South Florida is bracing for a major storm surge and powerful winds even as Hurricane Irma weakened to a Category 4 storm as it races toward the U.S. mainland.
"Obviously Hurricane Irma continues to be a threat that is going to devastate the United States," Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said at a press conference Friday morning. "We're going to have a couple rough days."
Irma was downgraded from a Category 5 to a Category 4 storm early Friday morning. As of 8 a.m. Eastern Time, the storm was moving 16 mph and located 450 miles southeast of Miami.
The National Weather Service cautioned Irma is still "extremely dangerous" with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, which are strong enough to uproot trees, bring down power poles and rip off the roofs and some exterior walls of well-built frame homes.
The National Weather Service issued its first hurricane warnings for Florida overnight, warning residents that "preparations to protect life should be rushed to completion."
Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for barrier islands, coastal communities, low-lying areas and mobile homes across Florida, including in Brevard, Broward, Collier, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach and St. John's counties. ABC News estimates roughly 1.2 million Florida residents have been ordered to evacuate.
Meteorologists expect Irma will approach the Florida Keys and southern Florida late Saturday night as a strong Category 4 hurricane and then make landfall near Miami on Sunday sometime around 3 or 4 a.m. Eastern Time. Overnight projections of Irma's path showed less of a threat to the Carolinas as the monster storm appears likely to move directly up the middle of Florida and curve inland.
Meteorologists predict Irma will continue to weaken as the storm moves inland Sunday into Monday. Irma will approach Orlando on Monday around 2 a.m. Eastern Time still as a major hurricane with winds of about 105 mph. After moving over Orlando, Irma should weaken rapidly to a tropical storm later Monday as it moves across state lines into Georgia, meteorologists say.
“This is the painful story of how I lost my father during Katrina…And it was not the storm’s enormous force that killed him… nor the massive floods that followed… and not even the lack of food, water or shelter…”
The worst of Irma's winds and storm surge are projected to be near Marathon and Key Largo, but meteorologists say Miami and heavily populated southeastern Florida will still be on the strongest side of the storm.
The National Weather Service on Friday morning issued a storm-surge warning for the Florida Keys and the Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach, saying there is "danger of life-threatening inundation from rising waters moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours."
Moreover, heavy rains are forecast to drench northern Florida, Georgia and even possibly South Carolina and Tennessee by Tuesday. Rainfall accumulations in southeast Florida and the Florida Keys are expected to reach 10 to 15 inches, with totals up to 20 inches locally. Eastern Florida, up the coast to Georgia, is expected to receive 8 to 12 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
So what would that look like?Are you ready for that? Learn how planning ahead can help you protect your family, your home and your belongings in a dangerous time–Video Below
Hurricane IRMA Prep Mega-Thread
With the possibility that IRMA will hit land next weekend, I thought it would be a great idea to start a mega thread where we can post information, links, resources and other stuff to help the inevitable surge of people from the rest of Reddit that will inundate our sub as the hurricane approaches. Ideas on the types of info to post:
- WATER STORAGE
- EMERGENCY ELECTRICITY (KEEP REFRIGERATOR COLD + SOME LIGHTS)
- DIY Home Energy System–Learn how to produce off-grid power-How to Slash Your Power Bill by up to 75% (or more) in less than 30 days – Guaranteed!.Watch this FREE video
- GASOLINE STORAGE/TRANSPORT
- EMERGENCY FOOD
- GUNS & AMMUNITION
- Links to storm info
- Links to shops that cater to the prepared in the area
- Bug in supplies and plans
- Bug out supplies and plans
- Links to prepper communities in the area
- Links to national, state and local government agencies that are offering preparedness and/or disaster relief
- Links to specific threads, comments or other content already in /r/Preppers that may help people get acquainted to what prepping is.
- Everything I’ve forgotten or omitted that is pertinent to preparing for and dealing with a hurricane.
With the recent alarming events we’re seeing a lot of interest in becoming prepared. If you’re new here and worried, please first take a deep breath. Things are most likely not immediately dire. The chances of your worst nightmares happening soon are still very, very small. Take a few more deep breaths. Becoming prepared is much more like running a marathon than a sprint.
You don’t need to make a Bug Out Bag. Bugging out when you don’t have somewhere to go is a very, very bad idea. In almost all situations that I prepare for having to bug out will be a worst-case, final option. If you are going to bug out you have to have a destination in mind. There is nothing wrong with making a Bug Out Bag if thats what you really want. If it is an exercise that gives you peace of mind so you can rationally think about the other preparations you should be making then it is worth every penny.
The rule of 3’s is often mentioned in preparedness:
- You can survive 3 minutes without air.
- You can survive 3 hours without shelter.
- You can survive 3 days without water.
- You can survive 3 weeks without food.
- You can survive 3 months without security.
There are four top level items that you seriously need to consider when getting started: food, water, shelter and security. There are many sub-items. You’re going to want to create lists. Write each of the four items at the top of a blank page. Then start writing down what you think you need to survive in adverse conditions for a specified duration. Over time you will revise your lists and break items out onto their own pages. The exercise in creating the lists is important because we all have different concerns and needs. What is an absolute requirement for me may not even be something you would consider. There are a lot of resources on the internet to help you discover items for your lists.
Don’t worry about having lots of food when you first start out. The average American family has less than a weeks worth of food in their home. I highly recommend working towards having two weeks as a first goal. Look at what you already have and use. Determine what stores the best and start buying a little more of it each time you go to the store. Eat the oldest food so you rotate your stocks. I have over three months of food in my house by only using this method. This is one of the easiest things you can do to become more prepared today.
You need two gallons of water per person per day. This is actually higher than is strictly necessary but you will be very unhappy if you ever have to restrict yourself to this amount. I store enough water for everyone in my household for a bit more than two weeks. Get a WaterBOB because it is so inexpensive and easy. Once you have those basic levels you then have to have a means to filter more water for your use. I highly recommend getting at least two Sawyer Squeeze and consider getting something like a Big Berkey. Find a way of collecting rainwater if you can. If you live in a desert, unfortunately you’re going to have to find a way to store a lot of water.
Most of us have quite good shelter already available to us. If you live in a cold climate you have to be concerned about winter and freezing temperatures if you don’t have a fireplace and wood available. If things ever really became bad I would setup a tent inside of my house and burn candles inside of the tent. For most of the continental United States that would keep the temperature inside of the tent above freezing. If you combine that with a zero degree or better sleeping bag you will survive much better than just about anyone around you. It’s much easier to achieve this level of heating independence than finding a way of powering your generator for weeks. A little known fact is that most generators recommend changing their oil every 40 hours of use. Storing fuel to keep a generator working is daunting but the oil requirements are almost always forgotten.
Hopefully none of us will ever need to worry about personal security. Learn how to use and maintain firearms in a safe manner if you can. I highly recommend Appleseed to everyone in the US. This area is often over prepared for most preppers. Try to strive for balance with your food, water and shelter.
In some of the above items I recommended getting more than one if they were not too expensive. If you ever have a desperate need for something to work one of the easiest ways to ensure success is to have backups. A common saying is that 2 is 1 and 1 is none. This might also mean that you could make one that works out of two broken items.
There is one final preparation that you should start working on now: yourself! Get in shape because you’re going to have trouble saving yourself if you’re out-of-shape to the point that walking a few miles in a few hours would be a serious challenge. Now is the time to start. Most preppers have awesome bug out bags that they couldn’t carry for a mile. Don’t be that person!
Take some more deep breaths. There are a lot of us here who want to help you become better prepared. You’re not alone. Someone has done all of this before. It also isn’t as expensive as you may fear. We’re here to help — feel free to ask questions!