By Spc. Jared S. Eastman, 1HBCT Public AffairsSeptember 15, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - There was a storm outside my house last night. I hardly even noticed it until the dull throb of thunder managed to finally shake my ear drums and the drapes illuminated with an eerie light. Between said storm and me was man's creation- a combination of stone, drywall and who knows what else. It's moments like this that I'm reminded that, although we've come far- there are still greater powers that be out there. Hailing from Wisconsin, I've had my fair share of 'severe' weather, but mine usually amounted to frigid weather and being buried under snow.
In Georgia, however, it's safe to say Thor is ever-present. He must take a break from Asgard every once and awhile to golf with his hammer down here. We have storms that move in quick and are almost un-perceivable by radar. It's important to keep shelter in mind when planning a day out and about. The last place you want is to be out fishing when one of these storms rolls in; or in an open field. It's a common misconception that lightning will always strike the tallest object in an area, but the truth of the matter is the path of least resistance isn't always the tallest object but the most negatively charged. So, when you see a storm coming, find shelter in a building.
Georgia also caters to a weather system heretofore unseen by Wisconsinite- hurricanes. Never before have had I had to worry about the shelter I call home collapsing around me or being flooded within minutes. Hinesville is a mere 75-100 feet above sea level, and we have plenty of swamps that hold water for weeks. Hurricanes can also spawn eye wall mesovertices, which turn into tornadoes upon landfall. Not fun stuff.
So, what is one to do to prepare for the varied weather in Coastal Georgia?
Have a plan for any of the catastrophic events that could take place: be it hurricane, storm, flood or zombie invasion.
For these events make a kit that is ready to go at a moments notice. Kit lists can be located through a multitude of online resources- I recommend ready.gov. Although zombie attack kits are vaguer due to the instigator of such invasions, be it scientific or alien based. Either way, blunt weapons are always a safe bet, as they don't run out of ammo. I suggest a cricket bat. You may also want to consider renter's insurance even if you live in the barracks, because there's little chance you can return your flat screen once it's been submerged.
Fort Stewart Garrison has also put out a tremendously helpful publication that details Stewart-specific procedures in the event of severe weather- whether it is evacuation routes or what facilities will be temporary shelters on post. You can find it around post or at bit.ly/stewartweather.