Hurricanes

Preparing for Irma? Here's a shopping list

Posted September 6

— As Hurricane Irma bears down on the Caribbean on Wednesday with record-breaking force, Florida is preparing itself for impact.

The strongest Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever recorded bowled over small islands, taking down trees and knocking out power on its way west. Forecast models predict the storm will continue on its course to bring at least Category 4 storm winds to the United States.

Stores in Florida were sold out of water and supplies as the Sunshine State prepares for Irma's northward turn over the weekend. As the threat of the storm looms, The Weather Channel says it's best to prepare early.

"Given the extremely large number of people that would be impacted by any track over the state, early preparation is essential," Weather Channel Meteorologist Bryan Norcross wrote in a Facebook post. "It will be impossible for everyone who will need supplies to get them at the end of the week."

Norcross recommends people gather at least seven days' worth of food and water, a radio with plenty of batteries, and LED flashlights and lanterns.

Some other tips from Norcross:

– Take photos today or tomorrow of every room, every piece of electronics, and everything valuable. Upload the pictures to the cloud – Dropbox, Microsoft Cloud, iCloud, Google Drive, etc. – before the storm.

– Plastic bags and duct tape are your friends. You can’t buy too many of them. Put documents in gallons-size (or larger) Ziploc bags. Put larger items in double large trash bags cocooned so the opening of the first bag is in the bottom of the second bag. Put some clothes in plastic bags in case you get a roof leak. Duct tape bags closed. Put valuables on a high shelf in a closet.

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