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Opinion: Fizzled Storm an Opportunity for Generous Gratitude

Greg Wilson/Anderson Observer

As Hurricane/Tropical Storm Florence continues to fall apart as it moves away from the Anderson area, there has been more wind from complaints about the poor forecast than from the actual drizzle event that arrived here. 

Instead of complaining, Anderson should recognize the events as an opportunity to give back and to say thanks to those who were preparing for the worst. 

Reacting to warnings earlier in the week to prepare for the worst, many of our friends and neighbors now have cupboards full of non-perishable snacks that they will likely never eat. This offers an excellent opportunity to fill the cupboards at AIM as fall races toward the holiday season. They feed roughly 800 families every month, and if everyone who stocked up on food expecting to be without electricity for days would bag those groceries and take them to AIM (it’s on South Murray Ave, here’s the map), the effort and money would not be a waste, but instead a blessing for those who need a little extra help.

And while you are boxing and bagging those groceries, take a minute to give thanks to those who spend endless hours this past week preparing for the worst. The team at Anderson County Emergency Management, led by Lt. David Baker (see Friday Observer interview here), was ready to act if the storm had wrought the destruction originally forecast. The offered up-to-date information on social media about the storm, which include lists of emergency supplies and contact numbers. Working with local first responders, Duke Power crews, state agencies and other local groups, Emergency Management had plans in place to shelter, feed and rescue those in need, as well as plans to get things back to normal as soon as possible. Since the storm missed Anderson, their preparations now allow them to assist those in other parts of the state hit hardest by the hurricane/tropical depression. As part of the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, we owe them a debt of gratitude, a thank you card, and maybe a dozen or so doughnuts if you really want to show your appreciation. 

Hurricanes are just plain unpredictable, said John Cangialosi, a hurricane specialist at NOAA's National Hurricane Center. “They're still somewhat mysterious," said. Cangialosi. "We can observe them, but we don't actually understand them to a large factor.”

What is more predictable is the way our community prepares and responds when there is a potential threat to the safety of our friends and neighbors. We have excellent people and systems in place, and for that we are blessed. 

The best way to respond is by being a blessing to others. So remember to pack up all that food you bought to weather to storm and take it to AIM this week. It’s too early to start holiday binging anyway. 

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