Hurricane Irma Headed for Florida; Are You Prepared to Survive This Storm?

Hurricane Irma Headed for Florida; Are You Prepared to Survive This Storm?

National Safety Council provides tips to stay safe during severe and unpredictable weather.

​Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council encourages everyone in the path of Hurricane Irma to keep informed, heed government warnings and stay safe. Unlike tornadoes and earthquakes, hurricanes can be forecast several days ahead of landfall, giving residents time to take precautions:

  • Board up windows and secure loose outdoor items like patio furniture
  • Know where to go in the event of an evacuation and how to get there
  • Establish an assembly point for family members to meet if separated, and choose one person everyone can contact with their whereabouts and status
  • Take shelter in a sturdy building; avoid isolated sheds or other small structures, open areas, hilltops, beaches or boats
  • If you are driving in heavy rain, try to safely exit the road, stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers
  • During heavy rain, avoid underpasses, underground parking garages and basements
  • Never drive into flooded areas; if flood waters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground
  • Don't walk in water above your ankles; you can be swept off your feet in as little as 6 inches of rushing water
  • Contact your local emergency management agency for information
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment, cords, metal and water
  • Listen for warning sirens, stay away from windows and exterior doors, and seek shelter in a bathroom or basement
  • Stay indoors until authorities tell you it's safe to go outside
  • Hurricanes can cause massive flooding; learn more about that here
  • Learn about safe cleanup from local authorities, or visit

Because severe weather and natural disasters can occur at any time with devastating effects, an impending storm is a timely reminder to review safety procedures. September is Emergency Preparedness Month, and NSC is calling on Americans to develop emergency kits and plans in the event of unpredictable, severe weather.

More than 600 people were killed in weather-related incidents in 2015, according to Injury Facts® 2017. In September and October, thunderstorms, high winds and floods are common. NSC advises families to keep an emergency kit at home and in the car.

Emergency kits should contain basic needs to sustain a family for at least 72 hours. When putting together an emergency plan, families should practice various methods of evacuation or identify places to seek shelter, make emergency contact lists in case family members become separated and learn how their community alerts residents when severe weather or a natural disaster are imminent. Learn more about emergency preparedness here. 


About the National Safety Council

Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.

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