Floridians should prepare for Ian, which is expected to hit the state later this week
Sunday, September 25, 2022
National Hurricane Center
A potential path for Tropical Storm Ian that is expected to become a hurricane, according to the NHC. The advisory was issued at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Update Sept. 27, 2022 at 11:45 am: Now a Category 3, Hurricane Ian will make landfall along Florida's west coast, between Naples and Tampa sometime Wednesday night. As a result, Central Florida, including Orange County, is under a tropical storm warning and will experience severe storms, including rain and wind, within the next 36 hours. Check with Orange County and the National Wather Service about latest weather updates and other important information for the region.
Update Sept. 26, 2022 at 12 pm: With Hurricane Ian intensifying Monday, the National Hurricane Center has issued a storm watch for several inland counties, including Orange. This means that tropical storm-force winds are possible within the next 48 hours, according to the National Weather Service. Meteorologists said winds could potentially go up to 58 to 73 mph that could damage houses, uproot trees, make roads and bridges impassable and create power outages. They urged residents to make preparations now before winds become hazardous.
With Tropical Storm Ian forecast to peak to a Category 4 hurricane as soon as Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared an amended State of Emergency Saturday for all 67 counties, which will provide resources and support and activate the Florida National Guard. While the storm is likely to intensify to Category 4 with wind speeds of at least 130 mph, meteorologists believe it will weaken before it hits Florida but it’s unclear where it will hit.
“At this point really the right message for those living in Florida is that you have to watch forecasts and get ready and prepare yourself for potential impact from this tropical system,” John Cangialosi, a senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center told (subscription required) the Orlando Sentinel.
The latest forecast shows that Central Florida has a 40- to 60-percent chance of tropical-storm-force winds within five days, according to the Sentinel.
Emergency officials are urging residents to have a plan in place. Amassed from several news reports and other resources, here are several immediate steps that residents can take as Ian bears down on us:
Cover all windows of your home with shutters or plywood
Ensure rain gutters are clear and trees and shrubs are trimmed
Bring in outdoor furniture, garbage cans and anything that isn’t securely tied down
Stock up on non-perishable foods like canned soup for at least three days as well as a manual can opener
Prepare a first-aid kit
Have at least two weeks worth of prescription medications on hand
Allocate about one gallon of water per person per day
Address needs for babies and children, such as formula and diapers
Ensure flashlights are operable and extra batteries are on hand
Get a battery-operated or hand-crank weather radio
Keep moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Have access to wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Have a charger ready and backup battery for cell phones.
Put important documents and other valuable items in a waterproof, portable container
Keep a fire extinguisher handy
Below are several resources to review now to prepare:
Local resources. City and town officials provide their own information for residents. Check here for Ocoee, Winter Garden, Windermere and Oakland.
Orange County. On its site, the county has provided links to articles ranging from readying household emergency kits — including what to stock for people with special needs — to pet preparation to proper sandbag use to tap water information.
NOAA. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Preparedness site also provides information from determining a resident’s risk to strengthening their homes.
Ready.gov. This federal government site is a comprehensive guide to prepare for all types of disasters and emergencies, including hurricanes.
FloridaDisaster.org. This site operated by the state’s emergency management division displays a clear checklist of disaster supplies (PDF version)