OTHER OPINION: Hurricane season: Remain hopeful and vigilant

By Sun Herald, Biloxi/Gulfport

We hope – knock on plywood – that this will be an uneventful hurricane season. But the only thing certain about hurricane season is its uncertainty.
That is why it is so important to prepare for almost any eventuality. And as far as those forecasts go, no matter how “busy” the season may or may not be, it takes only one hit to turn your world upside down.
There’s no place for complacency during hurricane season, whether you are new to the Coast or a lifelong resident.
One of the best pieces of advice is: Run from water, hide from wind.
Run, as in evacuate.
Forecasting has become much more accurate. So if a forecast gives you reason to head inland, heed that warning. Don’t risk your life or the lives of your loved ones over whether you know more than the experts. This is especially true for those living in low-lying areas. Don’t depend on history or memory to access your flood risk. Waters rise for many reasons, and those reasons can change over the years or in a few hours: rainfall, river flow, tidal surge, topography, flood-control measures, and changes in drainage due to building and development.
We appreciate the difficulty of leaving home and work in advance of a storm. It can be expensive and inconvenient to evacuate, especially several times in just a few months.
All any of us can do is exercise due diligence and be prudent. So make your preparations and take the necessary precautions.
If you do what you’re asked to do, as Robert Latham, director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, has said, a hurricane will still be destructive, but not nearly as deadly.