Less than a year after Hurricane Matthew pounded Florida’s Atlantic coast, Gov. Rick Scott has once again declared a state of emergency.
Although the exact path of Hurricane Irma has yet to be determined, the storm is currently categorized as a life-threatening Category 5 hurricane, and all Floridians are encouraged to make preparations in case of impact.
Know your zone
Potential impacts of Irma could include strong winds, heavy rainfall, dangerous rip currents, elevated surf, coastal flooding and beach erosion. Should weather conditions escalate to the point where evacuation is necessary, St. Johns County residents should be aware of whether their homes fall in evacuation zones. It is also important to remember that, while possessions can be replaced, lives cannot. If a mandatory evacuation order is issued, please follow it.
Those who are not in an evacuation zone and plan to ride out the storm should still be prepared for any circumstances. According to St. Johns County Emergency Management, residents should make sure they have the following items on hand:
· Non-perishable foods
· Drinking water
· First aid kit
· Cash and credit cards
· Flashlight and batteries
· Battery-operated radio
· Manual can opener
· Extra baby supplies (if needed)
· Games, books, etc.
· Fire extinguisher
· Phone (non-portable)
· Tub filled with water for sanitation
· Porta-Pot | Well water users
In addition to the above (where applicable), evacuees are encouraged to pack the following necessities:
· Important documents
· Road maps
· Jumper cables
· Tire repair kit
· Blankets and/ or sleeping bags
· Pet food, supplies (if needed)
Those headed to a shelter should also include:
· Three-day supply of water
· Three-day supply of non-perishable foods
· Specialized supplies, medications
· Small cooler for insulin (if needed)
· Pillows and blankets
· Sleeping bag or egg crate mattress
· Cot or lawn chair
· Important papers, identification
· Extra clothing
· Caregiver (if needed)
For additional information, contact St. Johns County Emergency Management at (904) 824-5550 or visit www.sjcemergencymanagement.org.