A hurricane is like a roller coaster. Filled with anticipation, eagerly waiting to see what happens and then BAM you want to throw up and cry for your mommy. Life is clearly filled with scary circumstances, but when someone starts commenting about the possibility of looting after a storm, you have to wonder, what would I do? What happens if you are home and someone tries to break in with bad intentions? Are you prepared? Do you have a plan? Do you have a way to defend yourself and your family? Do you know your rights in the event you do defend yourself?

Rule No. 1: If able to avoid a conflict, do it.

Rule No. 2: If someone enters your home, your castle, your safe space uninvited – game on. They have violated your private property and privacy.

Rule No. 3: After contacting the police, immediately write down everything that happened. You will most likely be in shock but the littlest details do matter.

Now on a different note, something else happens after a storm that you must be vigilant about. Wild life, like you, have been through a lot. Snakes tend to seek higher ground. A porch or open window may be just what they are seeking. Fire ants will clump and float, and can be painful if you should encounter them.

Raccoons, opossums, bobcats, deer, coyotes, even bear and alligators may be lost and confused. Give everything as much space as it needs and leave it alone!

Domestic animals, including livestock like horses, cows, donkeys, and pigs may be seeking humans to help them out. In a perfect world they would have a form of identification on them like a halter or painted information on their fur, but that’s not always the case. Make sure you get photos out on social media and let people know what area they are located in. Animals can travel during a storm.

The first thing you need to do during any kind of weather event is seek safe shelter and to let others know where you are located. Take your valuables and treasures (photos) and make sure if you have firearms you have them with you or locked up. Email your codes to your gun safe to yourself and take photos of any firearms you can’t take along.

Be safe and take a deep breath. We are all worried and praying for everyone’s well-being.


Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.