Tropical weather headed here?

Published 9:51 pm Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ernesto could be a threat to the Gulf Coast area.

A storm still thousands of miles away from the Gulf Coast is interesting enough to storm trackers to have gained their focus this week.

Tropical Depress 5, which will be Hurricane Ernesto if it continues to develop, has formed in the Atlantic with forecasters issuing predictions and storm models in anticipation of strengthening conditions.

Two months into the 2012 hurricane season, Escambia County Emergency Managment Director David Adams, said now – far in advance of the threat of a hurricane – is the time to prepare.

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The tropics are beginning to get active, as we all expect for this time of year,” Adams said. ”It is still too early to know if we might be affected or not. The early tracks show this storm as a hurricane near Jamaica on Monday afternoon.”

Adams said the information provided isn’t meant as a warning for our area, but simply as a reminder of what could happen.

“We just wanted to put out some kind reminder to check your emergency supplies and plans early,” Adams said. ”Do not wait until the last minute to get prepared.”

Adams said EMA personnel, as well as staff of the National Hurricane Center, will continue to monitor the depression and release alerts, updates and new forecasts as they are available.

“We will continue to monitor as this systems that is being forecast to make hurricane strength by Monday,” Adams said. “The National Weather Service has cautioned everyone that there is an uncertainty in both the track and the intensity forecast on this developing system.”

The following is a list of items to consider including in an emergency kit in the event of a hurricane, tornado or other natural disaster:

  1. Hurricane shutters or storm panels for all windows and glass sliding doors
  2. Solar-powered Flashlight and Flashlight with extra batteries for each member of your family
  3. Battery operated lanterns with extra batteries
  4. Propane gas portable camping stove or grill (outside use only)
  5. Waterproof Matches and lighter
  6. Fire Extinguisher
  7. Battery operated radio and/or Battery operated Television with extra batteries
  8. Cellular telephone with solar re-charger
  9. Gas operated portable electric generator (outside use only)
  10. Properly “gauged” extension cord for use with your portable electric generator
  11. Fuel for car, portable generator, or chain saw
  12. 5 gallon gas cans (at least 2)
  13. Funnel for gas can
  14. Battery operated fan
  15. Hand operated can opener
  16. 30 day supply of prescription medications
  17. Battery operated or wind-up Clock
  18. First aid kit
  19. Any special health care items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members
  20. Cash
  21. Plastic garbage bags with ties
  22. Tools – nails, hammer, screw drivers, axe, crow bar, box cutter
  23. Clean containers for storing drinking water (fill clean bathtubs with water for miscellaneous use; swimming pool water can be used for flushing toilets if there is no water pressure)
  24. Bleach for sanitizing water
  25. Water purifier
  26. Paper plates, napkins or paper towels, plastic cups and utensils
  27. 12 volt refrigerator and ice chest
  28. 12 volt power converter
  29. Food for pets
  30. Rope or heavy cord
  31. Work Gloves
  32. Weather protection TARP covers
  33. Duct tape
  34. Protective shoes and clothing
  35. Waterproof container for important documents
  36. Homeowner’s insurance company contact information and other important documents
  37. Camera