Those of us who have lived in these parts for a number of years know more than we want to about hurricanes. We know to plan and prepare. And for the most part, according to the forecasts, we can get an idea of how bad it will be.
When Hurricane Nate started heading our way, the general consensus was that it might be damaging, but not devastating. While a category one hurricane is nothing to be indifferent about, it doesn’t carry the threat of a three or four, or even a two. So, while most residents were prepared, I didn’t find any who were terrified.
We might have bought some extra groceries and batteries and water, but I know of only one business that boarded windows. I didn’t see that myself, but someone told me. I didn’t see any houses boarded up.
As individuals, we may have not prepared for the worst – but someone did.
Last week, days ahead of the predicted landfall, Atmore police, fire and street departments and the mayor were meeting to go over plans. Meetings continued through the weekend.
I attended a Friday afternoon meeting with Police Chief Chuck Brooks, Fire Chief Ronald Peebles, Street Department Manager Calvin Grace, Mayor Jim Staff, and Administrative Assistant Samantha Bennett. There had been meetings before and there were meetings after that one.
By the time of this meeting on Friday, plans were already in place. Fuel for vehicles had been checked, as had generators for vital services. The city contracts with a company that clears debris after a storm, and that company had been contacted to be ready if needed. Atmore fire and police personnel were on standby.
We were fortunate this time. Nate blew and rained, but didn’t hurt us much. For that we are grateful.
We’re also grateful for folks – the public servants, the first responders – who have our back if we need them.