Hurricane Irma hit Puerto Rico and a small line of northern Caribbean islands on Wednesday, September 3rd; around 3 people were killed. Hurricane Irma is currently category five (the highest possible on the hurricane scale). It is also the first hurricane to hit the south east coast of the US since Wilma in 2005. The winds on September 3rd were around 185 mph, making it one of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded. San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, got hit with winds of 100 mph. The outer parts of the storm hit a small line of islands.
On September 8th, Hurricane Irma battled the Caribbean, hurtling to Florida at category 4 with winds of 155 mph. It left devastation and destruction in its path. How people started to prep for this storm was they got airports and shelters ready with food and water and beds, people started to put up shutters on their windows and sandbag on their doors, taking flights to evacuate if they could, driving hours away to big supermarkets like Costco and Sam's club to get food and water to be ready. Unfortunately, they drove almost 3 hours away to get gas and food, but there was nothing left. Some people ended up staying overnight at places like Costco, Sam's Club, and grocery stores. At all of the gas stations it got so bad police have to stay and watch over the people getting gas. People waited at Home Depot for plywood to put it on their house for extra protection.
Even if you live close to Hurricane Irma’s path, you may not be evacuated but you will for the most part be affected and should prepare for the worst. Some of the people that live in Florida since 2005 were already partially pre-prepared because of Hurricane Wilma. Most of the people that have died because of hurricanes is because of flooding, and issues that it causes. People that owned big signs (like billboards) changed what they said to "start prepping for Irma" and “Go Away Irma”.
If you did end up staying, people got prepared by packing a suitcase/bag with some of these things: cash, clothes, food and water, phone with chargers and batteries, medications, important papers/cards. The all around best way to be prepared would be to get a airplane ticket before the hurricane is close, or to drive far away. Some people that are poor and don't have enough money to buy a ticket, or enough gas to drive away, or couldn’t get a ticket because it was full, had to stay and brave the storm. How these people prepared was by fixing their houses up to go through the hurricane enough for them to be alive, and they got the most food/water that they could, also by buying gas. Some people also went to family or friends house for more protection or double story houses because of flooding. People also have gone to hotels because they have driven far away because of flight issues.
Unfortunately, Irma was not the last hurricane of this season. Others that will hit the the Caribbean islands and the US are Jose and Maria. There might be more, too. Hopefully, people will be able to prepare for the storm the best they can!
Story by Olivia Crosson