Get ready to give to storm relief

Published 1:00 am Saturday, August 27, 2011

It hasn’t been too terribly long ago that we were doing what residents of the East Coast are doing today: Watching a storm from the middle of the alphabet – namely Ivan – and then dealing with the aftermath.

Hurricane Irene, though weakening late yesterday, was 235 miles south of Cape Hatteras, N.C., and hurricane warnings stretched as far north as Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The Category 2 storm had top sustained winds of 100 mph, and it was expected to be borderline Category 1, with maximum winds of 95 mph, when it comes ashore Saturday and moves toward the Mid-Atlantic states, according to forecasters.

Once it passes North Carolina, the huge storm is expected to create dangerous conditions in New Jersey, New York, and southern New England. Tens of millions of people could be affected by the storm as it moves up the densely populated East Coast, and officials urged residents to be prepared for the worst.

As early as yesterday morning, FEMA and the American Red Cross were already staging resources expected to be needed in the aftermath of the storm.

And just as residents from other states supported us after Ivan, our neighbors after Katrina, and our fellow Alabamians after this spring’s deadly tornadoes, we will need to send help north. The American Red Cross and other reputable charities with disaster relief functions will need all of the help they can get.

Pay it forward, and be thankful we dodged this storm.