Evacuees clogging highways ahead of Florence

South Carolina’s governor has ordered more than a million people living along the state’s coast to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Florence.
Gov. Henry McMaster says he’s preparing the state for winds as powerful as Hurricane Hugo, which plowed inland nearly 30 years ago and caused devastating damage.
McMaster said on CNN Tuesday that officials are “taking nothing for granted” with Florence predicted to make landfall Thursday. The storm is so huge that South Carolina won’t be spared even if it escapes the eye of the hurricane.
The evacuation order becomes mandatory at noon Tuesday, but cameras show traffic already backing up along the main interstate connecting Charleston and Columbia.

Hurricane Florence intensified Monday, becoming a Category 4 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). 
The storm may affect millions this week in the southeastern U.S., including North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. 
Here’s what should you know about the powerful storm’s path. 

Where is the hurricane now?

Florence is approximately 405 miles south of Bermuda and 950 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, as of 8 a.m. ET, according to the NHC.
The center says the storm is moving west-northwest at 15 mph, and has maximum sustained winds of about 130 mph. 
"On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday," the center said. 
The NHC also says the storm could become more powerful. 
"Florence is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale," it noted. "Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday."

What else should I know?

The governors of North and South Carolina and Virginia have all declared states of emergency ahead of the approaching storm.
“Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of South Carolina and is going to go way inshore,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster advised.
The state’s emergency management agency said it is “preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster.”
President Trump declared a state of emergency in North Carolina ahead of the storm. 
"Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!" he tweeted Monday evening.

 Pack these 13 things right now

According to the Department of Homeland Security’s taxpayer-funded preppers website, Ready.gov, here are the basic emergency supplies everyone should include in their disaster preparation kit. Shove everything except the water into a duffel bag and you’ll be ready to rumble the next time disaster strikes:
  • Water – one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps (as in, on paper)
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF)
If you’re an advanced beginner in emergency prep, Ready.gov suggests adding a few more items:
  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Glasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children