Do You Have a Plan?
As we head into late summer and then early fall we all should be thinking about that frequent visitor that brings high winds, storm surge, flooding, power outages, tornados and other damaging side effects.
While we all might be lulled into complacency, it only takes the right ingredients in the tropics and across the Atlantic to brew up trouble. Everyone who lives here knows that the N.C. coast is a frequent target of hurricanes and tropical storms. Already this year we have had glancing blows with early tropical storms, which does not bode well for our late summer heat and humidity. The mixing bowl is ready and all nature has to do is put the ingredients together at the right time.
We should already be prepared for the possibility of a major storm coming ashore along our coast this summer season. The odds favor it. Instead of waiting until the last minute we should all have a hurricane plan in place already with an action plan that includes a stock of necessary supplies to survive a major storm so as to prevent loss of life, injury and damage or loss of property. Since it is already late July we should all have our action plan ready, family members apprised of that plan and their role, an evacuation plan and a plan to leave your home and business secured and safe as possible when advised by local authorities. Things to remember include a role for each family member, sufficient cash, fuel for cars, generators, chainsaws, etc. that might be needed, sufficient food and potable water for at least three days or more, a good first aid kit and supply of medicine and prescriptions, a battery operated weather radio and. of course, do not forget your pets and livestock.
There are multiple agencies that provide excellent Hurricane plan information, including the American Red Cross.
County emergency management centers and your local television station usually have links to excellent sources of information or action plans you can use as a guide for your own individual emergency preparedness plan.
Here in North Carolina all you have to do is remember Hurricanes Hazel, Bertha, Fran and most recently Irene to realize we are in the path of these potentially catastrophic natural disasters. With a well prepared emergency action plan hopefully you and your family and loved ones can survive a major storm. Prepare and plan ahead for the possibility if and when a hurricane, flood or tornado threatens your home you and your family will know what to do and when to do it. Be safe, be prepared and have a great summer.
-- Mike Giles, coastal advocate