It is fine to hope for the best anytime where hear news that a storm could enter the Gulf of Mexico.

Unfortunately, as we have learned over many, many storm seasons, we still must prepare for the worst.

That isn’t to take a pessimistic or fatalist view of our chances. But we have to acknowledge that the chance exists for this storm to come our way.

And that means danger and disruption. But more than anything else, it means preparation, observation and action.

Prepare now of the storm’s arrival.

It is better to be prepared for something that doesn’t happen than unprepared for something that does.

Get together anything you will need to evacuate or to stay and deal with potential power outages.

Have a plan for your children and any other loved ones who might be depending on you to get them to safety.

Also, have a plan for your pets. They cannot take care of themselves, and they depend on you for their comfort and survival.

Watch the weather over the next several days, and listen for consensus among the forecasts.

We will have information in our newspaper and on our websites that can help you determine how likely it is that the storm will pose any danger to us.

Take action when directed to do so.

Listen to our public officials at the state and local levels.

If they tell you to get out, get out.

That is a simple plan, but it is one that is all too often ignored in times of potential crisis. Not only does staying put in the face of an evacuation order risk your life; it also risks the lives of those who might have to come rescue you.

It doesn’t matter whether your house has flooded in the past. We have seen in recent years that it is all too possible for homes to flood even if they never have flooded during past storms.

We can get torrential rains, and we can get fierce winds. But we’ve also seen in the past that a storm doesn’t have to be huge or particularly strong or even particularly close to us to cause devastation.

We live close to the Gulf, and we are on low ground. Our potential for flooding is high, and we have to recognize the danger that brings with it.

Please do everything you can to be ready for the storm, even if it doesn’t ever come. You and your family will be happy that you took every reasonable precaution, and you can still be happy and relieved if it goes elsewhere or dissipates before making landfall.

Let’s hope for good luck, but we have to prepare for bad luck. We’ve seen too many storms to simply assume we will be out of harm’s way.

 

Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.