Prepare now as if a storm is in the Gulf

The Editorial Board

This NOAA satellite image taken on Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, shows Hurricane Katrina.
This NOAA satellite image taken on Monday, Aug. 29, 2005, shows Hurricane Katrina. AP/NOAA

We are heading into the peak of hurricane season. If, God forbid, we are hit by a big storm, it will probably be in the next 60 days.

Now is the time to make sure you are ready, to decide whether your family will stay or go.

Whether in Harrison County, Jackson County, or Hancock County, if you are close to the beach or in another low-lying area, plan to go. Then, decide where you’ll go.

If you have pets, you have to plan for them as well. Too many people died because they wouldn’t leave pets behind. Times have changed. There are pet friendly shelters and hotels/motels.

Have a plan for contacting family and friends to let them know you are OK. If you have older friends and relatives, make sure they have a plan. If you have friends or relatives who have never been through a hurricane, help them get ready.

If you stay, remember you and your family could be on your own for days. Make sure you have plenty of food and water. Power will be off for days. So don’t plan on living out of the refrigerator or freezer. Canned goods and other nonperishables will make up your menu.

If you need to board up windows, this afternoon would be a good time to go to the lumber yard or DIY store. Stock up on batteries and flashlights while you’re out. Think of everything you might need to survive 10 days or more without electricity, and get it.

This is the voice of experience: You don’t want to be in any of those stores when there is a hurricane in the Gulf. Unless, of course, you like long waits and short tempers because there will be plenty of both.

The vast majority of us will survive anything Mother Nature throws at us in the next few weeks. There is no need to panic. But we do need to prepare.

The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.