What if Irene is a major hurricane?
Based on some late data, there is the potential for Irene to be a major hurricane that makes landfall somewhere on the east coast of Florida (late week) or in Georgia or the Carolinas the end of the week or over the weekend.
If it is a major hurricane, it is likely to carry hurricane-force winds inland beyond the immediate coastal areas with the potential for a geographically large area to be without power.
So, I’m going to reiterate some preliminary things to think about in these areas:
· Keep your car's gas tank full. Spend $25 or so to buy an electrical inverter.
· If you have dispersed family (i.e., kids in college, elderly relatives you might need to help evacuate, etc.), talk with them now about contingencies if your area is put under a warning later this week
· Make sure you have a battery-powered TV or radio with fresh batteries
· Get any medical prescriptions refilled now, even if you haven't completely run out.
· Do you want to invest in a generator? If so, now is the time to make the investment and get it installed. People in that business may be swamped later in the week.
· Do you have hurricane shutters or plywood to board up windows? If not, now is the time. Even if Irene does not materialize (see below), you'll still have them for future storms.
· If you are responsible for a number of people (i.e., nursing home), do you have a plan you can execute even if all your employees are not available? Again, if not, do it now!
· Do you know how to disconnect an electric garage door opener? If you don't know and do not have power, how are you going to get your car out? Practice doing this in daylight.
While there is still quite a bit of uncertainty since the storm is more than three days from Florida, it is likely to come close to the coast and thus prompt hurricane warnings for a large population (think Hurricane Floyd). Since what I'm suggesting costs little or are things you should already have if you live on or near the coast (i.e., plywood to board windows) it can't hurt for readers of this blog to consider some of these measures.