As Hurricane Irma approaches, it is unfortunately looking increasingly like it will hit central Florida. As any Floridian knows, it is important to be prepared for a Hurricane, especially one that has reached extremely high wind speeds, as Irma has. Right now, as of September 5, it is still uncertain the exact impact the storm will have on Florida, but it is important to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
The National Weather Service has considered Walt Disney World a StormReady Community multiple times, so if the storm does come this way it is one of the safer places you could be in the area, but that doesn’t mean you should be unprepared.
Order Groceries to Your Room
If you didn’t know, you can order groceries directly to your room at any Walt Disney World resort. You may want to start preparing now by ordering non-perishable items to your room, along with bottled water. While your Disney resort will have some food, it is best to not rely on Disney to take care of you through the storm. Last year for Hurricane Matthew, many guests found themselves overpaying for a boxed lunch with little more than a small sandwich, a piece of fruit, popcorn, and two fun-sized pieces of candy.
Although this isn’t something you probably were expecting to be added to the cost of your Disney vacation, it might be the most cautious way to keep your family well-fed and hydrated if the power goes out and the surrounding roads get closed down. You can also bring non-perishable items from home.
Charge All Electronic Devices
If you end up hunkered down in your resort hotel room, you may want to charge up all electronic devices. The power could go out, and it could be out for a long time. Having a charged phone, laptop, iPad, etc. will provide some form of entertainment, but more importantly, could be used as a flashlight. Additionally, in all four Disney parks you can purchase a Fuel Rod for $30, which you can use as an external battery for Apple iOS, and most Android devices.
Turn Up Your Air Conditioning
As the storm approaches you may want to turn up your air conditioning in your room. If the power does go out you’ll be happy you cooled your room down. It may not last long, but it could at least afford you with a cooler room for a few more hours.
Filling Your Bathtub With Water
Water could very well be cut off. Make sure before the storm reaches central Florida that you fill your bathtub with water. This water can be used for multiple purposes, but most importantly it is your emergency reserve in a worst-case scenario situation.
Special Needs and Medicine
If you or anyone in your family requires medication or any special medical requirements, prepare them for the storm. If this means taking an Uber or taxi to the closest pharmacy, that should be something you heavily consider if the storm approaches central Florida.
Notifying Family, Friends, and Your Children
Most likely your family and friends already know you’re in Walt Disney World, but it is a good reminder to let them know specific details like which resort you are staying at. Keeping them updated to let them know you are safe.
Young children also may have no understanding of what is going on or what the severity of the situation may be. If the situation gets dire explain to them that going outside or going to the theme parks isn’t safe is probably a good idea.
Filling Up Car/Rental Car with Gas
If you flew to Walt Disney World and didn’t rent a car, you can skip right over this step. It is a good idea to fill up your car with gas. As the storm gets closer, and some begin to panic, they will rush to the gas stations and will fill up their cars’ gas tanks, and that is when prices can skyrocket. Filling up your tank early is one of the best ideas when a hurricane is headed your way. This way, if you decide to evacuate, you have a full tank of gas and can get right to the closest evacuation route.
Know Your Evacuation Route
Continue to track the storm. It is currently too early to know exactly how Hurricane Irma will impact central Florida, but if the situation does become dangerous and you want to evacuate, make sure you know where to go. On floridadisaster.org you can find evacuation routes in Florida to get out of the path of the storm.
Stephen "Steve" Porter started going to the parks with his family in 1996. Since then he hasn't looked back! Steve was a cast member participating in the Disney College Program in 2013. Most recently he graduated from Penn State University!