AUBURN, Ala. –By the middle of the week, Hurricane Michael is expected to threaten the northwestern Gulf Coast as a strong hurricane. The storm rapidly intensified from Sunday morning into Monday morning. Storm surge, damaging winds and heavy rain are likely impacts along the northeastern Gulf Coast including Alabama.
A hurricane watch is posted for the northeast Gulf Coast from the Alabama/Florida border to Suwanee River, Florida. Hurricane watches are also in effect from the Alabama/Florida border to the Mississippi/Alabama border and inland areas of southern Alabama and southwest Georgia.
Alabama residents and those with interests along the northeastern Gulf Coast in the path of Michael should be making preparations to ensure they are prepared. If you live in a storm surge prone location, follow the advice of local officials if you are ordered to evacuate.
Heavy rain is likely to spread inland from the northeastern Gulf Coast midweek to other parts of the southeastern U.S. into late-week. Rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches are forecast from the Florida Panhandle into southern Georgia, according to the National Hurricane Center. Locally up to a foot of rain is possible. This may cause life-threatening flash flooding in some areas.
Isolated tornadoes will be a threat on the eastern side of the storm. A tornado threat may develop in the Florida Panhandle and southern Georgia by Wednesday.
Keep Alert to Warnings
People throughout Alabama and the Southeast should keep alert to hurricane warnings. Once the storms come on land, they can cause severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, torrid rain and flooding of inland terrain.
Get ready now with these easy, low-cost steps that will leave you better prepared.
- Discuss as a family what you will do, where you will go and how you will communicate with each other when a storm threatens
- Know your evacuation route
- Tune into your local news or download the Federal Emergency Management Agency app to get alerts
- Listen to local authorities as a storm approaches
Take an inventory of your possessions inside and outside of your home. One smart way to do this is by videotape recording or taking pictures with a digital camera. Homeowners may even want to videotape equipment or things in garage or storage houses on their property. Store the information in water and fireproof containers off the premises when possible. This type of inventory will be helpful to you and your insurance company in case of other disasters, such as fire or flood, or even a theft. Make a list of serial or model numbers on appliances, electronics and furniture and special costly items. Place it in with the video of items.
There are several other things residents can do to prepare for severe weather:
- Fill your vehicles fuel tanks.
- Place extra bags of ice in freezer.
- Make sure you have plenty of charcoal or full gas containers for use in barbeque grills for cooking if the power goes out.
- Place blankets, towels and pillows in your shelter area.
Alabama Extension’s Emergency Handbook
Alabama Extension’s Emergency Handbook is a great source of information on preparing for storms or storm recovery. The handbook is available as a free iBook download through iTunes. It can also be found online at the Alabama Extension website. You can also find the handbook on the Alabama Extension website. The Emergency Handbook addresses nearly 50 disaster preparation and recovery topics in four broad categories. Categories include People and Pets, Home and Business, Landscape and Garden, and Farms and Livestock.