Back in 1999, I had the pleasure of partaking in the great evacuation for Hurricane Floyd. My parents, being smart as they were, sent me with our two dogs, four cats, and bird the night before mandatory evacuation to stay in Statesboro, where I had an apartment for school. They were going to wait a day or so to come up as my dad was in a wheelchair and wanted to wait until the last possible moment before crowding my one bed, one bath apartment. So we both missed the fun on I-16.
Afterwards, I realized that we lacked a resource of good information on evacuation for the area and tips that would have probably helped me through. So I developed a website. Back then, it was called “I of the Storm,” and was a feature for I-95 radio. When I became employed at eMarketSouth in November 2001, they invited me to bring it with me and add new technology that I did not have available previously. Thus CoastalStorms.com was born.
While the website is ever evolving, I’m proud to say it is still a great resource to help in the preparation stage. This morning the site was updated to run feeds of local weather statements from the National Weather Service in Charleston.
Even though the sun is shining outside, we need to remember that we are still vulnerable. Take the time now to fill your tank with gas (which is not bad right now, $3.49 at Kroger and Wal-Mart on Hwy 17), check the batteries for your flashlights, and make sure you have a battery-powered radio. If you don’t have a landline, make sure your cell phone has a full charge and reduce the number of unnecessary calls in the event the electricity goes out. Make sure you have plenty of water and non-perishable foods. If you have pets, make sure you have chew treats to entertain them and keep them calm, and plenty of paper towels in the event of a few accidents if you are unable to take them outside for an excessive number of hours. Don’t forget to tie down or store loose objects in your yard as they can become hazardous in high winds.
Remember, better to be safe than sorry.