Slow moving, but extremely dangerous Hurricane Matthew - a little weaker but still at Cat 4 strength - continues to bear down on the island of Jamaica, the eastern part of Cuba, and the nation of Haiti where it is likely to do severe damage.
By `threading the needle' between Cuba and Haiti, Matthew's eye will likely avoid the mountains and retain much of its power as it enters the Bahamas on Wednesday morning.
With this morning's 5am forecast, the National Weather Service and NOAA have issued the following key messages, the most important of which for U.S. residents is that it is too soon to rule out impacts for Florida and the Eastern Seaboard.
Residents living along the Atlantic Seaboard, from Florida north, need to monitor this storm and be ready to respond in the event that warnings are issued for your area.
Living in hurricane country requires a little extra planning, but no matter where you live or work, you need to think about potential threats and how you will deal with them should one emerge.
If not hurricanes, you may have to deal with blizzards, wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods . . . even terrorist attacks, or a pandemic.
So you need to ask yourself - If a disaster struck your region today, and the power went out, stores closed their doors, and water stopped flowing from your kitchen tap for the next 7 days . . . do you have:
Beyond having the basic skills and supplies for you and your family, I would strongly urge that you cultivate a network of `disaster buddies ’ (see In An Emergency, Who Has Your Back?) among your friends, relatives, co-workers, and neighbors.
While being prepared doesn't guarantee a good outcome for you and your family, it certainly improves your odds. To become better prepared as an individual, family, business owner, or community, I would invite you to visit the following preparedness sites.
AMERICAN RED CROSS http://www.redcross.org/