Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) issued the following statement as Hurricane Irma moves across the Caribbean:
“Hurricane Irma could become a major and life-threatening storm. Destructive winds, storm surge, dangerous surf, heavy rainfall and flash flooding are all possible,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “Though the location of Hurricane Irma’s landfall is unpredictable, history has shown that storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly, which means the hurricane could potentially impact Florida.”
“It is critical that you use the next few days to get prepared and stay informed. Make sure you and your loved ones have a disaster preparedness plan and all necessary supplies.”
Floridians can take the following steps recommended by FEMA to prepare for Hurricane Irma:
- Update your disaster kit. Have a three-day supply of non-perishable food, bottled water, a battery-operated radio, flashlight, extra batteries, cash, medicines, first aid kit, pet foods, and important family documents.
- Know your evacuation routes and prepare options for overnight lodging. Storm surge can cut off evacuation routes, so do not delay leaving if an evacuation is ordered for your area. Follow the direction of state, local, and tribal officials.
- Develop an emergency communication plan. It should include a phone number and email address for a family member or friend outside the area who can serve as a point of contact in the event of separation.
- Stay Informed. Keep up-to-date on the latest weather information. Watch local news and weather, listen for radio updates or stay informed with your computer or smartphone.
It also is imperative to have an adequate supply of food and water during a disaster.
- Keep an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer that can provide an accurate temperature reading even if the power is out. Freezer temperatures should be at or below 0°F and the fridge at 40°F.
- Store food on shelves high enough that it will not be contaminated in case of flood.
- Have coolers on hand to keep food cold if the power is out for more than four hours. Keep the fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- Discard perishables, such as meat, fish, cheese, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items, if the power is out for more than four hours.
- Use bottled water if you are concerned about your water supply. If you don’t have bottled water, boil water and let it cool before storing to drink.
“I urge all Floridians to remain vigilant and stay alert to local weather and news,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “As you prepare for Hurricane Irma, please visit FloridaDisaster.org for more hurricane readiness and safety plan tips.”