Perhaps it is time that the state of North Carolina has a state holiday in August called Hurricane Day. What this day would be used for it to make sure everyone has their supplies in order, plywood (or window/door coverings), to check generators and to look at the general health of all surrounding trees. It might sound silly to some, but as most of us that are currently dealing with P.T.S.D. (post traumatic storm disorder) it might just help us stay on top of being prepared.

Hurricanes are nasty business but unlike a tornado, they do give us plenty of warning (of course in the case of Dorian they give us maybe too much warning).

Proof that our wonderful planet is round is when tides are affected by an entity hundreds of miles away. Coastal property owners have seen very high tides lately and in some cases, over wash on the beach. To an island that had a great deal of beach erosion from the last storm, any new threat of beach erosion is heart pounding.

Hurricane Florence has taught us several valuable lessons:

Be kind to each other. Everyone is experiencing stress in their own way.

Bottled water is not for flushing toilets, it is for drinking (humans and pets), making food and of course the most important, making coffee.

When buying canned goods make sure you get ones with pull tabs in case you don’t have a can opener.

Ice cream is not a hurricane staple unless your generator is hooked to your freezer.

Expect power outages and remember to test all your flashlights and have candles available if needed (never leave unattended). Battery powered LED lights are great to have in bathrooms/hallways.

Get everything loose secured outdoors. Hurricane Fran (1996) taught us that gas grills, trash cans and personal items can do a lot of destruction.

Tornadoes do happen during hurricanes so pay attention to air pressure changes. Pets will let your know since they are way more sensitive.

Insurance agents are still dealing with claims from last year’s storm so be understanding and take photos immediately, especially if it involves interior items being damaged (furniture, etc.)

Fire ants and snakes. Just saying those two things together makes me cringe. Fire ants will get into a giant ball and float while snakes will seek higher ground, like a porch or deck. Be aware.

Keep an eye on your property and your neighbors. Looters are always looking for an easy target.

Most importantly, keep yourself, your family, your pets and your valuables safe from harms way. Don’t take unnecessary chances. If you live in a low area or are prone to high winds don’t wait until the last minute.

Remember hurricanes happen and yes, they are very stressful. Planning ahead of time will certainly make things easier and don’t forget to be kind. Everyone benefits from kindness.


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.