Just how historic is Hurricane Irma?
At 185 mph, Hurricane Irma is…
- The strongest storm to ever pass over the Leeward Islands
- Tied for the second strongest storm ever in the Atlantic Basin — behind Hurricane Allen in 1980, tied with three other storms
- Strongest storm in Atlantic history outside of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico
- Strongest hurricane anywhere in the Atlantic since 2005, which was Wilma, also 185 mph
- Has maintained intensity above 180 mph longer than any storm in Atlantic history — 27 hours and counting.
The impact of Hurricane Irma on New Jersey remains unclear as the Category 5 storm continues a westward path. To date Hurricanes Andrew (1992), Camille (1969) and one in 1935 are the only Category-5 storms to ever make landfall in the United States.
What you need to know now
The National Hurricane Center urges everyone in hurricane-prone areas to prepare a hurricane plan now. The NJ Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman Laura Connolly said the first thing to do is get together with your family and just start the conversation about preparedness.
The very basics of preparing for a storm include, according ready.nj.gov
- Three days’ supply of canned, non-perishable, ready-to-eat food
- Three days’ supply of water (a total of three gallons per family member)
- Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- One week’s prescription medications
- First aid kit
- Personal toiletries
- Non-electric can openers and utensils
- Infant care items
- Items for elderly family members
- Items for relatives with disabilities
- Cash or travelers checks
- Store important documents in a waterproof, safe location
- Keep your vehicle’s gas level at a minimum of half-a-tank
- Every family member must carry contact information
- All phone numbers at work, school, etc. for every family member
- The name and number of a relative who lives out-of-state, to call in case your family gets separated.