There is a mandatory evacuation order in place for all of Chatham County as Hurricane Matthew makes its way to the eastern seaboard. The hurricane was updated to category-4 and is expected to make landfall on eastern Florida, and touch north up the coast in Georgia over the weekend, according to weather reports.
Savannah residents should be aware that the evacuation order is in place for all areas east of the Wilmington River and Skidaway Island. The storm is traveling north at a speed of 12 mile per hour and tropical winds of 115 mph miles, according to savannahnow.com as of Thursday evening. Coastal Georgia faces a 20 percent chance of getting hurricane force winds which is at least 74 mph, according to Channel 2 News meteorologist Brad Nitz.
Governor Nathan Deal increased the state of emergency Wednesday night from 13 to 30 counties in the southeastern region of Georgia. Deal also issued an executive order waiving rules and regulations for commercial vehicles transporting emergency supplies, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I urge Georgians in the affected areas to remain calm, be prepared and make informed, responsible decisions as we continue to monitor Hurricane Matthew’s path,” Deal said in the news report.
Here are a few ways that Savannah residents should prepare for Hurricane Matthew before it makes contact with Georgia.
Know Your Evacuation Route
Chatham County residents who plan to leave should be know their evacuation routes. Beginning at noon on Thursday, fixed route buses continued to run regular service and pick up evacuees at a Chatham Area Transit bus stop, according to savannahnow.com.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is also mobilizing evacuation lanes along Interstate 16, which means eastbound lanes will be used for evacuees from Savannah to mile marker 42 in Laurens County, according to savannahnow. These routes will be in effect until midnight Saturday.
If you are unsure which route to take, you can go to the Chatham Emergency Management Agency website.
Stock Up on Food and Water
Chatham County families in the path of Hurricane Matthew should visit their local supermarkets and stock up on a three-day supply of nonperishable foods, for each person in your household, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. These foods could be ready-to-eat canned meats, crackers, granola bars and dried fruit, according to FEMA.
It’s also important to have at least one gallon of water for each person per day for at least three days, FEMA says.
Create an Emergency Kit
Families should be prepared for power outages that may occur during Hurricane Matthew. An emergency kit can provide much needed support during a hurricane.
A basic kit should have flashlights with extra batteries and bulbs, manual can opener, first aid kit, whistle, cell phone with charger, and local maps according to the National Hurricane Center.
Fortify Your Home
Hurricane winds can break open windows and tear off roofs, so fortifying your house is essential to protecting your valuables. Residents should remove or secure items that are not held down outside. They should also board up their windows with plywood or laminate the window glass with a thin film to keep the glass from shattering, according to FEMA.
They could also make sure that all interior doors are closed and brace exterior doors.
Document the Damage
Take pictures of your property in its pre-storm state. This will help when filing a claim with your insurance company.
You should take a wide-angle photos of your property, and make sure to encompass everything in view. This includes the interior and exterior of your home, your garage, shed, and any other structures or parked vehicles on your property.
Sometimes, despite doing everything you could to protect your home and paying your premiums every month, the insurance company will still deny your claim. This will frustrate you, but you don’t have to settle for it.
Instead, consider looking into a knowledgeable insurance dispute attorney. Our hurricane insurance dispute page offers information on what these attorneys can do for you, and also shows you what your insurance company should be covering. If you’re already ready to file a claim, contact us today for a free, no-risk case evaluation.