This hurricane is a large storm and it seems there is potential for significant erosion, flooding and even loss of life. The constancy of this being lost on some of the affected populations continues to baffle this ex-Florida resident. In discussions I heard on the news today the local Ocracoke officials were trying to make a safe determination as to what would be an appropriate time to have tourists leave the island. The newscaster further stated that while leaving the island was a mandate for tourists, it was not for local residents. Residents of Ococoke are at liberty to choose to remain on the island.
I have always thought that while no one would say that either a hurricane or earthquake was a fun time… at least there is very sufficient notice for hurricanes. People know they are coming, generally there is anywhere from days to a week to make provisions enabling you to fare well and seek safety.
Preparation is important even when the potential of a normal storm is coming. At our inn we have all kinds of emergency items. Flashlights, emergency lighting in room, water and a generator. While emergency assistance may be required in dire times, it is equally necessary for each citizen to assume control of their own safety and maintenance and be an active participant by demonstrating responsible behavior. While anyone can understand wanting to save a house, lessen property loss or whatever other reason people give for staying, Mother Nature in fury cannot be thwarted, only respected. Staying can jeopardize your very life. Water weights is 8 pounds per gallon. Trying to stave off a wall of water is not a happening. Staying can only render loss of life and the property outcome will be as it would have been whether you stay or you go.
I send good thoughts to our friends on the Outer Banks with all our wishes for their positive outcomes along with my strongest hopes that when and if the officials ask them to leave the island they comply. It is my hope both for their own sakes and certainly for those first responders who will have to risk life and limb to assist them when the frightening reality of this storms potential can no longer be ignored as it is beating at their door.