Sussex County Delaware

Sussex Beat, June 8, 2000

Hurricane Awareness
Week in Lewes

NOTE: Sussex Beat is a mix of news, analysis and commentary by Eric Magill, publisher of Sussex County Online.


Eric Magill, Sussex County Online

SC Online

Hurricanes ...

More Hurricane Information

With hurricane season starting a week ago, the City of Lewes proclaimed the week of June 5-9 as Hurricane Awareness Week.

The proclamation came as Dr. William Gray, the noted hurricane forecaster from Colorado State University, upgraded his hurricane forecast for 2000 to include 12 named storms including 8 hurricanes, 4 of which he says will be major hurricanes.

How Dr. Gray can make predictions on weather that won't get within 2,000 miles of his office in Colorado is a mystery, but his uncanny accuracy in the past makes him a formidable forecaster that even coastal meteorologists pay attention to.

We haven't had a major hurricane strike on the Delaware coast for a couple of decades thanks to the shield that North Carolina provides us. Typically, we see more damage from Nor'easters than hurricanes.

But history tells us that major hurricanes can strike here, and thus, Lewes Mayor George H.P. Smith's proclamation is designed to remind everyone on the coast not to be too comfortable when hurricane watches start.

Lewes has been designated a Project Impact community by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Lewes is one of several hundred communities across the nation that now participate in the initiative that brings government, individuals and the private sector together to reduce the toll from disasters.

"The most important lesson to be learned from the 1999 hurricane season is that the best way to help victims of nautral disasters is to help them avoid being hit by a disaster in the first place," said James Lee Witt, director of FEMA. "We know what hurricanes can do, but we also know how to reduce their destruction. That's why we created Project Impact. The destruction brought by the hurricane season should be a wakeup call not just for coastal communities but for all communities everywhere."

Mayor Smith reminds eveyone of four steps to take to prepare for hurricanes, or any other type of disaster:

  • Step 1 -- Know what types of disasters are most likely to occur in your community and how to prepare for them
    Contact your local American Red Cross Chapter for information and guidelines -- a good way to get started. Several web sites provide disaster preparedness information including FEMA, the National Hurricane Center, and the American Red Cross.

  • Step 2 -- Hold a Family Meeting
    Families should get together to talk about the steps they'll take to be ready when disaster happens in their community.

  • Step 3 -- Take Action
    Each family member, regardless of age, can be responsible for helping to ensure that the family is prepared. Activities can include posting emergency telephone numbers, installing smoke detectors, determining escape routes, assembling the family's disaster supply kit, and taking first aid or CPR.

  • Step 4 -- Practice and Maintain Your Plan The final step emphasizes the need to practice your plan on a regular basis so that your family members will remember what to do when disaster strikes.

Millsboro Student ...

Sussex Central High School senior Keenon J. Mann of Millsboro won the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce's annual scholarship at an awards ceremony at the school.

Mann, selected from a pool of students from Sussex Central, Sussex Tech and Cape Henlopen, received a $750 stipend and a certificate of achievement from Denise L. Matz, the chamber's vice president of community enhancement.

Mann will attend Wake Forest University in the fall as a psychology major. He plans to be a child psychologist.

Man is the president of the Sussex Central senior class and student council and is a four-year honor roll student and member of the National Honor Society. He is also active in many school activities and church.

Your Opinion ...

You can voice your opinion on county issues in the Sussex County Online Forum or cast your vote on various Sussex County issues on our online poll. Just follow the links below to make your voice heard and your vote count:

Sites Not to be Missed ...

The complete hurricane forecast of the Colorado State University team headed by Dr. William Gray is available on the Colorado State University site.

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