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How to Prepare, Prevent Loss in Path of Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian has intensified to Category 3 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale as it maintains a direct path towards Florida’s Atlantic Coast. In response to its intensification, AccuWeather is forecasting over 16″ of rain, >130mph wind gusts, and deadly storm surge to impact the Florida Peninsula. As a result of the serious threats posed by Dorian, AccuWeather has upgraded its RealImpact™ Scale rating to 4 out of 5. Damages and economic loss exceeding $18 billion dollars are expected.

AccuWeather: Latest track of Hurricane Dorian (PRNewsfoto/AccuWeather)

“Conditions are such that steady intensification of Hurricane Dorian is likely, with rapid intensification possible as the storm passes to the east of the Bahamas,” said Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski Thursday morning.

“We expect Dorian to make landfall as a major hurricane, which would have the potential to bring widespread power outages with significant and potentially catastrophic wind damage to structures near the point of landfall. Devastating storm surge flooding would occur along the coast near and to the north of where the system moves onshore. Flash flooding will be a threat over a larger portion of the Florida Peninsula and into the Southeast.”

On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency to give officials enough time to prepare for the storm and urged all Florida residents to ,”Have seven days of supplies, including food, water and medicine and should have a plan in case of disaster.”

To ensure readiness and safety, AccuWeather offers the following tips:

Evacuating?

Local emergency management agencies notify communities if an evacuation order is issued and whether it is voluntary, phased, or mandatory.  Residents in Dorian’s path in Florida can learn if an evacuation order has been issued by visiting https://www.floridadisaster.org/info/. If an evacuation order has been issued for your county, follow the guidance of local public safety officials and consider these helpful tips below:

  • Fill your car with fuel and be prepared for slow moving traffic throughout the evacuation
  • Carry cash, if any is left at local ATMs
  • Bring your pets and animals and do not leave them behind
  • Prepare your home
  • Pack your hurricane evacuation supplies with you, you may need them at a shelter
  • Select an evacuation route based on local public safety guidance
  • Maintain a means of receiving emergency alerts and warnings, like the AccuWeather app
  • If you have small children, bring books or puzzles to keep them entertained during the long drive

If you are evacuating and have a service animal, you will be able to bring it into any public emergency shelter. If your pet is not a service animal, you will need to locate a pet-friendly emergency shelter. A list of pet-friendly shelters can be found here https://www.bringfido.com/emergency/hurricane/.

Sheltering-in-Place?

If there is no evacuation order issued for your community and you feel safe remaining at home during the storm, prepare for seven* days of power outages and utility interruption. This can be done by following the steps below:

  • Fill your family vehicles with fuel
  • Carry cash, if any is left at local ATMs
  • Bring outdoor furniture and appliances indoors so that it does not become airborne debris
  • Prepare your hurricane evacuation supplies and keep them in an easy-to-access centralized location
  • Maintain a means of receiving emergency alerts and warnings, like the AccuWeather app
  • Make sure that you keep non-digital means of entertainment if the power goes out, especially if you have children or young teenagers
  • Do not light candles or any open fires if utilities fail! They may spark a fire that a fire department cannot respond to until conditions are safe.

Hurricane Evacuation Supplies

Whether you’re sheltering-in-place, evacuating, or just preparing for the next storm, consider the following guidance found on FEMA’s Ready.gov website as you build your kit:

  • Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least seven* days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a seven-day* supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

For a complete list of supplies that you should pack in your kit, visit https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit

Prepare for Seven Days of Disruption

During Wednesday afternoon’s press conference, Florida governor Ron DeSantis recommended that Floridians have “seven days of supplies, including food, water and medicine.” Although communities and households are normally guided towards preparing for three days of disruption, the severity of Hurricane Dorian has prompted state officials to encourage all persons to prepare for seven days of potential disruption.

Hurricane or Tropical Storm? Know the Difference!

  • Hurricane/Tropical Storm Watch: Hurricane watches are triggered 48 hours before the onset of 39 mph winds. Stay tuned into alerts and look over evacuation route. Double-check emergency preparedness kit.
  • Hurricane/Tropical Storm Warning: Hurricane warnings are triggered within 36 hours before the onset of 39 mph winds.
  • If you are in the evacuation zone, visit https://www.floridadisaster.org/info/ to see if it is time to evacuate to a public emergency shelter with your family and pets. Stay in contact with family and friends using phones or social media to let them know you’re safe.

Source- AccuWeather,which is recognized and documented as one of the accurate source of weather forecasts and warnings in the world.It has saved tens of thousands of lives, prevented hundreds of thousands of injuries and tens of billions of dollars in property damage.