Hurricane Harvey has officially been upgraded to Category 4. This would be the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in 47 years. Harvey is estimated to make landfall around 1am CDT tonight on the Texas coast.
I’ve been frantically sending emails, texts, posting online for my family, friends, and anyone in the path of Hurricane Harvey to EVACUATE.
I get pushback from those who have been through storms that they’re “going to ride it out.” or “it’s not going to be as bad as they’re saying.”.
What is a Category 4 Hurricane?
Category 4: Winds range from 131 to 155 mph and can cause catastrophic damage to property, humans, and animals. Severe structural damage to frame homes, apartments, and shopping centers should be expected. Category 4 hurricanes often include long-term power outages and water shortages lasting from a few weeks to a few months, so again, it’s important for any remaining residents to have a significant nonperishable food and water supply at hand. Via Costal Living
Here is what you NEED to know!
First: WHY TAKE THE RISK? Yes, many storms have ended up being far less dangerous than predicted – BUT what about the storms that were exactly or WORSE than expected??? What about the people who thought they could ride it out – only to be trapped and unable to leave? Think of the people who died from Hurricane Katrina.
- Check your various local news station and news websites for updated lists of Emergency Shelters if you have no place to get away from the storm.
Second: Please at least tell me that you have an Emergency Prepardness Bag of supplies ready to go! I know many people who think they can scrap together some basic items at the drop of a hat. DON’T do that – be prepared! It’s one less thing to do in an extremely stressful and urgent situation. What if the power goes out – for days, weeks, or longer? What if you don’t have enough medications? Some medications are absolutely critical! What if all the cellphone towers were damaged or offline – how would you get word out that you need help?
Here are the current predictions for possible widespread power outages:
If you haven’t heard of a 72 Hour Emergency Checklist – it’s a very detailed list of items should you need to evacuate and would need for at least 3 Days = 72 Hours. It covers food, water, and supplies. There are even companies who sell 72 Hour Kits if you really want to make it easy on yourself in the future.
Third: PLEASE think of those people who cannot evacuate themselves or perhaps live alone. Elderly, nursing homes, people without transportation, etc. It makes me think about Hurricane Katrina and how many lives were lost because they couldn’t leave.
Fourth: Pets! So many pets get left behind in emergencies – and they cannot fend for themselves. Please plan ahead to take your pets with you. There were so many pets that perished in Hurricane Katrina because they were left behind. Do not leave them!!!
Here’s what the Red Cross suggests for pet owners: Red Cross Pet Disaster Checklist
Flooding will be a major factor from Hurricane Harvey. The most severe predictions show “devastating flooding” with possibly over 35″ of rain! This is yet ANOTHER reason you should evacuate if you’re in its path.
Here are the check lists the Red Cross has put together for Hurricane Emergencies:
Red Cross Hurricane Safety Checklist
Now, obviously you SHOULD NEVER wait to get prepared at the last possible moment. I know for many in the path of Hurricane Harvey it’s possibly too late to get supplies – mostly because items are sold out.
The government site Ready.org has a list of what to do BEFORE and DURING an evacuation.
You’ll find those lists -> Ready.org Safety Checklists
While I’m at it…here’s a list of ALL EVACUATION ZONES for AL, CT, DE, FL, GA, LA, ME, MD, MA, MS, NH, NC, NJ, NY, RI, SC, TX, VA and their cities in the case of a Hurricane Emergency -> Evacuation Zone List
Now these links are specifically speaking to Hurricane and Tropical storms – but apply to ANY type of disasters that may occur.
PLEASE – if you’re in the path of Hurricane Harvey – EVACUATE. It’s better to leave and take precautions than to stay and possibly have a dangerous storm hit harder than expected.
SO WHAT if a storm doesn’t impact your area as forecast – your life and the lives of your loved ones and pets are what matter the most!!!
If you’re anywhere near the path of this storm – PLEASE let me know in the comments below. I’ll be praying that everyone will be safe and the storm will not be as severe as the current Hurricane models are showing.
Mother Nature operates on her own rules – and she has none. Stay safe my friends.
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