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Another hurricane is set to strike the United States even before it has recovered from Hurricane Harvey that ravaged Houston. It is now the turn for Hurricane Irma to hit Florida and the administration is planning to evacuate its citizens, close down schools and set up shelters. It is predicted that there would be wind speeds of nearly 180 miles per hour. National Hurricane Center has cautioned that Irma is expected to strike Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys late in the week.

The administration took action

CNN reports that Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Florida and has warned residents to prepare for the worst.

He has advised people to stock up at least days requirement of essentials like water, food, medicines, fuel, batteries etcetera.

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has also declared a state of emergency to cope with the threat of Hurricane Irma and has ordered evacuation and closure of all schools and county offices. Broward County planned to set up more than 43 shelters to accommodate upward of 33,000 people, and there are possibilities that schools could be converted to meet the requirement.

Monroe County, in which Key West is located, has issued orders for the mandatory evacuation of visitors, tourists, and non-residents apart from residents. It has given assurance that there will be no roadblocks and people can enter the Keys before the storm to take care of their property and help evacuate family members.

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Even the animals are being taken out by the SPCA and moved to shelters.

There are reports of a shortage of bottled drinking water, and people are making a beeline to withdraw cash from banks. There is also panic buying of plywood to board up the windows.

Incidentally, the United States Air Force search and rescue teams who were in Texas to look after recovery and rescue work associated with Hurricane Harvey have returned. They will now get ready to handle Hurricane Irma.

Is it possible to avoid such situations?

Hurricane Irma is a climatic disorder and weather satellites have provided advance information on how it is progressing and when it could strike. That will certainly help the people of Florida to face the onslaught with greater confidence but the high-speed winds accompanied by rains will leave behind a trail of devastation. That has happened with Hurricane Harvey. Houses will be damaged, people will die, and the infrastructure will take a beating.

Whether one admits it or not, the fact remains that climate change is responsible for such vagaries of nature. Scientists have cautioned that global warming is the leading factor for unnatural weather patterns and man must take action to end this menace. The United States did not sign the Paris accord on climate change, but the subject is very much relevant in today’s world and cannot be wished away.