Prepare now for stormy forecast

Published 8:43 am Thursday, June 2, 2011

It’s back!

On June 1, Hurricane season officially began, reminding us that it is time to think seriously about preparations.

While most people think of the terrible winds that come with a hurricane, local residents now know that the floodwaters hurricanes spawn can be far more devastating. We experienced that in 1999 with Hurricane Floyd and again last year with the effects of a moisture saturated tropical storm.

Hurricane season lasts through Nov. 30, quite a long time to be under the gun of approaching hurricanes. Forecasters are saying it could be a busy year, predicting 12-18 named storms, between six and 10 becoming hurricane strength and three-to-six of those possibly as major hurricanes.

Due to our proximity near the ocean, there’s a greater chance of being affected by one of these storms….bringing with it a chance of floodwaters, high winds and tornadoes.

Since even the best forecasters can only give good estimates about where a hurricane will strike and what direction it will take once it does, it is best to be prepared before anything heads our way.

When hurricane warnings are issued, local stores will quickly see a run of purchases on emergency supplies. The best advice is to prepare now so when a warning is issued, your emergency supplies are ready for use.

You should have at least three days of supplies, including non-perishable food, drinking water, batteries, flashlights and a battery-powered radio. A generator can also be a life-saver during extended periods of power outage.

If we’re hit hard by a hurricane, many other areas of the state will also be affected. Emergency services, therefore, may be hard pressed to meet all the needs of all the people at once.

As we all should know by now, during hurricane season, the better prepared we are, the better off we are.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald