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Officials: Time to prepare in Northeast Florida as Hurricane Irma strengthens in Atlantic

September 5, 2017 in Hot Business Tips, In the news, Members Only by admin

Officials: Time to prepare in Northeast Florida as Hurricane Irma strengthens in Atlantic

A map shows the location of Hurricane Irma as of Monday at 8 p.m. (National Hurricane Center)

It’s too early to predict what type of impact Hurricane Irma may have on the Jacksonville area as the storm continues to strengthen in the Atlantic Ocean, but authorities are encouraging residents to start preparing now that it’s scheduled to make landfall within a week.

The Category 4 storm was about 450 miles east of the Leeward Islands as of 8 p.m. Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center. It had maximum sustained winds of 140 mph and was moving west at 13 mph. The hurricane was expected to continue on its path west into Tuesday morning.

“Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm, and Florida must be prepared,” Scott said.

Residents in Northeast Florida are encouraged to gather supplies in case the area is hit by severe weather.

Scott said the best way to protect loved ones in a storm is to have a plan ahead of time.

The American Red Cross suggests an emergency preparedness kit including the following items: One gallon of water per person, per day; nonperishable food with a manual can opener; a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and flashlight with extra batteries; a first aid kit; a supply of any needed medications; copies of important documents; cash; personal hygiene items; one blanket or sleeping bag per person; pet supplies; and a map of the area.

Latest Hurricane Irma tracking map 

People who live near the ocean, Intracoastal Waterway or along the St. Johns River should already have an evacuation plan in place, said Phil Peterson, a spokesman for the National Weather Service in Jacksonville.

“Right now it’s very early, and it’s still well south so we have plenty of time to watch it,” Peterson said.

But he said there is a high potential for heavy winds and rain in the area, with the most severe weather set to arrive by Monday.

Peterson said coastal flooding could be the biggest threat in Northeast Florida, so people in the area should continue to look for updates as the storm gets closer.

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