'll also need a three day supply of food for your family. These items should be nonperishable
First aid kit
Ice and coolers (in case the power goes out)
Any medication you normally take, including pain relievers such as over the counter Advil, Tylenol, etc.
Pack an emergency bag of clothing for each family member
Crafts/activities if you have small children
Next, devise a plan.
If your home is in the storm's path, evacuate. It is imperative that you move inland to get out of harm's way. Remember, your home can be replaced, but your life can't.
Call family members who live inland and ask to stay with them until the storm passes. If you don't have family nearby, consider a hotel or an emergency shelter.
Even if you plan to evacuate, know where the emergency shelters are in your area -- Just incase. Before you hit the road, fill up your tank and bring all your emergency supplies with you.
Talk to family members about how you plan to communicate with them during the storm. When disaster strikes, cell phone usage goes up due to emergency calls, so try not to overwhelm cell phone towers if you don't need to. Text messaging/social media might be more reliable ways to communicate with family/friends during the storm.
In the event a storm of this magnitude strikes the Carolinas or Virginia, which would resemble the devastation seen with Hurricane Hugo, all three states have declared a state of emergency.
By the time Florence approaches, it's expected to be a Category 4 storm, with winds nearing 150mph.
You may recall, 27 people died in South Carolina after Hugo struck Sullivan's Island on September 22, 1989. The damage from the storm exceeded nine million dollars.
We hope this guide is helpful to you. Please take the necessary precautions based on your location, and stay safe!
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