The National Hurricane Center has called Hurricane Irma “potentially catastrophic” and has stated that it’s “the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin outside of the Caribbean Sea & Gulf of Mexico in NHC records.” This Category 5 storm is expected to hit Florida later this week, and has already reached sustained winds of 185 miles per hour — well above the 110mph threshold for a Major Hurricane rating.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey’s devastating effects on Texas and Louisiana, there is serious concern that Irma will produce similar damage in Florida. This has prompted Florida officials to declare a statewide emergency, and some county officials have reportedly begun discussing mandatory evacuation orders. This has resulted in elevated gas prices and long lines of shoppers outside local big-box retail stores.

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It’s difficult to predict the path of Hurricane Irma at this point in time, but we’re sharing local perspectives on the situation throughout Florida with Instagram posts by some of our contributors there. The gallery below will be updated automatically with posts from these contributors, so check back for more updates, and be sure to follow @recoiloffgridmagazine for future updates and disaster prep tips.

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