Don’t be so quick to let your guard down

Don’t return that extra case of water. Unless you live in a Tiny Home, you have room.

Don’t sell or return your generator just yet. This season is hopping and it is very likely we will see another storm before it’s over.

If you were fortunate enough to have little to no damage from this hurricane, consider it a dress rehearsal.

Did you feel comfortable with what clothes, meds and personal items you packed? Were your pets properly secured and with you?

Did you have enough food and supplies for seven days for the number of people with you? Potato chips do not count as all the food you need, sorry.

If you boarded up keep those boards close and replace the ones that might be falling apart from age or water damage. Sheets of OSB are less than $10 each and can protect a lot for very little.

Ants. Ants and most bugs are now everywhere inside your home. Like people they were seeking high and dry ground. Make sure you get your trash dumped and make sure you know your emergency trash pick-up schedule. There is nothing worse than cans full of rotten food after a storm. Yuck.

Keys. Make sure you have your spare keys in a safe place and are easily accessible by you.

Gas cans. Most cars take regular gasoline so if you feel you need to empty them (and your cans were clean to begin with) use it in your vehicles but be prepared to re-fill them again in case another storm comes. Your case cans will be fine for 30 days as long as they are properly stored with ventilation.

Politicians. Politicians have no control over the electric company. If your power is out, don’t blame your politician, contact your power company and report it. Don’t presume your neighbors have called. Know the phone numbers (have them written down) to make things easier.

Crime. Break-ins happen during storm evacuation times. Criminals are always looking for an easy target. Keep your eyes open and report suspicious vehicles and don’t believe everyone you see as being a “professional.” Apparently people were pretending to work for government agencies while using drones to check out neighborhoods. Question everyone. Be careful about posting on social media that you are leaving. Keep that between close family/friends in messenger. Use your phone to take pictures of people or vehicles that seem out of sort.

When returning to your home, be patient. Everyone wants to get home.

Stress. There is no other way to describe P.T.S.D. (post traumatic storm disorder) then by calling it a blend of anxiety, fear of the unknown, depression, anger and major lack of sleep. Give yourself a few days to get back “in the groove.”

Kindness. Be kind to family, friends and strangers. It’s free and can go a long way.

And on a final note, every gun shop in America would like to thank Walmart for their new store policy. Finally a win for the little guy!


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.