Hurricane Preparedness Tips and Information

As you have certainly heard, hurricane Florence is approaching the East Coast, and may affect our area. Projections can change over the next few days, but as precaution we want everyone to be as informed and as safe as possible.

A) For church information: We will strive to post messages and updated church information on our website ( www.newhanoverpres.org) and/or on our face book page ( https://www.facebook.com/newhanoverchurch.)

If the church is closed, we will post to the web and Facebook, place a message on the church answering service at (804) 730-9700 and notify channel WTVR – 6, so we can be included in their closings listings.

B) For general preparation: We have included below some key information and recommendations on good steps to take in advance of a storm like this.

When natural disaster strikes, our first question tends to be “Why, God?” No one can pretend to know the full answer to this question. However, we do believe that God made creation good, and made the systems of the earth self-renewing. These powerful forces were all severely deranged in the fall of humanity (however you understand that). The end result is that systems that were created to do good and continuously renew the earth became disordered and even dangerous as they fulfill their otherwise beneficial God-given roles. This is why the Apostle Paul says “all creation groans together as in labor pains…” The same forces that water the earth and keep the air moving lest it become still and stale are sometimes diverted from their good work and become dangerous and life-threatening instead of life-giving.

What does this mean? First, we will be (and already have been) praying for everyone’s safety. Though we are unsure how God will use our prayers, we are rejoined to make our requests known to God, so we will pray for you and those in danger, as we know you will too. How God answers our prayers are in the divine will. Second, please tell us if you have a need! Your church family is here for you. Please do not suffer in silence either before or after the storm.

_________________________________________________________

Tips for Getting Prepared for the Hurricane 

During the watch period of an incoming tropical storm or hurricane, you should be making basic preparations. Homeowners should clear their yards of any loose items, and stock up on canned food and water. For individuals and homeowners, a hurricane warning means you should follow any directions given by officials, including leaving the area if that is what is advised. You should have a kit prepared ahead of time that will allow you to ride out the storm and the first few days following it:

  • 3 days’ worth of water. Don’t forget to include all of your family members and any pets when calculating how much bottled water you will need (NOTE: each person needs an estimated 2 liters or 1/2 of a gallon per day of water.  As a general rule, dogs need from ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight each day.)

  • Non-perishable food to last for 3 days. Like with water you want to take into account all family members and pets. You may be left without electricity so don’t rely on any items that will need microwaving. Bread, peanut butter, and canned foods are all good to have on hand.

  • A cooler and bags of ice for keeping some necessities fresh, such as milk if you have a baby in the house. If you have enough warning, consider freezing water and juice before the storm hits. This way if the power does go out, you have additional cooling agents to keep other food cold, and a cold drink when you need one.

  • A manual can opener.

  • Matches or a lighter and candles.

  • A first aid kit.

  • Flashlights and plenty of batteries.

  • A solar charger for your cellular phone or a battery charger. You will want this in order to receive important updates about the storm from emergency officials using emergency notifications. Before the storm hits, you should make sure that all cell phones are fully charged as well as any backup batteries you have.

  • A battery operated radio with extra batteries.

  • A water tight container to hold your identification documents, other important papers and medications.

Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting about six hours before you expect a hurricane to hit, and then only open the door sparingly. This will help to preserve whatever food you do have inside for as long as possible if the electricity does go out.

Hurricane Facts and Information

Your first step in preparing for hurricane season lies in knowing what you are dealing with. Forecasters may be talking about an approaching storm for days, but you won’t be able to properly prepare yourself, school, or town unless you know what they are referring to.

Tropical Depression – A tropical depression is a low pressure area with thunderstorms. These storms have winds of up to 39 miles per hour and are first spotted out in the ocean. Weather forecasters analyze these for their potential to turn into something greater.

  • Tropical depressions that make landfall are intense storms, but in most cases won’t cause considerable damage.

  • Tropical Storms – A tropical storm has variable speeds ranging from 39 to 73 miles per hour.

  • Hurricanes – When a forecast is calling for a hurricane, you should expect winds starting at 74 miles per hour. Not only will this cause immense damage, there is also the threat of flooding and storm surges.

It is very important to pay attention to news broadcasts and weather reports that are providing you information about a possible hurricane. While never 100% accurate, they will give you a fairly good idea of when to expect the storm, and how severe it is going to be. Some terms you are likely to hear before and during a hurricane from weather analysts include:

  • Tropical Storm Watch – Conditions exist that make it possible there will be a tropical storm in the area.

  • Hurricane Watch – There is the likelihood of a hurricane in the area. This watch is almost always issued 48 hours before the expected start of winds that have tropical storm force.

  • Tropical Storm Warning – You can expect a tropical storm.

  • Hurricane Warning – These are issued 36 hours before the expected onset of tropical force winds and indicate a high possibility of a hurricane in the area.

  • Eye – The center of the storm where the weather conditions are calmer.

  • Eye Wall – This is the area surrounding the eye of the storm and where you will find the most severe weather conditions.

  • Rain Bands – Rain bands are defined as bands which come off of the cyclone and produce their own waves of heavy rain and high winds.

  • Storm Surge – As a tropical storm or hurricane makes landfall, the ocean swells, causing large waves to crash down on the affected beaches. This can cause coastal flooding and in some cases even flooding further inland.

About the Author