It’s that time of year again, Hurricane Season. This morning, the area from Pensacola through Mobile was placed under Tropical Storm Watch as Hurricane Ida speeds up from Cuba, where it caused a good bit of destruction, up towards our Gulf Coast. Keep reading for more details on Hurricane Ida and what you can do to stay prepared.
Hurricane Ida formed in the Caribbean as a tropical storm and quickly turned into a hurricane as it hit the western side of Cuba this morning before making its way towards the Gulf Coast.
This morning, the National Hurricane Center released a “key message” regarding Hurricane Ida, which strengthened from a tropical storm to a hurricane much faster than previously expected. In fact, so quickly that the statement reads “tropical storm” while Ida has been updated as a Category 1 hurricane. According to the message, Ida is expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast some time on Sunday, where it’s expected to gain strength as it careens towards the Gulf Coast. Central Louisiana is expected to receive the brunt of Ida’s landfall, and Reuters reports that Louisiana has declared a state of emergency regarding the storm and began evacuation procedures for areas likely to flood, including New Orleans.
For Mobile and the rest of the Alabama Gulf Coast, we are getting ready for the flash-flooding and possible tornadoes that come with hurricanes, as well as preparing for the possibility that Ida turns towards us before making landfall. The University of South Alabama announced at 2:40 p.m. today that all on-campus classes Monday will be cancelled due to Hurricane Ida. Let’s take a look at what can be done in the event of a hurricane on the Gulf Coast to keep you and your family safe.
Survive a hurricane like a Mobilian
Luckily, it doesn’t seem like Mobile or any other Coastal Alabama city will be directly hit by Hurricane Ida. The National Weather Service warns that no storm path is final, and that Ida still has time to turn towards Mobile, making it pertinent that we pay attention to Ida’s path.
However, we are still expected to feel a good bit of the storm. The National Hurricane Center says to expect up to 5 feet of storm surging along the Mobile Bay, among other flash floods. Storm surges, severe thunderstorms & wind, rip currents, and the possibility of a tornado are also concerns when a hurricane is in the Gulf Coast, and this is no different.
Let’s take a look at what you can do to be prepared. This is actually my to-do list for hurricane prep, so you know it’s true Mobilian hurricane prep.
- Put all important paperwork (birth certificate, social security, etc.) into a waterproof bag or case. A Ziploc works just fine!
- Fill up your gas tank in case of an emergency evacuation (which is still unlikely!)
- Make sure you have a couple days’ worth of food and bottled water in case power goes out.
- Charge up all portable chargers in the event of a power outage.
- Candles and flashlights in the event of a power outage.
- Find your “safe space”. Where in your home is safest to stay in event of a storm? It’s typically a bathroom or some other room without windows in your home.
For a more comprehensive list of hurricane prep, check out this story we did at the beginning of hurricane season.
We will be closely monitoring Hurricane Ida and update this article if the storm changes paths towards Mobile. Stay safe, Alabama.