While Hurricane Irma Barrels Towards the U.S., a Reminder to Be Prepared

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After initial concern of impact to the Northeast, Hurricane Irma is targeting Florida. Currently, a category five hurricane that rapidly intensified overnight, the northern Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico are expected to be impacted this week with the Bahamas and most of south/central Florida are facing impact over the coming weekend.

While New Jersey has been spared this hurricane season, preparedness is key along the East Coast.

September is National Preparedness Month and the National Hurricane Center wants residents to be ready should severe weather strike. 

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PLAN & TAKE ACTION

Put together a basic disaster supplies kit and consider storage locations for different situations. Help community members do the same.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water - one 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

Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF)

Additional Emergency Supplies

Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:

  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Glasses and contact lense 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

EMERGENCY PLANS

Develop and document plans for your specific risks.

The National Hurricane Center offers more information at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php. Additional resources can be found at:

 

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