Hurricane Matthew, currently a Category 4 hurricane, is hammering the Bahamas. Experts are warning that it could hit Category 5 strength by later this evening, as it’s expected to slam into Florida’s east coast.
Thursday afternoon President Obama declared a state of emergency in Florida, just hours after Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned the public that they need to take the storm seriously saying “this will kill you.”
“If a direct landfall occurs, this will be unlike any hurricane in the modern era,” said the National Weather Service’s Jacksonville office in a forecast discussion.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday morning, Scott said, “We’re planning for the worst, hoping for the best, but we’re not going to take a chance.”
Scott also announced the activation of 500 Florida National Guardsmen. Another 6,000 members of the Florida National Guard were placed on standby in the event of a large-scale evacuation or response effort after the storm.
Millions Unprepared for the Coming Storm and it’s Aftermath
As usual, millions of unprepared people waited until the last minute to buy supplies, only to find store shelves completely emptied or hour long lines to even get into the building.
— DrBones NurseAmy (@preppershow) October 4, 2016
— Lindsey Slater (@LindseySlaterTV) October 6, 2016
Major Fuel, Food and Water Shortages throughout the Southeast
GATE Stores, a chain of convenience stores that operate throughout the Southeastern United States issued a warning today telling the public that they were “experiencing low fuel levels” and “experiencing outages of water and other non-perishable items” at most of their stores.
— GATE (@GATE_Stores) October 6, 2016
Many Stores started running low on Supplies Days Ago
Residents were shocked to find area stores already having supply chain problems days before the storm even hit. As early as October 4th, people were reporting water shortages and food shortages throughout the Southeastern United States.
Walmart says they have activated their emergency operation centers and have placed teams to coordinate hurricane response operations.
— P. Desmond Adams (@pdesmondadams) October 4, 2016
— Kate Chastain (@Kate_Chastain) October 5, 2016
Hurricane Matthew blasts Bahamas: 140 already Dead
Hurricane Matthew, the largest Caribbean storm in almost a decade, slammed the Bahamas on Thursday. According to the latest reports from the area, at least 140 people, mostly in Haiti, have been killed.
— Donavon J. Curtis (@donavoncurtis) October 6, 2016
— TheRealPhylicia_ (@_YoungNGettnIt) October 6, 2016
Seven Million throughout the Southeastern United States Could Lose Power
According to the latest power outage forecasts from researchers at the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, and Texas A&M University, over seven million people between Miami and the Carolinas are expected to lose power as a result of Hurricane Matthew.
“We’ll be running new power outage forecasts every six hours,” Seth Guikema, U-M associate professor of industrial and operations engineering, told WJXT. “With a storm this size, a small wobble isn’t going to change things very much. Even if it stays over the ocean, there are likely to be substantial power outage impacts.”
If you live in one of the forecasted danger zones you need to take this storm seriously. Officials from Florida to South Carolina are urging an estimated 2 million people to evacuate.
Gov. Scott said Florida could see its biggest evacuation ever. “This thing is getting close to our coast, you better be ready before. If it turns at the last minute, you’re not going to have time to get ready. You’re not going to be able to get your food and water. You’re not going to be able to evacuate. You’re going to put you and your family’s life at risk.”
Hurricanes should never be taken lightly. Even when downgraded to a tropical storm, the intense rain and winds generated by these storm systems can still be enough to cause major problems and large-scale damage throughout major portions of the country.
If you plan on staying in the area or have stayed beyond the period where you can safely evacuate, you need to be prepared to survive in your home for at least 14 days without food, water, or power.
- Start filling any containers you can find with water NOW!
- Start stockpiling extra food, recharging batteries, and getting your supplies ready.
- Make sure your bug out bags are ready to go!