Oct 06, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Threatens FL, East Coast

As Hurricane Matthew devastates Caribbean nations, people from the southern tip of Florida all the way to the North Carolina coast are preparing for the worst—and our first responder members are preparing to answer the call.
As of Thursday morning, weather forecasting models were predicting Matthew to strike the eastern coast of Florida by late Thursday evening at Category 4 strength with winds over 130 miles per hour. Hurricane warnings were issued on Wednesday for Volusia, Brevard, Osceola and Orange counties, by late Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott urged residents along the entire eastern coast of his state to evacuate. Airlines have been cancelling flights to the southeastern U.S. in advance of Matthew’s arrival.
The IAEP has members throughout Florida, including Volusia, Brevard, Polk, and Sumter counties. Emergency responders face extra difficulties during crises like major hurricanes—trying to respond to calls for aid under catastrophic conditions and preparing their own families and homes for the storm.
“We know our people will do their best, no matter what happens,” said Philip Petit, IAEP national director. “The best thing people can do to help them is to evacuate before the storm hits, if they’re advised to, and don’t be a daredevil.”
EMS professionals across the country are being put into ready position for back-up during the storm. Over 1,200 miles away in Northwest Indiana, IAEP Local 140 has over 24 members on standby to respond to the east coast. “With the leadership skills of Local Secretary Christopher VanDyke, the deployment, if necessary, should run smoothly,” said national representative Nate Morrish-Smith.
Hurricane Matthew is expected to impact the east coast up through North Carolina with high winds, storm surges, and heavy rains. Residents along the storm’s path are urged to prepare for power outages and evacuate if possible.
For more information:

To learn more about preparing for hurricanes or other natural disasters, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has great information at www.ready.gov. Go there to learn how to make your own emergency kit, download the FEMA app to your phone, and more. 
To follow the American Red Cross, visit their website at www.redcross.org/mo2g or on Twitter at @RedCross. 

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