I had an interesting phone conversation this morning with a woman who lives near the coast of North Carolina. Hurricane Florence is headed right for them and she was really beginning to panic.
I have had conversations with her in the past regarding her family’s preparedness and she had expressed to me a desire to acquire more food storage and emergency supplies. Unfortunately, there were other things in her life that distracted her from moving forward and procrastination got the best of her.
As I talked with her, I could sense a real fear as well as regret that she hadn’t taken action sooner to prepare as now, it was too late to do much at all. I sincerely wish I could have helped her but it just wasn’t possible this late in the game.
Florence is moving westward and has become a powerful CAT 4 hurricane. Satellite images show that the distinct eye has warmed in the center, with convection increasing in the eyewall during the past several hours. The hurricane is moving over progressively warmer waters over the next couple of days, with water temperatures peaking near 85F… meaning…. Florence should continue to strengthen.
If you are located on the East coast anywhere between SC and VA, NOW IS CRUNCH TIME!
In a disaster situation, you want to be a spectator, not a participant. If you are a participant, you will either be a victim, or a survivor with an unpleasant story to tell.
Avoid being one of those individuals appearing on national news with matted hair and dirty clothes crying, “Where is FEMA?”
Foremost, now is the time to be considering an evacuation plan. Sit with the family, makes your calls and lock in a place to stay inland if the need arises.
Next, now is also the time to be considering what prep materials and actions will be needed at your home or place of business if the weather system ultimately targets your location.
The key categories you should consider are as follows:
● Food and Water
● First Aid Medications
● Power Needs
● Tools and Supplies
● Special Requirements (Baby, Elderly, Pets)
● Important Documents
National Hurricane Center – Florence Page
NOTES ABOUT NHC MAPS AND INFORMATION PRODUCTS
This year, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is making changes to maps and other products to help improve communication to the public, including where a tropical system is headed and what impacts it may bring.
1) When the NHC issues a track for a tropical system, the map includes what is known as the cone of uncertainty.
Beginning this hurricane season, the cone will be smaller than it has been in past years. This will give the public a better idea of where the center of the storm is headed in the coming days.
2) In 2017, the NHC introduced an experimental map to help convey to the public when strong winds would arrive at a given location.
Beginning this hurricane season, the NHC has decided to make these maps fully operational. Get used to them. They can be very helpful.
3) It is standard for the NHC to issue a public advisory that includes information about all aspects of the storm, such as current winds, expected storm surge and the precise location of the system’s center. In past years, these advisories only discussed the given tropical system for the next two days, limiting the amount of log-range details about the storm.
Beginning this hurricane season, these advisories will contain information that talks about hazards as far as five days in advance.
At the link below, press the play button to view an animation of the movement of Florence over the next few days as predicted by NOAA’s Global Forecast System (GFS) model.
Ventusky Storm System Visualization
Sector Radar Loops
RECOVERY AND DISASTER ASSISTANCE
FEMA Mobile App
FEMA has made available a free mobile app for Apple and Android devices with tools and tips to keep you safe before, during, and after disasters, including the location of shelters. The app is available for Apple devices via the iTunes store and Android devices via the Google Play Store.
Info via SMS
To search for open shelters: text SHELTER and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA) .
To search for open Disaster Recovery Centers, text: DRC and a Zip Code to 43362 (4FEMA) .
Pet Friendly Evacuation Shelters for Hurricane Florence
Please share this information with friends and family. There will be many who will b impacted by Francine who may find these resources helpful.