As Dorian swirls in the Caribbean, we hope it will fizzle before gaining strength, but given the history of South Georgia with hurricanes during this time of year, preparing for the worst seems a wise precaution.
Whether it’s Dorian, or the possibility of another storm churning in the Atlantic or up the Gulf, South Georgia residents should heed warnings and be prepared.
The Red Cross regularly offers tips to prepare residents for storms and hurricanes.
• Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or watch TV stations for the latest information and updates.
• Build an emergency kit that contains food, water and other basic supplies – enough for three days for each family member and pets. People should also include cash, essential medications, copies of important documents, such as insurance policies and copies of photo IDs, and entertaining items for young children and pets.
• Be ready to secure outdoor furniture, trash cans and other items to prevent them from becoming flying objects.
• Know zones and always follow evacuation orders.
• If evacuation shelters open, find them by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency! App. The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
• Don’t forget pets. Put together an emergency kit for pets, including sturdy leashes and pet carriers. Locate pet shelters or pet-friendly shelters.
• Turn around, don’t drown. If encountering a flooded roadway while walking or driving, turn around and go another way.
• If caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
• Follow evacuation orders and always heed the advice of local officials: do not attempt to return home until officials say it is safe to do so.
Safe and Well
The American Red Cross Safe and Well website is free and it allows individuals and organizations to register and indicate they are safe. You can also search for missing loved ones on the site in English or Spanish.
Again, there have been no reports indicating danger for our area and it could be early next week before the effects of Dorian enters our region, if Dorian even enters our region.
But experience proves early preparation goes a long way during hurricane season in South Georgia.
We urge residents to remain vigilant of weather forecasts and be prepared for the consequences of a worst-case scenario.
Look for the September issue of Valdosta Scene magazine for more tips and information on hurricane preparation.