Irma Now a Cat 2 Hurricane, Heads to Eastern Caribbean

Hurricane Irma (NOAA Photo)

Hurricane Irma (NOAA Photo)

Satellite images indicate that Irma is rapidly intensifying and is now a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 mph (155 km/h) with higher gusts. Irma is forecast to become a major hurricane by tonight and is expected to be an extremely dangerous hurricane for the next several days.

According to the NOAA National Hurricane Centre, Irma is centered as of 11 a.m. AST/EDT over the far eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean about 650 miles (1050 km) west of the Cabo Verde Islands and about 1845 miles (2975 km) east of the Leeward Islands. Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h). This general motion is forecast through early Friday, followed by a generally westward motion on Saturday. It is not an immediate threat to land.

Disaster Management Consultant Billy Darroux shares the following tips:

In preparing please be careful with what you purchase, especially food.

Buying frozen foods may not be a fantastic idea as you can be without power for a while if impacted by a storm.
Do not buy food and other items in such large quantities, and run flat.

Consider an additional dose of medication for persons suffering dependent on them. You may not b able to access the pharmacy soon enough after an event

Consider storing water in large 55 gallon drums and keep them well covered. If you have to resort to using it for drinking and cooking, still boil.

Make provisions for the elderly and sick, people with mental and physical challenges and small children.
It is safer to use LED lights than candles in the house. Just have a few good batteries.

Put important documents in plastic bags and try marking them so you know what is where.

Try securing your kids toys, puzzle books and other leisure articles. These can come in handy in helping them cope after any bad event.

Listen to the authorities. Some armchair and panic experts are already making some official sounding recording and trying to convince people that doomsday is around the corner.

Go ahead with your day, discuss with your circles and heed advice.

And do not forget that you pets and other animals need to be protected. Secure their food as well.”

Get the latest on Irma at www.nhc.noaa.gov/#Irma

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