Coastal Fil-Ams prepare as Hurricane Dorian heads to the U.S.

by Paul Garilao, ABS-CBN News

PENSACOLA, FL — Flattened homes and destroyed structures now scattered along the northern islands of the Bahamas.

This is how Hurricane Dorian left the Caribbean archipelago after lingering over it for days.

Bahamian officials said the death toll is now 20.

Dorian is making its way to the southeastern parts of the U.S.

According to the National Hurricane Center South Carolina and North Carolina coastal areas are now expected to get the brunt of Dorian’s impact.

Although Dorian has been downgraded from category 5 to category 2, more than 2 million residents in Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina were warned to evacuate.

The center also stressed that dorian could produce significant storm surges, heavy rain and high winds in these four states.

Jacksonville — where there was mandatory evacuation order – will likely experience less damage from Dorian as the hurricane path moved away more to the east. So far the city has only experienced a steady light rain and breeze.

But for Filipino Floridians, it is better to be safe than sorry.

The Florida Pinoy facebook group with over 1,300 members, alerted filipinos over the weekend about hurricane dorian.

One posted about disaster evacuation tips such as gathering necessary supplies and how to prepare for the storm’s wrath.

Fernan Reyes, who has been monitoring updates via this Facebook group, said he installed panel shutters on his windows and doors in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian.

“Unang una kasi rito, isafety mo yung bahay mo. Maglalagay ka ng mga takip ng bintana. Yung mga bahay kasi rito may nakaready na sila na itatakip sa bintana. Unang announcement ng hurricane illaagay mon a yung mga shutter.”

Reyes said he and his wife are on call at the hospital. They are part of the medical preparedness and disaster response team.

“As a nurse, yun naman ang calling namin. Yung tumulong sa may mga sakit…lalo na sa hurricane marami dito sa florida na pumupunta sa hospital without right reason…required sa amin na magduty, during disaster.”

Meanwhile, other Filipino Floridians have their bags packed and ready to go.

“Our place is not part of the mandatory evacuation so where just staying at our home now, but just in case the storm switches its path, we always have ready to go bag in case the storm comes to our area and we will go evacuate so i’ll already prepared.”

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump received a briefing on hurricane dorian Wednesday morning – as it approached the U.S. coastline, saying that he’s comfortable with federal emergency management or fema funds being diverted to the border wall.

Hurricane Dorian is the first Atlantic storm to reach category 5 status this year. Hurricane season in America usually lasts from August to October.

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