National News

Communities prepare for natural disasters ahead of Hurricane Irma

Posted September 7

— Hurricane Irma has many southerners scrambling to evacuate and secure their homes.

The category 5 hurricane brings extreme winds and flooding as she tears through the Caribbean.

Irma's dangerous track remains uncertain and emergency management officials are urging residents across the eastern seaboard to be prepared.

"Individuals can be ready, households can be ready [by] having food, extra batteries and a portable radio," said Emergency Management Director, Chester Nicora.

Agawam and Southwick are the only western Massachusetts towns that is classified by the National Weather Service as a storm readiness designation.

That means they have taken extra steps to prepare the community for natural disasters.

Radios that have multiple uses are crucial during these terrifying storms.

Nicora told Western Mass News that it's also important to stock up on supplies.

"The important part is to have sufficient amount of food for about five to seven days," he added.

One of the top reasons people do not follow evacuation orders is because of their pets.

Hurricane Harvey left emergency crews to rescue hundreds of animals, but Nicora said the most important rule is to have a plan and evacuate days in advance.

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