6 Smartest Things to Do Before Irma Hits

Bryan Norcross is an expert, especially when it comes to Florida hurricanes
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2017 7:21 AM CDT
6 Smart Things to Do Before a Hurricane Hits
In this satellite image released by NASA/NOAA GOES Project, Hurricane Irma reaches Puerto Rico on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017.   (NASA/NOAA GOES Project via AP)

The last Category 5 hurricane to hit Florida was Hurricane Andrew, and Bryan Norcross emerged from it as a South Florida hero. As the Washington Post reported last month in a look back on the storm's 25th anniversary, the meteorologist offered advice to South Floridians for 23 consecutive hours on Miami's NBC affiliate. And he's offering advice again. Norcross is now a senior hurricane specialist for the Weather Channel, which picks up a Tuesday Facebook post in which he shares 15 tips for those bracing themselves for Hurricane Irma. "Early preparation is essential," he notes. "Today, you are in control. Take action calmly but resolutely. Don’t set yourself up to be a victim. Your full attention is required immediately." Six standouts:

  1. If you haven't shopped yet, shop now: He recommends a minimum of seven days' worth of food and water, an AM/FM portable radio, one LED flashlight per person, an LED lantern or two, and lots of batteries.
  2. Shop online: Local stores may be running low on the above; try shopping via Amazon, which could get supplies to you by Saturday with two-day Prime shipping.
  3. Document: Take photos of every room in your home, with specific photos of anything of value, from important documents to computers. Upload the photos to the cloud.
  4. Embrace your dishwasher: It can double as a good "safe" to store valuables or photo albums (which should be first double-bagged in plastic); your washer and dryer can be utilized in this way, too.
  5. Be realistic about your cellphone: Don't expect it to be your lifeline. Harvey disrupted Texas' mobile system, and your battery could die. You need that aforementioned radio to stay informed. Designate someone out-of-town (an easier call to place than in the zone) to be the point person your family or group will check in with.
  6. Move your car: Think about the safest spot to leave it. A parking garage is best. Under a tree is the worst.
Read Norcross' full list, which ends with his most crucial piece of advice—identify a safe place to weather the storm immediately—here. (Read more Hurricane Irma stories.)

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