With Hurricane Irma about to make landfall in Florida, officials have ordered one of the largest evacuations in United States history.
According to The New York Ties, officials estimate that 5.6 million residents have been ordered to evacuate and have consistently been urged by Gov. Rick Scott to take caution and not underestimate the power of the storm.
Irma had held at Category 5 storm levels while rolling through the Atlantic Ocean, but the latest track shows it making landfall Sunday morning in the southern Florida area as a Category 4.
With so many people evacuating their respective homes, traffic on the roadways is causing issues as people seek refuge. There have been numerous reports of people running out of gasoline and food items, as people have flocked to stores and gas stations.
Officials have opened up numerous emergency shelters across Florida, urging evacuees to use them only if they don’t have any other option for shelter during the storm. To see a list of those emergency shelters, click here. It’s important to check beforehand to ensure the shelter isn’t at capacity. There are also options for people with pets, too.
Before evacuating, though, you must pack up the most important belongings and prepare your home. But what exactly do you bring with you to a hurricane shelter?
Check below for a list of the most important things things to bring along with you if you head to a shelter, courtesy of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
What to Pack
Note: You should prepare for at least a three-day stay. So bring a three-day supply of the below items.
– Food and water: The recommended amount of water is about one gallon per person per day. As for food, bring non-perishable canned or packaged food.
– Cash and credit/debit cards: Bring all necessary credit and debit cards and be sure to grab cash in the event the cards don’t work.
– Clothes: Bring a complete set of clean clothes and shoes.
– Bedding/blankets: Most shelters have cots or beds available for evacuees. Some offer bedding and blankets, but to be on the safe side, you should pack your own in addition to a pillow. Sleeping bags and air mattresses work, too.
– Personal hygiene items: Deodorant, soap, sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste and all other necessary items. Some shelters offer showers, but that may not be an option at most.
– Medications: Bring any and all important medications with you, as it’s not concrete how long you’ll be at the shelter.
– Games/entertainment: Board games, books, cards, puzzles, iPads, etc. Bring these to pass the time at the shelter until the storm passes.
– First-aid kit: Be sure to bring a first-aid kit along with you in case of an emergency. The first-aid kid should also include a flashlight and batteries.
For the latest updates on Irma, click here.