SOURCES: Federal Emergency Management Agency; U.S. National Hurricane Center; U.S. National Weather Service; Associated Press
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- As Hurricane Matthew lumbered toward the east coast of Florida Wednesday, millions of residents scrambled to prepare for the dangerous storm.
The exact path that the Category 3 hurricane will take in the next few days isn't clear yet. But the sheer size of the storm means a huge swath of people have flocked to get water, food, gas and other supplies so they are ready if their area takes a direct hit, the Associated Press reported.
Matthew is showing sustained winds of 125 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami reported Wednesday. And while maximum winds have decreased slightly since Tuesday, some strengthening is expected by Thursday and Friday.
According to the U.S. National Weather Service, Matthew could make landfall somewhere in south or central Florida, or it could slide up the east coast of the state before heading north.
"The time to prepare is now. Residents in potentially affected areas should learn their evacuation routes and monitor weather conditions," said W. Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly.
"Follow instructions of state, local and tribal officials, and make sure you're taking steps to prepare your home, family or business," Fugate said in an agency statement.
In advance of Matthew's arrival, FEMA offers these safety tips:
Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more tips on preparing for a hurricane..