Hurricane Irma is a record-breaking hurricane swirling in the Caribbean right now but it is expected to swing northward over Florida and into Georgia and South Carolina early next week. The size of Hurricane Irma is so monumental, the arms of the powerful storm are expected to even reach the Charleston Area, South Carolina, despite the eye of the storm staying well within Georgia. At the Lawton Law Firm, headquartered in Mt. Pleasant, we want to help do our part in keeping everyone safe and sound before, during, and after the hurricane hits our hometown, which is expected to happen late Monday (September 11th, 2017). To this end, we have compiled a quick list of hurricane preparedness tips that everyone in our community should know.
Here are hints, tips, and other useful information about Hurricane Irma safety you should keep in mind:
- Listen to evacuation orders: When a government official or agency, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), issues an evacuation order, please take it seriously and comply. Staying within a mandatory evacuation zone puts yourself and emergency responders in danger if or when they are deployed to try to rescue you. Also pay attention to where the evacuation order directs you. FEMA may only request that you move across town to a dedicated shelter. Most people instinctually try to flee as far as possible, but this decision often causes severe traffic jams and can place the evacuator in another dangerous location.
- Take only what you need: When you are ordered to evacuate your home, only bring what you absolutely need to bring. You can grab small valuables, like pieces of jewelry that fit on your person, and copies of crucial paperwork. Otherwise, assume that you will not be able to carry much at all. If you evacuate to an official hurricane shelter, you may be provided with food, water, and blankets.
- Return only when safe: After evacuating, you should not return to your home or any evacuation zone until government officials state that it is safe to do so. You may feel tempted to ignore the orders and try to get a look at your property as soon as possible for insurance filing purposes but it is crucial that you do not. Returning too early to an area hit by Hurricane Irma is the same as not evacuating at all.
- Collect emergency supplies: Hurricane Irma is expected to be quite devastating wherever it touches, and Charleston Area could potentially experience significant inundation and fierce winds. You should put together an emergency supply kit now in case an evacuation is not ordered but there is still heavy rainfall in the region that could keep you indoors for a while. Basic items that should be in any kit include water, nonperishable foods, batteries, flashlights, and a radio. If there is room for a large emergency kit in your home, consider also putting a dry change of clothes for everyone in your household in there as well, vacuum sealed if possible.
- Prioritize safety over all else: No matter what happens, please do what you can to stay safe. Do not put yourself or anyone else in a jeopardizing situation so long as it can be helped. Work together, be compassionate, and do your best to stay calm. Hurricane Irma is strong but not as strong as our community of Mt. Pleasant.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has even more hurricane preparedness tips that you may wish to review. Click here to head over to the administration’s official website. Share all of this information with friends and family members as well to help them prepare. Coordination and cooperation are key to staying safe in emergency situations and natural disasters like Hurricane Irma.
Lawton Law Firm is a trusted personal injury law firm in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. Our highly experienced attorneys manage all sorts of claims, from premises liability to auto accidents. You can contact our team at any time if you have questions about a personal injury claim of your own.