What We Learned From Hurricane Matthew, An Additional Irma List

There are some great resources out there providing instruction on what to have on hand in case of a hurricane. For official local emergency tracking for St John’s County, go here.  And, the St John Johns County Emergency Management website also has helpful information like checklists, sandbag locations, shelter information, evacuation zone information and more. The buzz, stress and mania is definitely in the air with Irma heading towards Florida.

Here’s a list of some of  what we learned last hurricane season thanks to Hurricane Matthew, that may not be on official lists:

  • All cars in low lying areas should go to higher ground. Several friends lost their cars after sitting in brackish water in neighborhoods surrounded by marsh.
  • Don’t forget your pet records. If you are in a bind and need to board your pet, most places will not accept them without records.
  • Get in touch with your neighbors beforehand so that whoever is back first can check on things for you. Make sure a trusted friend or two has a key to your home and have them walk in all rooms.
  • Shut the water off to your house.
  • If you have important files, back your data up to the cloud just in case.
  • Take a video or photos of the inside of your house. It’s much easier to remember what you have when you have visual confirmation and aren’t relying on memory.
  • Charge all your electronics. If you are home and lose power or get stuck in bad traffic you will be happy you did.
  • Don’t saturate your brain with too much storm TV. Once you’ve evacuated, just know you and your loved ones are safe. There is a lot of hype and drama that is incredibly anxiety producing. We had way more fun playing scrabble then watching 24/7 weather drama.
  • Share storm photos and updates on Facebook. It sort of felt like Ponte Vedra Beach in particular was forgotten on the news. It was so helpful to see online updates. Feel free to post on the Ponte Vedra Focus FB page. We will open it for all updates and posts during the storm.
  • Don’t rush to get back home.
  • Evacuate early and go far. You’ll be happier and better off if you don’t get stuck in a bunch of nasty traffic leaving town. And it’s no fun scrambling at the last minute to find a hotel, particularly one that likes pets.
  • Once you get somewhere, if it’s just inland, stay put once the weather gets bad and don’t second guess yourself.
  • Remember to be kind, generous and compassionate to others when under stress. Sometimes the ugly comes out in people in nerve-wracking situations, and it helps no one.
  • Wherever you go, take lots of wine and treats and more wine.

You’ve probably also heard by now that Xfinity has opened up its free WIFI during the storm. One other great tip, if you have an electric outage you can simply text OUT to MyJEA (69532).

Photo courtesy of Wunderground. The 5am Thursday update!


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