Hurricane Florence – Are you Ready for It?
The annual Atlantic Hurricane Season is all set to rain heavily on Americans again this year. Because come Friday, Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall with the coastlines of 4 North-Eastern U.S states. And if you’re from one of the Carolinas, or Virginia, or Maryland, you really need to watch out! Because the National Weather Service has declared a state of emergency in most of the coastal regions of these states.
And no, there are good chances that simply staying huddled in your house’s basement won’t do.
Furthermore, if you don’t have a cell phone service, now may be a good time to sign-up for one. Before the fierce winds and heavy rainfall break your town’s electricity and telephone poles. And you’re stuck with no way to reach out for help!
Hurricane Florence is as ‘Dangerous as a Storm Can Be’
As per the opinion of several meteorologists (weather scientists), Hurricane Florence originated somewhere along the west coast of Africa. Like most tropical storms, it gained momentum as it traveled further westwards. And by the time it reached Cape Verde (on or about the 1st of September), it had already evolved into a powerful hurricane. With a Category 2 designation.
In hurricane-terms, this means that Florence has the potential to cause a great deal of destruction. Think flying cows, houses, cars and windmills!
Yes, the movies really are based on reality. Which is much more frightening; if you didn’t already know!
But like past storms, this may only be the case for a few miles radius from the storm’s center. Because the ‘eye of the storm’ is relatively calm. It is the surrounding winds-system that does all the damage. The most life-threatening of which can be flash-flooding. When this happens, the hurricane deposits huge volumes of ocean water on the land. And this can easily seep into home basements and cars and transform roads into small rivers.
That’s why you see footages of people canoeing their way around in hurricanes. Because all their motor vehicles become shot!
So You May Want to Evacuate – If You’re a Carolinas Coastal Resident
If you live along the coastlines of southern North Carolina or South Carolina, you might want to consider evacuating. Go live with a relative up north or in the Mid-West. At least until the storm has passed, and the NWS gives the all clear. Because that would be much better than having to scramble for safety with the winds raging outside.
Life before everything else, right?
But if you do plan on staying put, then please invest in some cheap plastic padding.
This is designed to seal the small spaces underneath your house doors. And when applied correctly, it completely keeps your home from turning into a pond of smelly water. For starters, you can avail some great deals from Walmart and Amazon.com. Just be sure to order the deliveries before services temporarily get suspended.
Another option, if you don’t want to leave your town, would be for you to camp out in a multi-story building. Ideally, you should aim for the second or third floors of government buildings (as per FEMA regulations).
Towns like Charleston and Wilmington make special arrangements in this respect. So do the local cathedrals and town halls in these areas – which it might be worthwhile to check up on.
Don’t Count on Cable Internet and Landline Phone Services Much
Because along with electricity, these services are the first to go out. A good solution for this problem would be to invest in completely wireless utilities. I, for one, make use of satellite internet when major storms strike my hometown. Yes, I’m a Charleston resident (surprise, surprise!).
But even this can become problematic. Because all satellite internet (which in the U.S is monopolized by HughesNet) comes with a terrible loophole. And this has to do with any cloud cover that may blanket the southern part of the sky.
When this area of the sky is covered, it can seriously affect satellite transmissions. From what I understand of this issue, this has something to do with moisture in the air. Which, of course, goes up by several notches in the event of rainfall. Orbital satellites, which make these data messages possible, also have a crucial role to play in this equation. And the southern sky segment is the region from where these signals get to the earth without any interruptions.
Strong wind gusts can also impact your wireless internet delivery. But this is mostly due to any physical damage that your equipment may receive. Imagine a flying log colliding head-on with your satellite dish! You can expect what’s going to happen as a result.
So the safest bet when you’re dealing with a hurricane Florence, in my opinion, is to keep a cellphone service handy. And keeping its contrast settings to a minimum. Because that really helps to conserve power in the event of electricity outages. Along with restricting cell phone usage only to the very basics, of course.
Reaching Out to Trapped People in Local Rescue Missions
Whether it was Katrina, Rita or Harvey, these past hurricanes made one thing abundantly clear. And this was the fact that when a storm is raging, rescue operations can’t be all about the government. Because organizations like FEMA and the CDC simply don’t have the manpower to handle such crises. Not when they are in their very worst stages, anyway.
And so for this reason, it kind of becomes the duty of citizens to lend a helping hand.
This comes best in the form of local, citizen-organized, rescue operations. When Harvey happened, I clearly remember people from my neighborhood assisting actively in the relief efforts. And this really needs to happen this time in the case of Hurricane Florence. Because when people are trapped and desperate for help, it’s only their lives that count. All other concerns about government taxes and failing public services come after.
As a responsible citizen, I’m all geared to play my national duty. With Florence just about to pass through my town in probably two days’ time, I’ve fully stacked up my water bottles supply. My home’s carpets and wires are lying rolled up in a corner. And just in case things get very intense, I’ve also vacated my dog to an animal shelter in DC.
He’s my only real companion in this world. And more than my house, car or small bank balance, losing him would suck the most!
And I really hope it never has to come to that…
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