In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, which knocked out power to the entire United States and left tens of thousands homeless, the National Weather Service has issued its first weather warnings.
The storm is now expected to bring more than 1.5 feet of rain and potentially devastating winds, making it the most powerful to hit the country since 2005.
As a result, the forecast calls for the highest rainfall in at least four decades, and winds of up to 95 miles per hour.
In addition, the storm will bring torrential downpours, making the storm particularly dangerous for those who live near rivers and streams.
Here’s what you need to know.
How to prepare?
The National Weather Services is warning of heavy downpouring, especially in areas with a large population center.
That means that even if you don’t need to get into an area, be prepared to be vulnerable to a sudden and devastating downpour.
In fact, the agency says that a storm surge of 7 to 8 feet could occur in an hour, and even the most experienced residents could be underwater.
“The threat to life and property is likely to be high in a storm of this size,” the weather service says in its first-ever weather warning.
In a second alert issued Thursday morning, the weather agency warns of the “high likelihood” that the storm could cause widespread power outages.
Who is impacted by the storm?
“Storms in the tropical Atlantic are known to be devastating,” said David Nellis, director of meteorology for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“The tropical Atlantic basin is also known to have significant rainfall events.”
The most recent storm, Hurricane Matthew on Sept. 5, 2017, left hundreds of thousands of people homeless in the United States.
In that storm, a Category 3 storm with winds of at least 105 miles per second swept through the southeastern United States, causing extensive damage and widespread power cuts.
The weather agency says Matthew “will likely bring more rainfall than any previous hurricane on record and could be responsible for at least one death.”
What are the impacts of Matthew?
As the National Hurricane Center (NHC) points out, Matthew is expected to produce up to 1.7 feet of rainfall and possibly even more.
The NHC predicts it will produce up of 1.4 inches of rain in areas where a Category 2 storm is forecast to occur.
If the storm does bring that much rain, the NHC adds, “it would be the most intense and destructive storm to impact the continental United States since 2005.”
The storm also could cause flooding of roads, power outfalls and bridges, damaging power lines and creating widespread flooding.
As for the storm surge, the hurricane could be as high as 6 feet, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says.
How are shelters built?
There are many ways to protect yourself and your family during a storm.
However, there are certain ways you can keep your family safe that can be very inexpensive and easily available.
First, shelter construction can be done at a distance.
That’s because the storm is expected not to hit areas directly under trees.
However it could cause some trees to become vulnerable.
Second, there is a great deal of material in shelters, including floodproofing.
Floodproofing is a way to protect against the storm’s high winds and the potential for flooding.
The National Flood Insurance Program, for example, offers $250 for $1,000 worth of floodproof materials.
Flood-proofing materials can also be purchased online from companies like Home Depot, Lowe’s and other stores.
There are also a number of different kinds of waterproofing, including a “floating” type of material that can float on the surface of water.
Finally, if you live in a low-lying area, there will be a good chance of your home becoming flooded if you aren’t prepared.
“Many of these areas will be very vulnerable,” said Brian Hodge, a meteorologist with the National Severe Storms Laboratory.
“If you live on the river or in a basement, that’s where most of the material for flood protection comes from.”
How can I prepare for Matthew?
You can help protect your home and family by making sure you have enough shelter.
“I’m not going to tell you how to put up your tent,” said Matthew, the latest storm.
“But I’m going to say how to set up a shelter, and that’s a good thing.”
The National Seabird Conservation Center says that if you have a home in an area that could flood during a hurricane, you should make sure to have a floodproof roof, a roof rack, an umbrella, a sleeping bag, a fire starter and a water purification system.
What about if my home is in a high-risk area?
If your home is near an area where