Slow-moving Hurricane Florence, after being advertised for days, finally made landfall about a mile from our house. We knew what to expect, having survived more than a dozen such storms over the years. More than 20 years ago, we lost half of our house in one, an experience best forgotten.
This time, everything on our checklist seemed to be covered: Current house high enough above sea level to avoid damage from storm surges and flooding? Solid home construction with strong windows, roof tie-downs and braces? Homeowner, windstorm and auto insurance current? Electric power, cable and landline telephone service stable? Lawn furniture, potted plants and other potential missiles brought inside? Full gasoline tanks in cars? Enough cash on hand? Emergency drinking water purchased? Ice stored in Styrofoam for future use? Non-refrigerated food available? Emergency butane burner and cartridges? Full bathtub of water to flush toilets? Separate battery backup for cell phones? Fresh batteries in portable radios, flashlights, lanterns and the NOAA emergency radio? Telephone numbers for local contractors? Boots, tarpaulins and Gatorade for hot-weather cleanup after the storm?