Even though I know that, even though I know I’m not affected by what’s going on in the Atlantic, I still nervously check the news and the Weather Channel, looking for any updates on Hurricane Florence.
It’s ingrained. I spent the first quarter of my life in the deep South; hurricanes were as much a part of my life as pecan trees, mosquitoes and humidity. They just happened and you had to deal with them. But when I was younger, we hadn’t been hit with anything too tremendously bad. The last major hurricane that North Carolinians could remember was Hazel, which had made landfall back in 1954. (My mother tells a story about one of her long deceased aunts; the woman was named Hazel and was one of the meanest human beings anyone could ever meet. She often said, “If there’s ever a hurricane named Hazel, y’all better look out.” She turned out to be very right in this case.)
When I was in fourth grade, we had to deal with Hurricane Dianna. It wasn’t a terrible storm, just some gusting winds and rain. In the following years, we’d have to deal with other hurricane watches and warnings from other tropical systems. As I said, this becomes ingrained to the point where you develop a routine. When I entered high school, we were threatened by Hugo, but that particular storm made its way to the South Carolina coast, merely scraping us in the process. It wasn’t until I was in college that we had to deal with Bertha and Fran.
The last hurricane I can remember is Floyd. We had some major flooding due to that one, since it decided to dump as much rain as it possibly could on us. The way Florence is looking, this could be a similar situation, as forecasts are calling for it to stall out over the coastal area of NC. I can hardly bear to think of how bad that will make the recovery efforts. It won’t be easy. But when you live in that area, you accept that this happens, pick up the pieces and try to get on with your life. It was something that I too, had to get used to, dealing with the lack of electricity, the lack of income–when you don’t work for a week, you don’t get paid–the groupings of tents and the Red Cross feeding areas. After a while, even that becomes routine.
So does the fear. That nagging uncertainty and doubt, that’s part of the routine as well. Just as much as boarding up the windows or buying flashlights and batteries. And it too, never seems to quite leave you, even though you might move away from the coast.
Even though I’m a thousand miles away, I still feel the uncertainty, the fear. No matter how many times I went through this sort of thing, that never truly went away.
You might recall I left a couple of links in my post yesterday dealing with basic hurricane preparedness information. Some will use that information and choose to shelter in place, others will be forced to leave. However, not every shelter in North and South Carolina will accept pets. If you have pets and you need to evacuate, here are some resources that I just found today. I hope they help:
Pet friendly shelters in NC
Where to take your pets in SC