Community Life

Hurricane Irma Becomes Threat To East Coast

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While it is still a number of days out for weather forecasters to analyze model guidance, Irma is currently a major hurricane and is expected to strengthen in the warm waters of the general NE Caribbean/Bahamas region.

Jonathan Carr, founder of Weather NJ, is recommending that New Jersey and surrounding areas begin implementing hurricane safety plans. The initial timing prediction for Irma on the east coast (NJ and surrounding areas) would be Sept 11-12 period.

"I don’t like what I see right now," Carr posted Sunday. "I’m hoping we see a trend towards an out to sea solution by tomorrow. If not, it is time to start preparing for an east coast landfall with possibly a destructive outcome for New Jersey and surrounding areas in the September 11-12 period. Given the classic Cape Verde re-curving nature of the track, a hit into the South Carolina or North Carolina coast would likely weaken Irma for NJ impacts shortly beyond. However if Irma were to just graze the Outer Banks of North Carolina then there would be less weakening and possibly a stronger hit for the New Jersey/NYC area."

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

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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