How to Prepare for the Upcoming Hurricane Ian
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis urged Floridians to take precautions and declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties ahead of the impacts of Hurricane Ian, which is expected to undergo a period of rapid intensification on Monday and Tuesday.
Rapid intensification occurs when a tropical cyclone's (tropical depression, tropical storm or hurricane) maximum sustained winds increase by at least 35 mph in a 24-hour period, according to the National Hurricane Center.
"Make preparations now," DeSantis said at a news conference on Sunday. "I know a lot of people have been doing it throughout the state of Florida."
When Will Ian Hit Florida?
Hurricane Ian is predicted to be steered northward into the eastern Gulf of Mexico Tuesday.
However, the range in possible tracks from the computer forecast models indicates Ian could track anywhere from the Florida Panhandle to portions of the Florida Peninsula.
"People are just so fixated on two things, the Saffir-Simpson intensities, the number, and the track. And when a storm like this gets big it is going to spread impacts and push water and produce rain and winds in places that’s going to catch people off guard," said Jamie Rhone, Acting Director the NHC. "So I really want everyone on the Florida peninsula to really be paying attention and thinking about the hazards and not the Saffir-Simpson scale and not the skinny black line in the middle of the cone."
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned in a Sunday press conference of likely power outages once Hurricane Ian moves closer to Florida.
"Anticipate, particularly the closer you are to where the eye of the storm makes landfall, anticipate power outages. That is something that will likely happen with a hurricane of this magnitude."
What To Expect
As much as six inches of rain is expected in some parts of the Florida Keys, while a storm surge of as much as eight feet and 10 inches of rain is expected in the Tampa Bay area. Key West Mayor Teri Johnston said the city has been preparing for Hurricane Ian since Friday.
"Make sure you've got food, water, make sure you've got a good supply of medications, and make sure you have taken into consideration your pets," she said. "The people of Key West are pretty well versed in hurricane preparation. So we are sending out these preparations mostly for the newer people that have come to Key West."
The storm has the potential for dangerous storm surge, flash flooding, strong winds, heavy rainfall and even isolated tornados. Emergency officials say now is the time to prepare and to know if you're in an evacuation zone – zones where there's a threat of being inundated or cut off from floodwaters.
What To Put In An Emergency Kit
Here’s a list from FEMA of the supplies every emergency supply kit should include.
- Water — You need a gallon per person per day for several days. It will be used not only for drinking but also for sanitation.
- Food — You need at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food.
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert.
- First aid kit.
- Extra batteries.
- Whistle — You can use this to signal for help.
- Dust mask — You can use this to help filter the air in the event it becomes contaminated.
- Plastic sheeting and duct tape in case you need to shelter in place.
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties.
- Wrench or pliers so that you can turn off utilities if need be.
- Manual can opener.
- Local maps.
- Cellphone with chargers and a backup battery.
- Secure loose items in your backyard as high winds are expected
- Communicate and share information with your neighbors and loved ones
- Don't start your generator within your home
We recommend that you check your County's Website frequently to get updates on Evacuation Information.
Sand Bag Locations
Mulberry – 900 NE 5th St., Mulberry | Lakeland – 8970 N. Campbell Road, Lakeland | Ft. Meade – 1061 NE 9th St., Fort Meade | Frostproof 350 County Road 630A, Frostproof | Auburndale – 1701 Holt Road, Auburndale | Dundee – 805 Dr. Martin Luther King St. SW, Dundee (863)421-3367 Poinciana Park - corner of Lake Hatchineha Road and MarigoldAve. (5109 Allegheny Road, Poinciana 34759)
Edward Medard Conservation Park - 6140 Turkey Creek Rd Plant City, FL | E.G. Simmons Conservation Park - 2401 19th Ave NW, Ruskin, FL 33570 | Ed Radice Sports Complex - 14720 Ed Radice Drive Tampa, FL33626
John Chesnut Sr. Park: 2200 East Lake Road in Palm Harbor | Walsingham Park: 12615 102nd Ave, Seminole | Lealman Neighborhood Park , 3875 54th Ave. N., St. Petersburg.
East: Pasco County Public Works (C-Barn): 30908 WarderRoad, San Antonio | West: Magnolia Valley Golf Course: 7223 MassachusettsAvenue, New Port Richey
preparedness-maps/ for your county.