09/05/08 — Take it seriously: Don't panic, but don't be stupid this weekend either

View Archive

Take it seriously: Don't panic, but don't be stupid this weekend either

Let's face it, everybody thinks he or she is a weather forecaster. And as the news keeps changing about Hanna and Ike, many people will dismiss warnings because they "have a feeling it isn't going to be that bad."

And while there is no reason to panic yet, there is more than a little bit of need to be concerned about what the next few days will bring.

So, it is important that we set aside our weather forecasting hats and listen to those who just might know better.

For those who have never lived through a hurricane, pay attention to official reports and warnings. And if you are told to evacuate, do so. Follow instructions, bring what you are told to bring and make sure you do so in a timely manner -- that will be your job this weekend. And for goodness sake, don't go joyriding just to see the damage or take a risk by driving through standing water.

One of the biggest problems in an emergency situation is with those who decide to ignore the warnings. Then, later, when they realize they might be in danger because of their stupid decisions, they endanger emergency personnel who must then come to their rescue.

There have been several cases of law enforcement and rescue personnel who have lost their lives because they were trying to save someone else. That is a risk we should minimize as much as possible.

Also, think before you call. The more unnecessary calls local emergency personnel have to respond to, the less likely it will be that they will be available for a true emergency -- and who knows whose life might be in danger because of that delay.

Hopefully, Hanna will be nothing more than a rain event. With precautions and common sense, the storm will have minimal impact on this area. That should be our goal.

Published in Editorials on September 5, 2008 11:05 AM