Red Cross needs help in hurricane readiness

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2005

As hurricane season approaches, the Red Cross of Adams County is beginning to think ahead, to plan for disaster relief often associated with hurricanes. The dedicated workers at the local chapter cannot do it alone. They need your help.

Remembering Hurricane Ivan in 2004 is enough to remind us of the roles played by people in the Miss-Lou. Up to 1,000 people took refuge in Natchez during the rampage of that storm, which threatened areas all along the coastlines of Mississippi and Louisiana.

What makes preparedness even more critical in the 2005 season, which begins Wednesday, is the sobering forecast from researchers at Colorado State University that the upcoming season may bring some major storms. In fact, forecasters say the continued warming of the ocean will increase activity in the Atlantic and therefore likely spawn more storms.

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The research team in Colorado predicts 15 storms will be large enough to be named; of those, eight will become major hurricanes, and four will be extremely dangerous, packing winds up to 111 mph or even higher.

Natchez does not have a history of being in the path of hurricanes. It could happen, of course, and the Miss-Lou indeed has received damaging winds and rain as hurricanes in the past played out and moved into the area as tropical storms.

Natchez certainly has a history of providing aid to refugees, however. And the Red Cross of Adams County soon will call for volunteers to become trained in providing that assistance. When the call comes, we hope the response will show that people of the Natchez area know a reputation for hospitality extends to those who come in need as well as those who come as tourists.

If you already know you want to become a volunteer and get the necessary training to help people running from storms, call the Red Cross office to let them know they can count on you. The number is 601-442-3656.