Hurricanes, tropical storms, tropical depressions, tropical remnants.....they are all part of life here on the coast. Whether you've just moved here or you've been here forever, you need to be prepared but you can do it in a way that doesn't have others shaking their head at you. Here are some tips:
1. First things first, yes, you need a emergency pack. Canned/nonperishable food (make sure you have an opener), water, batteries, a radio, and more, packed in a way that you can take it with you if you need to leave your home. You should also make sure to have cash and a full tank of gas.
2. You do not need milk sandwiches. Whenever one of these storms even starts to head our way, all of the milk and bread just disappears. If it's a legit storm, you won't have power, thus no refrigeration, so why are you buying milk?
3. You need to decide what you are going to do BEFORE the storm gets here. Here's an easy chart to go by:
-Tropical Depression- Get ready to go to work in the rain. A non event.
-Tropical Storm- Go buy beer and decide what show that you are going to binge watch for the hours of rain. Maybe invite some friends over since you may have the day off. You may have some yard work to do the next day. This is no big deal.
-Category 1- See Tropical Storm except way more yard work. You may want to think about having a big cookout before it gets here, too, so you can empty out the freezer for when you possibly lose power for a day or two. All bets are off if the storm stalls over us and drops 3 feet of rain like Florence did.
-Category 2- OK, now you can start getting a little nervous. Be prepared to have no power for a few days (a generator may be a good idea but you need to have bought it WAY before the storm gets here). Don't expect to go to the grocery store because it will be like Lord of the Flies. The people who didn't prepare will be trying to fight you for that bottle of water. This is where the cash comes in because most places will only be accepting cash. Maybe think about evacuating so you don't have to deal with any of this.
-Category 3 or higher- You need to leave. The storm will be bad enough and the aftermath will not be fun at all. You need to run SOUTHWEST because the storms always turn north and then east when they hit. Our favorite hurricane vacation stop is Atlanta.
Just know that the media LOVES when these storms come around because their website clicks go through the roof. They are going to play this thing up and go "wall to wall" coverage. Stay calm, be prepared, and, usually, these things are no big deal.