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Hurricane Michael Strengthens And Heads For Florida

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It has been just a little more than three weeks since Hurricane Florence ravished the Carolinas and now a new tropical storm designated Michael has strengthened into a hurricane and is threatening Florida.

Michael was designated a hurricane on Monday, October 8, 2018 and is expected to strike Florida on Wednesday, October 10.

Monday morning the National Hurricane Center announced that it would be a Category 3 hurricane with winds of at least 111 miles per hour when it reaches landfall. Florida. Governor Rick Scott called the storm “life-threatening and extremely dangerous” during a televised news conference in Southport, Florida, north of Panama City.

Governor Scott noted that the hurricane could still change direction and strike any part of Florida. He warned that the storm could dump up to a foot of rain and catastrophic winds were likely to hit the coast in the Panama City area and inland including Tallahassee, the state’s capital.

A spokesman at The National Hurricane Center said that the storm was about 140 miles east-northeast of Cozumel, Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour, just above the threshold to be classified as a hurricane. The storm was traveling north at 7 miles per hour. As a result hurricane watches and warnings have been announced in Cuba, Mexico and the United States.

If Michael makes landfall as expected, it will be the strongest category storm to make the mainland of the United States so far this year. Hurricane Florence ultimately made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane. It is the hurricane season’s 13 th named storm this year.

Governor Scott declared a state of emergency for 26 counties. Five hundred National Guard Soldiers have been activated and thousands more are on standby.

Hurricane Michael comes in the wake of Hurricane Florence, which struck the North Carolina coast on September 14. More than 637,000 customers of Duke Energy, one of the largest providers of power in the Carolinas, were left without power in Florence’s wake.

Television station WWAY in Pender County, North Carolina reports that many residents of the area are still without power as of Monday, October 8. Citizens in the community of Burgaw are reported to still be without power and water.

What To Consider When Preparing For A Hurricane

Even before hurricanes begin to form in the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf, people who reside in vulnerable regions should already have a plan.

The first thing you need to determine is the risk. If you live on the coast, then you are most at risk when extreme force winds start blowing and seawater slaps the beaches. The results of all this will be power outages in your neighborhood.

If you live inland, you are vulnerable to wind, thunderstorms, flooding and power outages.

It is suggested that you sign up now to receive alerts. For more information visit the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) website.

Other factors that affect risk when a hurricane strikes is the structure of your home. Knowing how vulnerable your home is to the coming hurricane will help you determine how to prepare it for the wind, rain, and floods.

Bring outdoor furniture and all other items that cannot be tied down into your home. Trim trees and shrubs to limit the possibility that a branch does not become a projectile that can damage property during the storm. Reinforce your roof, windows, and doors. Cover windows with boards to protect them from wind and flying debris and minimize water damage with flood damage resistant materials. When constructing a new home or upgrading your existing home, consider elevating the structure to protect against floodwaters and storm surges. For more information visit the FEMA site.

Second, check your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy to determine if you are covered for high wind damages and purchase flood insurance if you don’t already have it.

Third, prepare an evacuation plan . For example, if you have a pet, discover online nearby pet-friendly locations to which you can evacuate. Determine long before hand an evacuation route and determine where you will stay when you flee the storm.

Collect emergency supplies long before a hurricane strikes. The kit should include flashlight and batteries, games and toys to entertain the kids, a hand crank or battery powered radio. Since bank ATM systems will be down due to power outages, make certain that you have extra cash in the emergency kit.

Store supplies at your home and office long before a hurricane so that you are ready when the disaster actually takes place and you need to stay in place during the storm.

Keep emergency supplies in the car and make certain that the car you will use to escape has at least half a tankful of gas so that you and your family can leave quickly. Avoid driving on flooded roadways.

Once you have collected all the elements of your evacuation plan, put it in writing. Make sure that family members can contact each other via cell phones and set locations where each member can be picked up if they are not at home when you receive an evacuation alert. If you cannot reach a family member, designate a person who lives out of town to contact during the emergency. Once you have received the alert to evacuate, don’t waste any time. Just go.

Visit ready.gov/kit to get a better understanding of what items to include in your emergency kits.

Consider Buying A Stand Alone Generator

The disaster of Hurricane Florence should still be in your mind as Hurricane Michael rushes toward the United States. Considering the fact that more than 630,000 homes were without power by the time the hurricane left the Carolinas and many people are still without power today, about three weeks later, you may want to think about purchasing a stand alone generator if you live in the path of the coming hurricane.

One online company that offers generators is AP Electric of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin which can be reached from 8 am to 5 pm M-F 847-516-8882 or on the web 7 by 24.

The company carries some of the best-known brands of generators including Cummins, Westinghouse, Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, Generac, and Guardian. The website also includes a generator sizing calculator and provides information on how to select the proper generator for your situation.

Visit the APElectric website to find out more about stand alone generators and how they can help you through hurricane emergencies and continue to track Hurricane Michael at the National Hurricane Center website.