Editorial: Preparation reminder accepted

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 11:50 PM

Christobal, the tropical storm raising a few eyebrows along the southeastern United States coastline over the weekend, is more friendly reminder than imminent threat to the Tri-County.

Should the usually reliable cone of projected path be accurate, North Carolina will be spared a direct hit. Wind, waves and rain are little problem.

Getting poked into preparation is positive. We advocate preparedness year around, be it hurricane season in the summer and fall or the wintry mix that comes between December and March.

We rely heavily on our local emergency responders. But we need also to remember they rely on us as well. Power outages can be crippling to our 21st century way of life, from instant communication fading to being forced to stay put. We don’t hide the inescapable fact we enjoy our freedom, and storms really work on us in that aspect.

Emergency kits should be a part of everyone’s home. It includes contact information for entities like emergency management, law enforcement, medical care, the American Red Cross, our insurance agent and next of kin.

The kit also includes supplies, with a well thought out place for its storage. Plan for three days use when storing drinking water, non-perishable food, battery-powered radio, flashlight, first aid kit, wrench or pliers to disengaging utilities and our trusty cellphone charger.

Refreshers on what information means can help. With hurricanes, the “watch” comes before the “warning.” Watches come about 48 hours before storm-force conditions. Warnings are usually 36 hours in front of the storm-force winds.

Christobal, in addition to a projection to remain in the Atlantic, is our opportunity for good to come from a bad storm. We can make sure we’re ready for the busiest month, historically, of storms affecting our state.

September is more than twice as busy as May, June and July combined. October has also been busier than June and July combined.

Vancealert.com, a product of our emergency operations staff, is a useful public service site with any kind of storm. And being prepared is among our first steps.