The neighborly
thing to do

Published 11:50 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2009

By Staff
The 2009 Atlantic hurricane season is under way, as are preparations to deal with hurricanes and their effects.
This year is the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Floyd, which devastated eastern North Carolina with its associated flooding. Images of swine on the rooftops of pig houses and some area residents canoeing or kayaking down streets under feet, not inches, of water still come to mind when Hurricane Floyd is mentioned.
Area residents cannot rely solely on local, state and federal emergency-response agencies to make the necessary preparations for hurricane strikes. Some of that responsibility falls on each resident. When it comes to helping prepare residents for hurricanes and the like, that’s what agencies such as Beaufort County Emergency Management were established to do.
This past Saturday, Lowe’s of Washington joined this year’s efforts to help prepare residents for another hurricane season. As it’s done before, Lowe’s hosted its Disaster Readiness Day. The event was held to raise the public’s awareness of disaster readiness and the approach of a new hurricane season, which began Monday and runs through the end of November.
Lowe’s gathered at one spot a group of agencies and organizations with experience in preparing for hurricanes (and other disasters) and dealing with the aftermath of storms like Floyd. Participants included Washington’s police and fire-rescue-EMS-inspections departments, the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, the Greater Pamlico Chapter of the American Red Cross, Washington Electric Utilities, Beaufort County Humane Society and Beaufort County Emergency Management.
Why the humane society? Well, humans are not the only living things affected by hurricanes. Pets, livestock and wildlife need protection from hurricanes and help after storms strike, just like humans.
Some people would say that Lowe’s likely profited from the event, seeing how it sells many materials and items used to prepare for hurricanes and to help people recover after hurricanes. There may be some truth to such statements.
We prefer to interpret the event as one way Lowe’s is being a good neighbor, not just a good corporate neighbor. The Pamlico area, with its history of hurricanes — remember Hurricane Hazel in 1954? — could use more such good neighbors.
If the Disaster Readiness Day results in one family being better prepared to survive the next Hazel or Floyd, the community is the entity that’s profited from the event.