Hurricane Irma Friday 11am Update
Overnight, Irma has shifted again further to the West and now puts the Orlando Area in greater risks for things not fondly associated with hurricanes like tornadoes and water. The Northeast quadrant is the most dangerous and probable region for these threats. In every update, there’s always some good news, however. The forward speed is expected to increase, meaning that hurricane conditions will exist for a shorter period of time over the effected areas and with the shift, more of this monster will be over land which will also weaken it more rapidly as it approaches. The sustained winds are down to 150 mph and the central pressure has risen, so the storm has weakened, but is still a life-threatening Category 4 and should not be taken lightly, by any means.
So you have your supplies, your family and friends are secure and you’re are “hunkering-down” for the next few days of whatever is to come, but anxiety of that unknown is overwhelming and you keep going through your checklist to see if there are other things you could be doing that you might not have thought about. You don’t want ‘busy work’, but things that could make your life easier while trying to predict what it might be like for a day, couple days, week or more without electricity. Electricity rules our society and without it, society breaks down. I have a few suggestions that I’ve learned as a Floridian who has lost power after hurricanes for several days and I can speak from experience and ideas of like-minded friends as I offer them to you.
Please keep in-mind that these suggestions are ONLY after you have adequate supplies of water, food, medical, safe shelter and any other primary necessities that you require.
• Communications is Primary – If you’re like me, you may have a cell phone or 2 (I have 3, plus 2 tablets) that you’ve intended to do something with, but never have. Even if phones are not connected to a cell service, they can still connect to 911 and are a good backup to have for emergencies. Tablets and phones may still be able to connect to data networks like wifi or hot spots that many of the internet service providers are providing throughout some of the metro Orlando areas.
• Clean Everything – This means Laundry, dishes, house, floors, kitchens, bathrooms, etc. The last thing you’ll want to be doing is doing this in 90 degree humid conditions by hand. Use the modern conveniences while you can. Use throw-away plates, utensils and cups afterward.
• Spray Around Your House for Insects – Screens may be perforated by flying debris, and with all the standing water, mosquitoes will be out of control. Most mosquitoes fly within a 30′ radius of where they hatch, so you can get good control of them now before you open the windows for air and they take control of you.
• Battery Backups and Uninterrupted Power Supplies – Don’t use them to power things, only charge things, if you have them. This is especially true if you don’t have many or any backup devices.
• Fill Buckets of Water – This is NOT for drinking. If you lose water service, you need water to flush toilets and possibly for bathing, however sitting water can grow bacteria and it shouldn’t be considered safe for drinking without treatment.