One of the biggest threats to Eastern Shore residents during hurricane force winds is falling trees. The only death recorded on the Shore as a direct result of a hurricane was a resident who died when a tree crashed into his mobile home during Hurricane Sandy. Evacuation shouldn’t be limited to zone 1 residents. In fact if you have large, old, hardwood trees in your yard or close to your house, you need to be aware of the threat of trees or large branches crashing onto your home or business during a storm. These trees have shallower roots or can. be rotten inside even if it isn’t evident.
Pine trees provide less of a threat but they have been known to break off and could cause injury or death if they fall on your house. This is especially true if you live near a recently harvested stand of pine trees in which older trees were left around the perimeter for seeding purposes.
Mobile home owners need to beware because these homes are not as substantial as stick built or masonry structures and can be dangerous during hurricane force winds.
Those who choose to evacuate have the choices of public evacuation sites which are generally Arcadia High School, Nandua Middle School and Nandua High School. Northampton residents must evacuate in the Accomack County shelters.
Those who have friends and family with which to stay are encouraged to do so. Public shelters should be left for those who have nowhere else to go. Also local motels and hotels are available as well but room fees must be paid.
Pets are not allowed at public shelters generally but Accomack County has established a pet shelter at Nandua for those who have nowhere to house their pets. If pets are left at home make sure they have food, water and shelter.
It is early June, but there have already been three tropical disturbances in the Atlantic so far. We don’t know if any of these predicted storms will affect the Eastern Shore but it is critical to develop a plan to decide if you will evacuate your family and where you will go. You also need to have on hand flashlights, portable radios and plenty of spare batteries. You should also acquire a supply of bottled water and non perishable food for at least three days. Plan to keep your prescriptions filled and before the storm arrives fill your vehicles with gasoline.
Those who are prepared face much greater odds of avoiding property damage and injury.