Prepare now as hurricane season approaches

Published 7:16 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2009

By Staff
In Sunday’s Daily News Q&A column, Beaufort County Emergency Services Coordinator John Pack warned local residents to prepare for potential disasters.
He reminded readers that Beaufort and surrounding counties had not experienced a major hurricane in a “number of years.”
He’s correct: Six years to be exact.
Hurricane Isabel in 2003 lashed parts of North Carolina with 105 mph winds, and a storm surge washed out a portion of Hatteras island. Damage was greatest along the Outer Banks; Washington saw little damage, though parts of Beaufort County experienced downed trees and other hazards.
In 1996, though, Hurricane Fran struck Cape Fear with winds up to 115 mph and significantly impacted Washington.
Our area has ridden a wave of good luck since those storms, so it’s probably safe to say we’re due for another one. And it makes a lot of sense to prepare just in case, but Pack says that doesn’t seem to be happening.
He theorized that the public is becoming lethargic about preparing for significant storms, and that the resulting stress should storms hit will be significantly worse than if residents had prepared beforehand.
It’s difficult to know how prepared people really are, but it’s safe to say — given typical human nature — that most of us procrastinate until we’re faced with imminent danger.
According to the National Hurricane Center, hurricane-related dangers include storm surges, high winds, tornadoes and flooding.
So as we near the hurricane season, which begins June 1 and ends November 30, what can families and individuals do to prepare?
Here’s what the Center suggests:
For detailed information on how to prepare for hurricanes and other weather-related events, you may contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at, or the National Hurricane Center at