Irene has our respect

Published 9:30 am Friday, August 26, 2011

If you want to get the attention of folks in Western Tidewater, a single word will do it.


On Sept. 18, 2003, the storm, rated a misleading Category 2, battered the Outer Banks before wreaking havoc in Hampton Roads, Western Tidewater and points further north. Falling trees took down power lines, leaving most in Franklin and Southampton County without power for days.

Those unpleasant memories came rushing back this week when meteorologists compared the approaching Hurricane Irene to Isabel. That was plenty to get our attention.

Thankfully, the people of Western Tidewater have another 24 hours to prepare. Here are a few tips courtesy of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management:

n Verify that vital records are in a safe storage area. Files, records and storage cabinets should be wrapped in plastic for moisture protection. If necessary, temporarily relocate records to a safe storage facility off-site.

n Inventory hurricane emergency supplies and restock if necessary.

n Clear all desktops and tabletops of small loose items.

n Secure first-floor doorways with sandbags, duct tape or heavy plastic to protect interior from possible flooding.

n Disconnect all electrical appliances and equipment.

n Box or place any loose papers, books, hanging plants, etc., in desk drawers or storage cabinets.

n Close and local all windows. Draw the blinds or drapes.

n Secure adequate cash to operate for several days.

n Tie down or bring indoors any objects that might be blown around by hurricane winds (outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans, display racks, signs and any other loose objects that are normally left outside).

n Remove all outdoor signs, particularly those that swing or might cause damage during strong winds.

n Ensure that all vehicles are serviced and fueled.