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June 17, 2018

Lessons from Irma: A reminder on the importance of preparedness

By Bobby Deskins

Last year, Florida saw its first hurricane make landfall in over a decade – Hurricane Irma.


Hurricane Irma chalk artIt’s hard to believe that it had been 10 years, but Hurricane Irma brought an end to that drought the weekend of Sept. 10-11.

When I look back on Irma, I see a storm that wreaked havoc on our area, but I also see a storm that could have been much worse – a good reminder of how we need to be prepared. I have been going around the area for nearly 10 years preaching the old adage of, “It only takes one, so please be prepared.” Irma showed us why.

As this year’s hurricane season approaches, it’s a good time to think back to last September and the lessons you may have learned. Did you have a plan? Did you have enough supplies? Did you know your evacuation zone and where you would go if you did evacuate? These are all questions you’ll want to think of now as the season runs from June 1st to November 30th.

Because Irma’s forecast track varied as it approached our state, more than 6 million people evacuated Florida leading up to landfall. In that process, we depleted much of our gasoline supply a week before the storm hit, and traffic was at a standstill at times along the major interstates.

Future storms may present similar forecast challenges, but if you have a plan in place for an evacuation, making the decision to leave will be easier and will save you a lot of stress.

Bobby Deskins and family.

When you make your plans, remember to include snacks and games for your children. Hurricanes can knock the power out for days, so make sure you have plenty of nonperishable foods on hand like my kids’ favorite, Spaghetti O’s. Don’t forget their electronics, portable battery chargers and any medications they (or you) need as well.

This hurricane season, know that you can trust our weather team to bring you the most accurate and timely information. It’s important in today’s social media world to know who you can trust as misinformation can spread quickly. The 10 News team will keep you informed and updated, and we will help you make decisions that will protect your family.

 

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