SLOAN COLUMN: Ready or not, hurricane season is here
It’s only halfway over, but 2020 has already brought us a global pandemic, protests, riots, racial tension, a growing distrust in law enforcement, and an upcoming election that will no doubt bring a truckload of finger-pointing, accusations, mud-slinging and the political foolishness we have grown accustomed to in recent years.
All this, and now we have to be on the lookout for hurricanes.
Hurricane season officially began June 1 and will continue through the end of Nov. 30. Experts are predicting up to 19 named storms, with six to 10 of them having hurricane potential. Of those, 3 to 6 could be major hurricanes.
Please Lord, allow hurricane season to pass us by without a major storm. The last thing we need to deal with right now right now is a catastrophic hurricane.
But prepare we must. Carolinians know all to well there is no reasoning with hurricane season. It’s fickle and unpredictable. The best thing to do is not panic, but be prepared just in case.
The list of names for storms this year include Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred.
Not surprisingly, face masks and hand sanitizer have been added to FEMA’s official hurricane preparedness checklist. What’s it like having to evacuate in the midst of a pandemic? Let’s hope we don’t have to find out.
When the tropical weather updates begin in mid-July and early August, we need to be prepared for a hurricane season like any other. People are already on edge, so the prospect of home confinement without electricity or social distancing in the midst of a mad rush for milk and bread make things even crazier.
This has the potential to get pretty ugly. Let’s hope not.
Most of us have survived numerous hurricanes. Anyone older than 50 should be able to remember at least eight big ones - Michael and Florence (2018), Matthew (2016), Katrina (2005), Floyd (1999), Fran and Bertha (1996), and, of course, Hugo (1989).
Let’s all say a little prayer that 2020 doesn’t add to this list. At the same time, let’s be prepared. We’ve been there and done that, so we know its better to be safe than sorry.