Be Prepared for Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence continues to churn in the Atlantic and most forecasts suggest that Davidson will feel some impact from the storm. Now is the time to ensure that you are prepared for potential impacts.
Ironically, September is National Emergency Preparedness Month, and Hurricane Florence is giving citizens throughout the Carolinas a severe test of their final grade in the subject.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the extent of Hurricane Florence’s effect on Davidson is unclear. But Cristina Shaul, the public information officer for the Town of Davidson, said the town is activating its emergency preparedness plan in case it’s needed. That involves close coordination with city and county authorities and calls for citizens to act vigilantly in light of the threat.
Shaul said, “We’ve asked all town employees to stand at the ready, because they could be pulled in at any time to help get trees out of the road or direct traffic or whatever. They all understand that they’re on call if the need arises.”
Charlotte opened its emergency operations center on Tuesday, and Davidson town staff met with county officials to review plans. The town has booked three rooms at the Davidson Village Inn for employees who might be called to spend the night in town. The state has declared a state of emergency that qualifies it for county, state, and federal funding in relation to the storm, but Davidson mayor Rusty Knox has not done so yet. He was waiting for a 3 p.m. Wednesday weather update to decide if that step would be needed.
The town is also urging citizens to access several online resources in their planning for the storm. A flood zone map has been updated and is accessible at the town web site. Citizens should also sign up for the town’s E -Crier, sign up for county information, and get general preparedness tips at ready.gov.
Shaul said that area hotels are filling with hurricane refugees from coastal areas. Davidson College Presbyterian Church has also offered evacuees its facilities normally used for Room in the Inn.
The hurricane planning also includes a great deal of paperwork. To qualify for government relief funds, all expenses associated with the town’s actions regarding the storm need to be documented. That could include overtime for employees, material, and fuel for police and fire vehicles.
The non-stop warnings about the danger of the storm in the media trigger memories of Hurricane Hugo, which did a tremendous amount of tree and infrastructure damage in September 1989. Shaul confirmed, “This situation is unearthing memories of Hurricane Hugo. We don’t want people to worry unnecessarily, but we do want them to have a have a healthy respect for the possibility of a severe storm, and we are making sure the town is ready to respond if that occurs.”
Check on your neighbors to see if they need your assistance in preparing for the storm.
Stay safe, and don’t forget to check on your neighbors after the storm passes.
Bill Giduz was the son who followed his father’s footsteps into journalism. He has been involved his entire life with news and photography in schools he attended and jobs he’s held. He believes now that he’s got a few good years left to devote to The News of Davidson.