Preparing for Irma

 
 {Photo: NBC News}

{Photo: NBC News}

 

Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for Florida. "In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. While the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared," said Governor Scott. Meteorologists anticipate hurricane Irma to make landfall in Florida on Sunday, and if it does, the impact could be catastrophic. As the second strongest storm ever observed in the Atlantic with winds of 185 mph, we definitely need to prepare for the worst.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the two key factors contributing to weather safety during hurricanes are preparing in advance for the risks and to act on those preparations when alerted by emergency officials. Here are six precautionary steps that people in areas impacted by hurricanes and tropical storms should take.

1. Evacuation planning

The main reason for evacuation during hurricanes is from a storm surge, which is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds that can reach heights well over 20 feet, and can span hundreds of miles of coastlines, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

It's important to know if you live in a hurricane evacuation area, which is an area in which residents must leave their homes in the event of a hurricane. Local governments provide the public with information about evacuation areas and the evacuation plans. 

While people who live in storm surge areas fall within areas that are urged to evacuate during a hurricane, people who live outside of these zones should still look into safety precautions during a hurricane.

2. Buy supplies

It is extremely important to buy supplies well in advance and keep those supplies on hand should evacuation be required. 

If you wait until the hurricane is nearby, you are going to be waiting in long lines, or the stores could be sold out. You should plan on three days worth of water (1 gallon per person per day) and three days of non perishable food per person. Also keep blankets and clothing accessible incase you need to evacuate. Other supplies include battery powered radio, flashlight and batteries, first aid kit, whistle to signal for help, local maps, cash, cell phone and chargers, manual can opener for food.

 

IMPORTANT: There is a list of gas stations with generators where you can still pump gas if the power goes out and you need to evacuate at the bottom of this page.

 

3. Check insurance coverage

Property owners and renters should be sure to insure their homes against flooding, which is not a part of standard home and renters insurance. Tenants and home owners can contact their renters or home insurance provider to buy flood insurance, and they should do so even if they do not live right along the coastline. 

Car owners should also contact auto insurance companies and move their cars into an off-site location or secured building. Parking your vehicle in a local garage is a safe place to get vehicles off the road. Try to get a space towards the inside of the parking garage.

4. Make copies of important documents

You should make copies of proof of ownership documents of any property not limited to their homes, cars and boats. These documents can be stored in the hurricane kit or in any safe location that does not risk being damaged during the hurricane. 

5. Protect your home

Residents and tenants should inspect their homes to confirm that there is no damage that a hurricane could increase. Any issues with the overall structure should be repaired, including loose shingles or damaged roofs. 

Any compromises to the roof or structure of the house will become an open wound for strong winds. Residences with yards should also make a list of anything outside on the ground that could get tossed in the air and become debris during high winds. Bring in patio furniture, potted plants, etc.

If you don't have impact windows or shutters, residents should purchase plywood to cover windows and extra security to keep doors from blowing open, in advance, to secure their homes from damaging winds.

6. Back up your electronics

Aside from keeping extra batteries and chargers around during a hurricane, people are also encouraged to full charge and backup any electronic devices. Data should be stored at an off-site location or in the Cloud so it can be recovered if something were to happen to the physical computer or device during a hurricane. Businesses should take caution in backing up information and sending that information to a remote site.

