We said it in June when the Atlantic hurricane season was just getting started.

We said it last week when Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas.

We are now saying it again, now with an eye on a storm that has a real chance of impacting the Golden Isles in a big way. Irma is swirling her way through the Caribbean as a Category 5 storm. Projections on where she will go are still uncertain, but most of them agree she will make her way up the Florida peninsula. If that is the case, we may see her best Matthew impersonation, which means now is the time to ensure you and your family are prepared for the worst.

That begins with a hurricane kit filled with plenty of batteries, flashlights and lanterns, drinking water, non-perishable food, toiletries, blankets and any medication that may be necessary. Consider what to do with your pets as well.

In the event of an evacuation, have a plan of where to go, how to get there and who will come with you.

Also, in the event of an evacuation, actually evacuate. As we saw last year with Matthew, it is better to be out of the storm’s path of destruction than in it. We understand the urge to stay home. We all work hard to provide for our families and we all want the homes we have made for ourselves to survive. Staying in those homes, however, will not help in any way. Instead, it may put your family’s lives in danger. If an mandatory evacuation is issued, heed it.

The sentiment last October after Matthew tore past us off the coast was that the Golden Isles was lucky, that we had dodged the proverbial bullet. There was plenty of building damage, trees were down everywhere and some flooding had taken its toll, but overall, we were lucky.

Don’t bet on that happening again. Irma is a massive storm and she has a real potential to have a real impact. Don’t wait until its too late.

Prepare now. If Irma takes a turn out to the Atlantic Ocean, as we hope and pray she does, you will still have a kit together for the next storm that will most certainly pop up, whether it is this year or next.

Go online to ready.ga.gov for a list of what you need to prepare for a hurricane. You will not be sorry you did.

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