All the warm days and gentle rains in September made it that much easier to forget that hurricane will be with us until the end of November.
Greater Jacksonville has now has new concerns about safe evacuation routes because the Mathews Bridge is closed indefinitely for major structural repairs.
Add this to satellite images posted by the National Hurricane Center that show heavy weather in the Caribbean and just east of the Florida Straits.
It’s time to prepare for emergencies again.
Make yourself safer
With all the traffic in Greater Jacksonville plus the added complications of so many bridges, a major river and the ocean, getting stuck in your car is a very real possibility.
It's much easier to keep your head in an emergency when you know you've got what you need with you – especially in the car.
Do your part by getting prepared now.
Turn your car into a rolling hurricane shelter
Here’s a list of suggestions about what to keep packed in the car during hurricane season.
Electronics: Get a pre-paid, satellite-enabled mobile phone with data service like the AT&T GoPhone, a car charger, GPS receiver (TomTom®, Nüvi®, etc.), and a weather radio to listen to the local National Weather Service radio bulletins.
In GreaterJax™, the National Weather Service radio stations are:
- Gainesville -- 162.475 WXJ60
- Jacksonville -- 162.550 KHB39
- Palatka -- 162.425 WNG522
Waterproof Pouch: For documents, pre-paid cash, gas and phone cards, copies of insurance papers and identification and a list of emergency contacts including the local Red Cross, 1- 888-843-5748 or 1-800-HELP-NOW, and FEMA 800-621-FEMA / TTY 800-462-7585.
- A couple of gallons of bottled water (in the trunk or a shaded place).
- Cans of high protein foods/low fat foods like canned ravioli and soups. Make sure the cans have pop tops.
- Canned or bottled fruit juice like cranberry or pomegranate juice that doesn’t have to be refrigerated. It’s high in potassium and vitamin C.
- Vitamins and supplements also in a shaded area of the car.
- Ice chest and cool packs.
- Electric igniters, matches, tin foil, charcoal for cooking
- If you have pets, stock some dry and canned food for them.
And learn to cook on the car’s engine. Here’s a set of easy instructions to get you started.
Pets: In addition to food and bowls, if you can, keep a pet crate in the car.
If there’s not enough room, invest in pet seatbelts, special harnesses that hook into your car’s seatbelt system to safely restrain your pets. You can get them at stores like Target® and PetsMart®.
- A gas can big enough to hold at least two gallons of gas and a supply of the requisite fluids: transmission, brakes, windshield wiper, oil and anti-freeze.
- You might also want to keep a spare set of wiper blades and some Fix-A-Flat® just in case you can't work the jack or the spare is flat.
Clothes, Blankets & Rain Gear: Pack a duffle bag with comfortable clothes and shoes (including packages of clean underwear and grooming products) and rain gear.
You can use blankets, sheets and old towels for warmth and to build a lean-to shelter if you have to.
Your Greater Jacksonville Examiner
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org