Hurricane Michael Now a Category 4; Strongest Hurricane To Hit Area in 100 Years
In the course of 24 hours, Hurricane Michael has grown into a historically dangerous Category 4 hurricane that will bring a life-threatening storm surge and winds of over 155 miles per hour, just shy of a category 5. Meteorologists now say that Michael will be the most powerful Hurricane the Florida panhandle has seen in a century.
Florida Governor Rick Scott held a press conference earlier today on Hurricane Michael’s potential dangerous impact along the Florida Panhandle. In the conference, Gov. Scott urged residents of the panhandle who had not evacuated to stay in their homes as the conditions across the area have become unsafe for travel, warning of storm surges as high as 13 feet.
Here is the press conference in its entirety:
Agonizingly, Gov. Scott mentioned that 50 residents in Franklin, Florida who refused to leave their homes, even after county deputies made welfare visits to convince them to evacuate. Of these residents and other residents who have chosen to not evacuate, Gov. Scott said he was “scared to death” as rescue efforts will not be available during the storm.
Hurricane Michael is set to make landfall this afternoon.
How Should I Prepare For A Major Hurricane?
Hurricane Michael developed fairly quickly, leaving very little time for the residents of Florida’s Panhandle to effectively prepare for this extraordinarily strong storm. Although Hurricane Michael will not affect Texas, this example shows us that it is still extremely important ALWAYS be prepared for the next major storm.
Here are a few ways you can prepare to survive the storm:
- Always follow orders to evacuate – If state or local officials have ordered an evacuation of your area, always follow those orders. Your home, your materials can always be replaced; the lives of you and your family cannot. Also, it’s important to realize that there is a small window to safely evacuate. If you do not evacuate within this window, it will actually be safer to stay home and weather the storm than to travel, which, especially for a historically strong storm such as Hurricane Michael, could be a fatal decision either way. Also, it is important to know that rescue efforts DO NOT OCCUR DURING A STORM. Play it safe and evacuate if ordered to. Visit the Texas Department of Transportation’s website for the safest hurricane evacuation route.
- Gas Up – This is a fairly standard practice, especially if you are following evacuation orders. Be ready for a 4-5 hour drive to safely escape the hurricane’s path.
- Cash In Hand – Even if you have plans to evacuate the area, it’s always a good idea to have cash in hand just in case for whatever reason you are unable to leave the area and are stranded without electricity and unable to access your funds for supplies after the storm.
- Stock Up On The Necessities – Here are some of the supplies that ready.gov recommends residents to stock up on in the event of a hurricane.
- 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.
- 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.
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