Freshen up emergency kit

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, October 9, 2018

After gearing up for — and being mostly missed by — Hurricane Florence only about a month ago, some folks may have thought hurricane season, at least practically speaking, was over.

Not so. Another threat for our area looms, and this one comes not from the Atlantic Ocean but from the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Michael is expected to make landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast today and then trek quickly across the southeastern United States. Florida is preparing for life-threatening effects including storm surge, heavy rainfall and flash flooding.

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But just because its original landfall will be several states away, there’s no excuse for folks here in Suffolk not taking Hurricane Michael seriously. It’s likely the storm will bring tropical storm-force winds and 4 to 6 inches of rain to Suffolk, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 7 p.m. advisory on Tuesday. These effects will take place late Thursday into Friday morning.

There’s some good news. Michael is a very fast-moving storm and isn’t expected to linger in one place very long. We also have fairly dry ground, so it can be expected to soak up some of that rain without too much trouble.

But with the memory of the panic of Florence, and then the lack of Florence, so fresh in everyone’s mind, we hope that nobody takes Michael for granted or assumes the storm’s track will change at the last minute. Doing so could leave you unprepared.

So freshen up that emergency kit you still have from Florence, make sure you have food that can be prepared during a power outage, and check on your friends and neighbors.