  • MURPHY USA - 103 N CONGRESS AVE, LAKE PARK 33403
  • COSTCO - 11001 SOUTHERN BLVD, ROYAL PALM BEACH 33411
  • COSTCO WHOLESALE - 17800 CONGRESS AVE, BOCA RATON 33487
  • PUBLIX PIX #851 - 15961 ORANGE BLVD, LOXAHATCHEE 34470
  • CUMBERLAND FARMS #0940 - 23077 STATE ROAD 7, BOCA RATON 33428
  • SOUTH CONGRESS AIRPORT SHELL - 242 S CONGRESS AVE, WEST PALM BEACH 33406
  • RACETRAC - 288 HAVERHILL RD, WEST PALM BEACH 33415
  • SUNOCO - 3985 LAKE WORTH RD, LAKE WORTH 33461
  • PGA SHELL EAST - 4150 PGA BLVD, PALM BEACH GARDENS 33410
  • CUMBERLAND FARMS #9753 - 4771 S MILITARY TRL, LAKE WORTH 33463
  • MOBIL/ GROVE GAS STATION - 5070 SEMINOLE PRATT WHITNEY RD, LOXAHATCHEE 33470
  • 4 POINTS MARKET /BP - 645 W BOYNTON BEACH BLVD, BOYNTON BEACH 33435
  • LAKE WORTH TURNPIKE SHELL - 8195 LAKE WORTH RD, LAKE WORTH 33467
  • NEXT STORE - 8081 CONGRESS AVE, BOCA RATON 33487
  • K & V MOBIL, INC - 1990 N DIXIE HWY, BOCA RATON 33432
  • SUN GAS MARKETING & PETROLEUM - 5440 W GLADES RD, BOCA RATON 33431
  • CAMINO REAL MOBIL - 1 E CAMINO REAL, BOCA RATON 33432
  • GLADES ROAD MOBIL - 690 W GLADES RD, BOCA RATON 33431
  • SHELL FIRST COAST ENERGY 1701 - 21302 ST ANDREWS BLVD, BOCA RATON 33433
  • YAMATO CONGRESS BP - 801 W YAMATO RD, BOCA RATON 33431
  • BISCAYNE PETROLEUM STORE #12923 - 1459 W YAMATO RD, BOCA RATON 33431
  • BOCAMART, INC - 198 W YAMATO RD, BOCA RATON 33431
  • COASTAL PRIP MART 199 - 199 NW 20TH ST, BOCA RATON 33431
  • MARATHON GAS - 5490 MILITARY TRL, JUPITER 33458
  • MOBILÂ - 3950 INDIANTOWN RD, JUPITER 33458
  • JUPITER WEST MOBIL - 6661 W INDIANTOWN RD, JUPITER 33458
  • JUPITER WEST SHELL - 6751 W INDIANTOWN RD, JUPITER 33458
  • MARATHON GAS - 1840 PALM BEACH LAKES BLVD, WEST PALM BEACH 33401
  • CHEVRON - 9141 SOUTHERN BLVD, ROYAL PALM BEACH 33411
  • DELRAY CHEVRON - 1909 W ATLANTIC AVE, DELRAY BEACH 33444
  • MARATHON GAS - 890 US HIGHWAY 27 N, SOUTH BAY 33493
  • MOBIL ON THE RUN - 6221 PGA BLVD, PALM BEACH GARDENS 33418
  • MOBIL ON THE RUN # 18205 - 850 GATEWAY BLVD, BOYNTON BEACH 33426
  • MARATHON GAS - 810 N CONGRESS AVE, RIVIERA BEACH 33404
  • RACETRAC - 2995 45TH ST, WEST PALM BEACH 33407
  • RACETRAC - 4156 BLUE HERON BLVD W, RIVIERA BEACH 33404
  • SUNOCO GAS - 130 N JOG RD, WEST PALM BEACH 33413
  • SOUTHERN BELLE VALERO - 255 US HIGHWAY 27 N, SOUTH BAY 33493
  • WEST PALM/LAKE WORTH SERVICE PLAZA - TURNPIKE PLAZA #2 MM 94, LAKE WORTH 33461
  • RACETRAC - 905 W WOOLBRIGHT RD, BOYNTON BEACH 33426
  • RACETRAC - 200 N CONGRESS AVE, LAKE PARK 33403
  • RACETRAC - 1450 HYPOLUXO RD, LANTANA 33462
  • RACETRAC - 3032 LAKE WORTH RD, PALM SPRINGS 33461