If the worst does happen, and Hurricane Matthew hits Robeson County or nearby this week as the monster it is now or a slightly weakened version, it can’t be said we didn’t have ample warning. Most forecast models for several days have shown that Southeastern North Carolina and our county are in the projected cone.
The problem is, there really isn’t an adequate way to prepare for a Cat 2 or 3 storm that Matthew will likely be should it visit, but that doesn’t exempt us from trying. Beginning with today’s Our View, The Robesonian will provide information to our readers during the coming days in the print edition and at www.robesonian.com on what can be done to stay as safe as possible and to make the recovery in the aftermath less troublesome.
The following list isn’t inclusive, and some of it might not be applicable to your situation, but there are some helpful reminders:
— Download an application to your smartphone that can notify people where you are, and if you need help or are safe.
— Use hurricane shutters or board up windows and doors with plywood.
— Bring outside items in if they could be picked up by the wind.
— Turn the refrigerator to its coldest setting in case power goes off. Use a cooler to keep from opening the doors on the freezer or refrigerator.
— Fill a bathtub with water.
— Get full tank of gasoline in one car.
— Go over the evacuation plan with the family, and learn alternate routes to safety.
— Know the location of the nearest shelter.
— Evacuate if ordered and stick to marked evacuation routes.
— Store important documents — passports, Social Security cards, birth certificates, deeds — in a watertight container.
— Have an inventory of household property.
— Unplug small appliances and electronics before you leave.
— If possible, turn off the electricity, gas and water for residence.
Here is a list of supplies: A three-day supply of water, one gallon per person per day; three days of food, with suggested items including canned meats, canned or dried fruits, canned vegetables, canned juice, peanut butter, jelly, crackers, energy bars, nuts, dry cereal, cookies or other comfort food; can opener; flashlights; a battery-powered radio with extra batteries; a first-aid kit; fire extinguisher; week’s supply of medications; a multipurpose tool, with pliers and a screwdriver; cell phones and chargers; a sleeping bag for each person; cash; a camera to document storm damage; rain gear; tools and supplies for securing your home; an extra set of house keys; an extra set of car keys; bleach; paper cups, plates and paper towels.
Hurricanes are tricky; we remember Hugo, and Robeson County residents going to bed that night believing it would hit us head-on, and awaking the next morning to the news that Hugo had instead hit Charleston, South Carolina, and then taken a hard left inland and onward to Charlotte.
This morning brought encouraging news that the killer storm might be drifting eastward and spare us the worst. But its track can’t be known with comforting certainty. It’s possible to prepare for the worst while at hoping for the best.