Tropical Storm Idalia is strengthening and could become a dangerous Category 3 storm as it approaches the Florida coast with a mix of heavy rains, high winds, and damaging storm surge.
The storm is about 90 miles off the western tip of Cuba, whipping up maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in their 8 a.m. ET update.
According to the NHC, Idalia is expected to intensify into a hurricane today, Monday, August 28th, and make landfall on the morning of Wednesday, August 30th, near the Big Bend of Florida. As the storm intensifies, “life-threatening storm surge and dangerous winds” are “becoming increasingly likely for portions of Florida,” the hurricane center said early Monday.
The storm’s expected arrival has prompted Florida to deploy swift water rescue teams as local officials called for evacuations, announced school closures, and warned residents to prepare their themselves and property.
Here are a few tips on how to get prepared ahead of the storm:
- Prepare your home: Move outdoor furniture, bikes, grills, propane tanks, and building material inside or under shelter. Cover up windows and doors. Use storm shutters or nail pieces of plywood to the outside window frames to protect your windows.
- Gather supplies: When a hurricane approaches, stores can quickly run out of essential supplies such as food, water, medications, and batteries. Get everything you need beforehand to weather the storm.
- Have an evacuation plan: It may be necessary to evacuate yourself and your loved ones from an incoming hurricane. Make sure that you have a plan in place for where, when to go and what to bring with you.
- Check your insurance policy: If you live in a hurricane-prone area, it is important to have adequate insurance coverage to protect your home and belongings. Review your insurance policies and make sure you have the overage you need.
Preparing for a hurricane beforehand can give you peace of mind and reduce stress and anxiety during hurricane season. By having a plan in place, you can focus on staying safe and taking care of your loved ones.
For more ways on how to prepare, visit the Tidal Basin Hurricane Resource Center. This online resource hub includes vetted and sourced preparedness information and safety tips that can help community leaders, families and individuals take action to help protect themselves and their property before, during and after a hurricane.