Proactivity saves lives during natural disasters

Published 7:18 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hurricane Harvey has drowned much of Texas. The storm dumped over 50 inches of rain on the Houston area, forcing the majority of residents to evacuate their homes and leave their lives behind. Others less prepared for this kind of catastrophic event weren’t nearly as lucky.

To put it in perspective, that amount of rainfall is, on average, how much Washington sees in an entire year, according to

Beaufort County and eastern North Carolina are familiar with how devastating that much precipitation can be. It hasn’t been long since Hurricane Matthew flooded this side of the state. A storm that rolled through the area just last week managed to flood streets in Washington, as many do.

Being prepared for natural disasters is a person’s best chance to endure it. The threat of flooding is compounded by the proximity of the Pamlico River. According to the National Weather Service, flooding is the second-leading cause of fatalities in hurricanes and resulting storms. As folks were reminded last year, this flooding can stick around for days, even weeks, after the storm passes.

It’s best for a person to have a plan in place for him and his family. It doesn’t take long for water to collect in streets around Beaufort County, making it increasingly difficult — and eventually impossible — to navigate the roads.

With approaching storms of any kind, if there’s no intention to leave the area, take steps to ensure the area around the house is as safe as possible. Keep extra light sources like candles and flashlights around, and stockpile non-perishable foods in case the power goes out. Tidy up the outside of the house so that the wind can’t turn miscellaneous objects into flying hazards. Inside, stay away from windows.

For now, though, the people of Beaufort County have an idea of what those in Texas are going through. Offer up a prayer for those affected and, if possible, lend a helping hand financially.