‘I refuse to evacuate my five kids for Hurricane Irma,’ woman says

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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What To Do And Not Do After A Hurricane

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Florida woman says she and her family will not evacuate their Coral Springs home despite the growing threat of Hurricane Irma this week.

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The woman, identified only as Beth R., told Redbook's Charlotte Anderson she expected to face threats of natural disasters when she and her husband moved their family to Florida from out of state, and that "this isn't their first drill."

“Moving to Florida, we knew that hurricanes were just part of the deal. We get some of the world’s most gorgeous coastlines, endless sunshine and a wonderful culture -- but we also have to deal with crazy weather,” she said. “But Floridians are a tough bunch, and they know how to handle storms.

“We’ve had hurricane warnings before, but they’ve never turned into anything beyond high winds, lots of rain and minimal flooding.”

As of Friday afternoon, Irma measured as a Category 4 hurricane, downgraded from a Category 5, but still pushing toward parts of Florida, despite an unknown final path.

Beth, who lives 10 miles from the southeast coast, said she, her husband and their five children have been preparing their home for the storm for a week. She said she remains hopeful that the storm could bypass her immediate area altogether.

“We’ll shelter in place, no matter what,” she said. “Today, the older boys are helping us put up all the hurricane shutters, checking the roof for loose tiles and taking down the patio furniture and trampoline. The younger kids are helping to clean up yard debris, count batteries, find flashlights and candles and get out board games and books.”

Beth said the family is equipped with extra gas cans, a working generator, food, bottled water and cash. They plan to move their furniture upstairs to minimize flood damage.

“Honestly, I don’t know that anything would change our minds at this point,” she said, noting that she would be more likely to consider evacuating if her children, aged 10 to 15, were younger. “We can handle this.”

If the worst comes, Beth and her family plan to be a part of relief efforts, however possible.

“With Hurricane Harvey in Houston, we saw how the people that were best able to respond were locals, neighbors helping neighbors. It was incredibly powerful to see how much people have worked together to recover after Harvey instead of abandoning the ship,” she said. “Bring it on, Irma.”

Read more at Redbook.

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A message to Hurricane Irma is written on the facade of a boarded restaurant, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017 in Miami Beach, Fla. The first hurricane warnings were issued for parts of southern Florida as the state braced for what could be a catastrophic hit over the weekend. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Credit: Wilfredo Lee

A message to Hurricane Irma is written on the facade of a boarded restaurant, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017 in Miami Beach, Fla. The first hurricane warnings were issued for parts of southern Florida as the state braced for what could be a catastrophic hit over the weekend. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Credit: Wilfredo Lee

caption arrowCaption
A message to Hurricane Irma is written on the facade of a boarded restaurant, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017 in Miami Beach, Fla. The first hurricane warnings were issued for parts of southern Florida as the state braced for what could be a catastrophic hit over the weekend. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Credit: Wilfredo Lee

Credit: Wilfredo Lee

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