Hurricane Dorian is bearing down on the Bahamas. Meteorologists expect it to hit Sunday with winds of 140-150 mph. On Monday, the Southeastern US will brace for the giant Category 4 storm as it heads north of Miami toward the Carolinas.

CBS News meteorologists reported that a new forecast shows a shift in Dorian’s path. A direct hit on Florida is now not as likely. Keep those fingers crossed, Floridians! However, South Carolina and North Carolina look to be in the hurricane’s crosshairs on Wednesday or Thursday.

More than 20 million Americans may be affected by the storm. Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina put a State of Emergency into effect. Twelve Georgia counties declared an emergency, too.

You can see where the storm is now with this CNN tracker.

What’s Happening Now?

CNN International Correspondent and Havana Bureau Chief Patrick Oppmann said there is an “eerie stillness” in the calm before the storm. He wrote on his Twitter feed that “few people are on the street, most businesses are shuttered and store shelves near empty.

Florida, too, has seen a rush on emergency preparedness purchases. Most popular items are wood for window protection, gasoline and drinking water.

A craft brewery in Winter Haven, Florida, is getting ready for Dorian. Grove Roots Brewing announced on its Facebook page that operations are on hold this week because of the storm. However, they filled their sterilized fermenters with 1,500 gallons of water. If there is a water shortage, community residents can get water from the brewery. 

What Should You Do to Prepare?

Get your hurricane preparation kit ready! Start with batteries and flashlights. Headlamps that you can strap on your head are useful. Medication, cash and first aid supplies should be in your kit, too, as well as a change of clothes that you can keep in your car.

a headlamp with a light on it

Photo by tomekwalecki, Pixabay

How about food? Power outages are a certainty, so be sure to have food on hand that doesn’t require cooking. Some suggestions are peanut butter, bread, nuts, cereals with milk that doesn’t need refrigeration and high-protein snack bars. If you have infants or toddlers, be sure to stock up on diapers and, if needed, formula.

Service stations in Florida are already experiencing gas shortages, and the problem may come to the Carolinas. So, you may want to grab that extra gas canister in the garage and fill it up now before the gas supply is depleted, especially if you have to evacuate.

Always have an evacuation plan for your family. Review the plan, evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. You may have to depart on an instant’s notice, so be sure to be ready. Your car should have a full tank of gas and be stocked with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.

Remember, phone lines could be crazy busy or out-of-service. If phone lines are busy, send texts. It’s the best way to communicate in an emergency. If your phone line goes down, you can also contact friends and family with an app called Zello. The push-to-talk mobile app “redefines the walkie talkie” so you can talk with people anywhere in the world. Be sure to download it before your power goes out.

As always, follow advisories from local officials and meteorologists. And, most of all, stay safe.