Hurricane Matthew strengthened slightly as of 11 pm and the path of the store now takes it closer to the Atlantic coast in much of the Southeast. If you live in a coastal county along the Atlantic, you should make preparations now in case this devastating hurricane comes to your area. Here are some recommendations about advanced preparations you should be doing now, from my friend Mike Smith of Accuweather:
Here is what I would do if I lived in a coastal country between West Palm Beach and the Outer Banks of North Carolina:
- Make sure I have plenty of cash. Credit cards and ATMs do not work if there is no power.
- Fill up autos and other vehicles with gas. Again, gas pumps do not work without power.
- If you have a generator, fill it with fuel.
- Make provisions for infirm relatives.
- Keep cell phones, laptops, and other electrical appliances fully charged.
- If you don’t have a generator, get an inverter which can recharge small items (cells phones, laptops) from your auto.
- Make sure prescriptions are filled.
What would you do if you were without electricity for 2 weeks?
Here are a few additional suggestions from FEMA:
1. If you don’t already have a hurricane plan… now is the time to get one.
2. Just in case… look over your evacuation route… should it become necessary.
3. Bring lightweight items indoors… when you can… over the next 24 hours.
4. Have a plan for your pets.
The NWS office in Raleigh NC put out this infographic on hurricane preparation which contains much the same information. You can get more information on hurricane safety at weather.gov/hurricanesafety.