With Hurricane Dorian on the way, it’s imperative to be prepared
Thursday, August 29, 2019
As it continues toward the southeast coast of the United States, Hurricane Dorian has become national news. And the closer it gets to the Florida coast, the scarier it becomes.
Dorian already was expected to be dangerous after making its way through the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. According to the National Hurricane Center, Dorian could threaten the Bahamas and then hit Florida during Labor Day weekend.
As of Aug. 28, Dorian was a Category 1 storm. Per forecasting, Dorian is expected to strengthen to a Category 3 hurricane. Central Florida could be a major target, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday declared a State of Emergency.
"It's important for Floridians on the East Coast to monitor this storm closely," DeSantis said in a story published by the Orlando Sentinel. "Every Florida resident should have seven days of supplies, including food, water and medicine, and should have a plan in case of disaster."
"I will continue to monitor Hurricane Dorian closely with emergency management officials. The state stands ready to support all counties along the coast as they prepare."
Gov. DeSantis makes excellent points. Every resident in the state — and not just those in Central Florida —should be well-prepared. But for those new to hurricane country or those who are now in a position to take care of their families, here's a quick 1-2 punch of what needs to be done to ensure disaster preparedness.
Load up on necessities
Gov. DeSantis hit the nail on the head. If you feel you have enough supplies, don't be afraid to add more to the stock.
Food and water, to most, are must-haves, but a strong emergency supply list will go far beyond that. Pack blankets and sleeping bags along with enough clean clothes to last a week. Keep your cellphone charged. Have a ton of new batteries available for flashlights and radios.
Don't forget personal hygiene items. If you have infants or toddlers, make sure there is an abundant supply of bottles, formula, diapers and wipes. If you take prescription medicines, make sure they are accessible. One thing that tends to go unrecognized is the importance of a manual can opener. You’ll need a way to open canned foods if you're without electricity.
And speaking of electricity, the one thing that no one talks about having is cash handy. ATMs can be nonfunctional during and after a hurricane. It's best to have enough cash available in times like these — just in case.
Don't be that person
Hurricanes to those new to them can be extremely scary, but hurricanes to those who have been through many of them can result in a person being stubborn to what the experts may say. Gov. DeSantis declared Florida a State of Emergency, and alerts from the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center or any of the national or local weather channels can be stern in instructing what to do.
It never fails, though, that there is someone — or a large group of people — tuning out the voices of reason. The weather experts will say to evacuate; that group won't. The experts will say to stock up and prepare for the worst; that group refuses.
Precautions are nothing to fool around with, particularly with natural disasters, and the professionals are paid good money to offer their expertise. It's a bad idea to play expert and ignore the real experts when a real one is tasked to do all he can to save your life. Listen, respond and take action.
Dorian could be remembered as one of the worst storms to come through Central Florida in years. It also could lose strength and be a nonfactor between now and Labor Day weekend. We won’t completely sure until Dorian arrives, so it's best to be prepared at all times. And preparation comes in several forms when dealing with a hurricane.
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