Hurricane and Tropical Storm Preparedness for All Georgians
Important things to consider when creating an emergency preparedness plan.
Hurricane Irma is currently a Category 5 hurricane and is on a northeast path through the Caribbean. The latest models show it could potentially impact parts of Georgia late this weekend into early next week. By late Saturday, most of Cuba and parts of south Florida should begin to feel Irma’s effect. From there the storm is expected to make a turn northward but exactly where that will take place is still up in the air. Because of the uncertainty of Irma’s path beyond this point, meteorologists have cautioned that everyone in the southeast should pay close attention to this weather system. Currently, states of emergency have been declared in six Georgia counties.
Two additional tropical storm weather systems (Jose and Katia) are behind Hurricane Irma and are also being closely monitored by the National Hurricane Center.
Below are resources and information for emergency prepardness.
Important Things to Consider When Creating an Emergency Preparedness Plan and Supply Kit:
- Have enough food and water to last at least 3 days (per person). Non-perishable and can foods are best in case of a loss of electricity. An average person needs about 1 gallon of water per day. And don’t forget to have 3 days’ worth of food and water for your pets.
- Have enough prescription medication on hand to last a minimum of 3 days.
- Make sure you have necessities like a manual can opener, battery operated light sources, portable weather radio, a first aid kit and hygiene products.
- Keep cell phones and electronic devices charged (and have portable battery devices charged) in case there is a loss of electricity.
- Make a family plan that includes how to evacuate and/or reach/assist family members who may need additional assistance such as older family members or family members with disabilities/access and functional needs.
- Discuss and practice your family communication and evacuation plan with all of your family members (including children).
- If you have to evacuate, make sure to take your emergency supply kit with you and don’t forget to include flares, physical maps, jumper cables, extra cans of gas, and blankets.
- Keep all trees and shrubs well-trimmed to make them more wind-resistant.
- Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
- Know your area’s flood risk.
- Make sure your homeowners insurance is up to date and includes the necessary protections, like flood insurance.
- Remember if there is a loss of electricity ATM machines and debit/credit cards will not work. So if possible have an emergency cash fund that you can access during an emergency or prior to evacuating.
- Secure your windows/doors and know how to shut off the gas or power to your home if it becomes necessary.
- Stay on top of the latest news.
For more emergency preparedness and planning tips and how to stay safe during a hurricane, please visit Ready Georgia.
For emergency preparedness and planning tips for individuals with disabilities/access and functional needs, please visit: http://ready.ga.gov/make-a-plan/georgians-with-access-functional-needs/
For evacuation routes in Georgia and tips of driving smart, please visit the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Resource links to help you plan and prepare in the case of a hurricane:
For updated information from the National Hurricane Center which is issuing advisories for the Atlantic on Hurricane Irma, Tropical Storm Jose and Tropical Strom Katia, please visit: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/#Irma
For Georgia weather related mobile alerts, please download the Ready Georgia app, which can be found here: http://ready.ga.gov/
For customized Emergency Preparedness supply checklists for families, pet owners, seniors, individuals with disabilities and businesses, please visit Federal Emergency Management Agency’s webpage.
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 743 inpatients, 277 day program patients and more than 7,161 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.