Emergency Alert: Michael Upgraded to Catastrophic Disaster

As you read this, a potentially catastrophic weather event is developing down in Florida.

Meteorologists initially predicted Hurricane Michael would make landfall Wednesday afternoon as a Cat 3 hurricane.

But last night, while over the eastern Gulf of Mexico, Michael quickly intensified into a Cat 4 hurricane.

As of this morning, Michael is on track to be the most powerful hurricane to ever hit the panhandle — threatening winds of 145 mph, surges of rapidly rising ocean water and flooding rain.

The sudden shift in intensity has sent meteorologists and emergency services into a panic:

Mike Chesterfield Tweet

Mike Chesterfield, meteorologist for The Weather Channel

Bob Henson Tweet

Bob Henson, meteorologist for Weather Underground

Experts warn that the Florida Panhandle, from Pensacola to Apalachicola, and the Big Bend area will be hit the hardest.

This morning, the National Weather Service warned of “widespread power outages, downed trees blocking access to roads and endangering individuals, structural damage to homes and businesses, isolated flash flooding and the potential for a few tornadoes.”

No Escape

By the time anyone realized just how dangerous this hurricane was going to be, it was already too late to evacuate.

Bay County Sheriff Tweet

The Bay County Sherriff issued a Shelter-in-Place order Wednesday morning.

“The time for evacuating along the coast has come and gone,” said Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday morning.

“First responders will not be able to come out in the middle of the storm. If you chose to stay in an evacuation zone, you must SEEK REFUGE IMMEDIATELY.”

“We expect conditions across the Panhandle to begin deteriorating rapidly. Now the storm is here. It is not safe to travel across the Panhandle.”

So folks are stuck where they are right now. But is there anything they could do right now to increase their chances of survival?

10 Tips to Safely Weather the Storm

  • Stay inside. Stay Sheltered.
  • Close all interior doors to minimize airflow through the house.
  • Bunker down in an interior room with no windows.
  • Make sure this room is stocked up with everything you need to weather the storm. Food. Water. First aid Kit. Games to keep you and the kids entertained.
  • Take shelter two hours before the hurricane is scheduled to hit. It can arrive suddenly and catch you off guard.
  • Keep away from windows, glass doors and skylights. Broken glass is one of the biggest dangers during a hurricane.
  • If you lose power or there’s the danger of your house flooding, turn off your electricity at the main breaker.
  • Call 911 if you’re in life threatening danger but be aware that many calls go unanswered during an emergency. During hurricane Katrina, thousands of emergency calls went unanswered.
  • Download apps like Zello and Firechat that can help you communicate even without Wifi or cell reception.
  • Use caution even after the all clear has been issued. Watch out for downed power lines and stay away from flooded areas. Muddy water often hides dangerous debris and glass.

From here, we’ll have to wait and see how this disaster develops.

If you’re in Florida, stay safe and use the tips above if you’re stuck in your home.

All the best,

Owen Sullivan

Owen Sullivan
Editor, Money & Crisis

P.S. This will probably get buried under the news of the Hurricane Michael. But if you need a strategy for pulling $3,000 out of the stock market every month, check out this clever little trick. James Altucher has used it to make millions of the years. And if you click here before midnight this Sunday, he’ll show you how you can use it for yourself.

Chris Campbell

Written By Owen Sullivan

Owen Sullivan isn’t a millionaire or one of the Wall Street elite. He was just one of the many folks who was hit hard when the housing bubble burst… and decided he was never going to let that happen again. Since then, he’s worked with industry experts to develop strategies and techniques to bulletproof his finances — and yours — against the next crisis. His methods don’t require years of financial experience. These are simple strategies that anyone can follow. After all, financial prepping shouldn’t be reserved for a select few.