By Megan Vick
Tis the Season! Mother Nature will soon be freaking out The Weather Channel as the Atlantic Ocean churns out some tropical systems starting in late August. Whether you’re a native (meaning this ain’t your first rodeo), a local (you live here, but hurricanes still freak you out), or a tourist (you’re high-tailing it outta here), here are some helpful tips for Hurricane Season.
1.) Hurricanes are not ‘Canes
‘Canes refers to the 2006 Stanley Cup Winning Carolina Hurricanes NHL Hockey team. Sure, they’ve sucked lately, but if you talk about ‘Canes, most North Carolinians are going to assume you mean angry Canadians living in the Raleigh area. Feel free to say “Hurricane,” “Hurri-kin,” or address the storm by its name.
2.) Turn off the Weather Channel
Yeah. Turn it off. The beautiful thing about hurricanes is that they are usually not a surprise to anyone. We have the luxury (is that the right word?) of planning our evacuations or watching the storm turn in some unexpected direction and fizzle out.
Side Note: Don’t take screen shots of the Hurricane radar map in relation to the coastline and post it on Facebook. Chances are your friends have seen that same image in the last 24 hours too. It’s a storm, not an alien.
3.) Please Stop Buying Weird Stuff at the Grocery Store
I’ve never understood the desire to purchase perishables before a hurricane. If you decide to ride out the storm and the power goes out for a long period of time, your fridge won’t be able to keep your food fresh. Try PB & J fixings or canned fruits and veggies. If you’re going to have snacks, make sure they don’t require refrigeration or a lot of clean up. Also, it’s a good idea to have picnic ware to avoid a massive pile of dishes when the power comes back. Batteries are always a great idea – get all sizes, just in case. Also, don’t forget to refill your prescriptions well before a storm is slated to hit.
PRO TIP: If the power is out for several days or if you evacuate, be sure to change any water filters (shower, sinks, kitchen faucet, refrigerator) as soon as you can. When filters aren’t consistently used, they can grow some super funky algae which makes your water taste nasty.
4.) When in Doubt, Evacuate
Hurricane parties aside, these are serious storms and can have serious consequences whether you’re prepared or not. Lots of hardened locals never leave for hurricanes, but the OBX has seen its fair share of damage in the past. With the ever-present climate change, you can bet your booty we’ll have another big storm hit our coastline one day soon.
The Outer Banks is particularly subject to damage because we are susceptible to both Oceanside and Sound side flooding. Wind damage is another large problem during hurricane season, but in my opinion, the absolute worst part of a hurricane is losing power. Without power, your house will become muggy, sticky, and uncomfortable, especially during the late summer and early fall. If you have well-water, you won’t be able to take showers or flush the toilet. Things can get uncomfortable very quickly.
The Outer Banks is a great place to be at any time of year, but it’s best you’re prepared if visiting during the late summer and early autumn months. If you get worried, pop into a local restaurant and ask some of the locals what they think of the approaching storm. They’ll be honest and keep you safe. Trust me, the last thing locals want during (or after) a hurricane are tourists whining about hurricane damage.