Hurricane Check List: Are You Prepared For Irma?

Photo: NOAA

Just as forecasters predicted this hurricane season has been very active with Hurricane Irma being the latest storm that has an “increasing chance” of affecting Florida and the Florida Keys.

It’s still too early to tell the exact track of Irma, but Governor Rick Scott is urging Florida residents to start preparing now and put together disaster relief kits.

As of now, it looks like Florida will not feel the wrath of Irma until this coming weekend but as many know supplies will go quick. The National Hurricane Center suggests having these items in a disaster relief kit:

  • Waterone gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a three-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

While those are the basic items for a relief kit, NOAA suggests adding these additional emergency items:

  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Glasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification, and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
Photo: NOAA

During times of emergencies, it’s also suggested to have a list of contacts. It’s always uncertain if power will go out and just how long it will be out. Have these numbers close by just in case:

  • Emergency Management Offices
  • County Law Enforcement
  • County Public Safety Fire/Rescue
  • State, County and City/Town Government
  • Local Hospitals
  • Local Utilities
  • Local American Red Cross
  • Local TV Stations
  • Local Radio Stations
  • Your Property Insurance Agent

Thankfully Irma is still about a week away, so there is plenty of time to plan and take action. Look at evacuation routes, gather information, and remember to not return to any area until it has been declared safe.

The Get A Plan website creates a plan specific for each household. Simply enter your location and how many family members are in the house and the site will generate a list of the supplies needed.

At this time it’s best not to panic but instead, plan. News Talk Florida will continue to bring updates as more information on Irma’s path becomes available.

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Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.