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Safety tips for hurricane evacuation, shelter-in-place

  • Published
  • By Allyson B. Crawford, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Public Affairs

The Air Force Materiel Command has Airmen at bases across America including at Eglin, Robins and the Gunter Annex. These bases may be impacted by Hurricane Ian later this week.

The National Hurricane Center predicts Ian will impact America as a major hurricane. If the storm does hit Florida, it would be the first major hurricane to do so in four years. As of September 26, morning forecasts have Ian reaching Category 4 strength before impacting The Sunshine State and then moving north.

President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration, authorizing Homeland Security and FEMA to coordinate disaster relief efforts in the impacted areas. The entire state of Florida is under an emergency order. The Florida National Guard is activated and awaiting orders to respond if necessary.

No matter if you plan to evacuate or shelter in place, have a hurricane kit ready with items to sustain your household for several days. Keep your kit in a bag you can easily take with you if necessary. Include:

  • Non-perishable food (enough for at least 3 days)
  • Water (enough for at least 3 days)
  • First-aid kit – including prescription medication
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Flashlights and extra batteries
  • Battery operated radio
  • Waterproof container for important documents
  • Manual can opener
  • Matches
  • Books, magazines, games for recreation
  • Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
  • Cooler and ice packs to keep food cold – do not consume spoiled food
  • Fill your car with gas and fill an extra tank for your car or generator
  • Understand how to properly use a generator and vent it outside – never run a generator indoors
  • Visit the bank and get cash – in power outages, credit card systems will not work
  • Charge cell phones and other electronic devices before the storm
  • Fill your bathtubs and large containers with water for washing and flushing
  • Add 1-800-RED-CROSS to your cell phone contacts 

Take care to secure your property before the storm hits:

  • Cover all windows with hurricane shutters or wood
  • If possible, secure straps or clips to securely fasten your roof to the structure of your home
  • Clear rain gutters
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture and garbage cans

The Atlantic hurricane season ends November 30.