New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | September 24, 2018

Editorial: Preparation, not panic, will help us as Hurricane Florence approaches

By Andre Jones | September 11, 2018 9:14 am

By the time the printed edition of the Chronicle is released Thursday, Hurricane Florence will be off the east coast. For us in New Kent and Charles City, it’s more important to prepare for the hurricane and not panic.

Let’s understand a few things about this upcoming storm; we will be impacted. While those south of us will more than likely take the direct hit, our localities will more than likely see extensive flooding. A few months ago Pocahontas Trail (Route 60) in New Kent was completely flooded from Providence Forge to Lanexa. It was a sight that we didn’t imagine possible but we can expect to see something similar in the near future.

With that said, my advice is to prepare for the storm by any means possible. Stores will be packed with people looking for food and supplies, so you have to be patient as long lines will obviously be there. Make sure that you have batteries, portable chargers, and alternate methods for cooking as well. Also, have some sort of entertainment for yourself and children. Card games, coloring books, and movies (for those with generators) can help the time pass. Finally, find a way to stay cool. With the possibility of electricity going on and the weather remaining warm, make sure you have plenty of water on hand to keep the body cool.

One benefit about living in Charles City and New Kent is the fact that we have honestly been blessed to learn how to survive without electricity for days. During the 1998-99 winter storm, I personally didn’t have electricity for 10 days. But I had family that lived nearby that had a wood stove furnace that allowed us to stay warm and cook food. I’ve also had my fair share of surviving hurricanes. With access to places restricted by flooded roads and trees down across highways, food was often cooked on the grill and windows wide open to keep the air flow going through the house.

Finally, understand that there will be people working to help things get back to normal once the storm passes through. Firefighters, police officers, the National Guard, and electricians will be working around the clock and missing their families in efforts to help the citizens. They will be missing out on families (as they are now as they prepare for the storm) and it is something that we shouldn’t take for granted. Let’s thank these people when we interact with them and prepare something for them. Even if it’s a small snack or a bottle or water, those are crucial items during this time as most will be on 12-hour shifts.

Let’s prepare and not panic as the storm approaches. Using common sense to handle situations ahead of time will result in an atmosphere where we must all bond together after the storm passes through.