It’s coming. Within a few hours, the worst of Hurricane Matthew will be upon us. Whether or not you heeded evacuation orders, the 500-mile-wide storm will impact people throughout Northeast Florida and Georgia.

Here are a few tips to keep you safe as the storm passes.

  • Take shelter. Get out of the wind and rain, and away from windows, glass doors and skylights. Flying glass is the biggest risk in a hurricane.
  • Use a battery-powered radio or cell phone to get weather updates, every 15-30 minutes. (You can hear First Coast News online, on Facebook Live or on 99.1 WQIK.)
  • Stay inside, even if the weather seems calm. Hurricane winds can change quickly, and worsen unexpectedly.
  • Turn off your home’s main breaker and large appliances if you lose power or are flooding. Do not use electric appliances, a landline phone or the shower.
  • Use a flashlight, rather than candles.
  • Be careful even after an official all-clear is given. Avoid fallen trees, wires, and power lines.
  • Stay away from flooded areas, which may have dangerous debris, pollutants, or insect and animal hazards.
  • Don’t enter buildings unless you're sure they're structurally sound.
  • Don’t attempt to use turn on electric or gas connections until you’re sure they are safe.
  • Don’t drink any tap water until utility companies give the go-ahead. Boil water notices are likely.