(SAVANNAH) Hurricane Matthew is hundreds of miles away from the Coastal Empire, but the storm is triggering a response inside the Chatham Emergency Management Agency. CEMA upgraded their operational conditions (OPCON) this morning. CEMA moved up a notch to operating conditions 4, which means the agency began to monitor Hurricane Matthew more closely and they began coordinating preparation activities.
CEMA’s OPCON 4 activities include: Conducting coordination conference calls with local partners, surrounding emergency management agencies, the National Weather Service, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency and neighboring states for activities and information sharing. The agency is also initiating a Level 3 activation of the Emergency Operations Center. This level is a more heightened level of awareness and consists of CEMA staff and select partners. CEMA is also sending regular updates via social media and posting pertinent information on CEMA’s Website.
Matthew is still a powerful Category 4 Hurricane with maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph. At 5:00am, Matthew was near latitude 15.2 north and longitude 74.9 west and is moving toward the north near 6 mph. Residents and businesses should monitor your normal sources for current weather information. CEMA Director, Dennis Jones, is urging the public to also monitor the storm’s predicted track and he says it’s a good time to check your disaster kit. He says our recent brush with Hermine may have left some people ready for Matthew, if they took the time to put a disaster kit together. ” If you followed instructions druing Hermine and ya’ know, you put your kit together, you looked at your family communications plan, chances are those things are already still good for this particular event as well. If you didn’t do that, if you didn’t have an opportunity to put those things together, go ahead and do it. we still got time.” said Jones.
Individuals, families, and businesses are encouraged to begin common storm preparation efforts:
• Monitor local authorities for advice and protective actions
• Prepare or inspect your disaster supply kit
• Don’t forget to include pets in your preparations
• Create or update your family evacuation plan detailing how and where you will evacuate
and where you will meet if separated
• Review your property and secure those items that can be easily blown around