Experts warn of fake social media posts about Hurricane Irma

An example of a fake post about Hurricane Irma / Danielle Apolinar (WGXA)

MACON, Ga. -- With social media abuzz with chatter about Hurricane Irma, experts are warning about fake posts intended to misinform or scare those in the path of the storm.

Videos and articles that purport to show Irma's strength or path have been shared thousands of times, causing alarm among those who see them.

However, Macon-Bibb County Emergency Management Agency Director Spencer Hawkins said that some of these models, though they may look very real, are based on bad information.

For instance, he said National Weather Service will only forecast out about five days, so something showing the entire storm path is probably not accurate.

Furthermore, Hawkins said that there is no such thing as a "Category 6" hurricane. Many of these fake social posts show Hurricane Irma reaching a Category 6 or even 7, which Hawkins said is not possible. The true scale only reaches Category 5.

He said the EMA and meteorological community work hard to get out the most accurate information in a timely manner so that people in the line of storms can prepare their families and businesses.

Hawkins said that if you see these posts and recognize them as fake, you should let others know. He said it is important to consider the source and stick to government websites for the most accurate information.

Make sure to follow WGXA News and our meteorology team on social media and download the WGXA News app to stay up to date about Hurricane Irma.

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